Building Hope Newsletter, August

Executive Director & CEO Corner

At the start of the month, we hosted “Arts in the Park” at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theater in the Woods, and there are so many reasons I love this event. It introduces kids to the arts, gives them access to a place that many would never have a chance to otherwise visit, and provides a fun day out with their family. For parents, it’s a day of carefree memory-making without ever once having to worry, ‘But how will I pay for it?’ But as great as the performances are – along with the laughs and smiles of glee we always see on the audience’s faces – my favorite part is knowing that we send every child home with a brand-new backpack that they themselves got to choose, and inside that backpack is a gift card so that they can purchase their own school supplies. Think about that for a moment: The ability to choose and purchase their own school supplies. I know from my own experience as a mom, seeing the excitement on my daughter’s face when she gets to pick out her own pencil box and choose the color of folders and notebooks she will use that year, not only does it give me joy but it starts her year off with positive energy.  And that’s why this event is so special; HomeAid is giving kids autonomy, along with the ability to go shopping just like other kids in their class. It makes the anticipation of school feel light and new, it sets kids up for success in the classroom, and it gives them a taste of what we all strive for – independence. Thank you to all of our supporters who made this day at the park possible, and who have even more importantly made going back to school feel great for kids who need that feeling the most.

With gratitude,

In the Neighborhood

Arts in the Park: Making Theater Accessible for All

On Saturday, August 5, we welcomed over 80 of our nonprofit partners’ clients to our Arts in the Park event at Wolf Trap’s Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, where they enjoyed a sold-out performance of “Penguin Goes to Art School.” For many of our guests, it was their first experience at a live show, and the theme – where a penguin overcomes his challenges and, with help from his friends, learns to fly – felt especially meaningful for our guests who have already overcome so much.

In addition to free admission, HomeAid provided boxed lunches, and each child in attendance received a brand-new backpack and a $50 gift card, enabling kids to shop for and select their very own school supplies. Thank you to all of our supporters for making Arts in the Park possible!  

In Your Community

Golf Tournament Nearly Sold Out – Register Today!

The HomeAid Golf Tournament is just a month away – on Friday, September 15 at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club – and registrations are filling up fast! Sign up today and join us as the area’s top industry leaders tee off at our biggest summer networking and business-building events. Sponsorships at a variety of price points are also still available—put your company name out front and help us meet our mission of helping people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness build new lives through construction, community engagement, and education.

All of our golfers and sponsors can look forward to themed bars, breakfast and lunch, great raffle prizes, fantastic hole-in-one prizes, tee gifts, and more! We’ll see you on September 15!

Making It Count

HomeAid Partners with Madison Homes to Preserve, Expand Affordable Housing

Throughout the DC metro area, affordable housing is disappearing, often replaced with luxury and high-end apartments, condos, and townhomes that force many individuals and families out as they can no longer afford to live there. As market comparables rise, so too, then, do the rental rates at surrounding apartments, forcing even more people out.

Along Richmond Highway in Fairfax County, Good Shepherd Housing works to counteract these realities through its Campaign for Colchester. The campaign seeks to acquire 30 additional units at the Colchester Town Condominiums, adding to the 31 units they already own.

HomeAid is proud to have teamed up with Builder Captain Madison Homes to complete the renovation of the first three units for Good Shephard Housing valued at $65,000, which included a wide range of updates to appliances, plumbing, cabinetry, counters, electrical, painting, and flooring. Thanks to Madison Homes and their Trade Partners, Good Shepherd Housing is well on its way to tripling the number of affordable housing units available in this neighborhood, revitalizing the area to benefit all its residents and ensuring the Richmond Highway corridor remains an accessible, diverse community.

Support Spotlight

From Trade Partner to Service Leader

Buhl Electric is one of HomeAid’s strongest partners, working on countless projects and participating in and sponsoring all of our events. That kind of support of course come from its people, with one such person being Kristie Ward, vice president, who plays a huge role in Buhl’s philanthropic efforts. She’s stepped up countless times to help set up our Builders & Friends BBQ, work our golf tournament, serve on a clean-up crew, purchase and deliver diapers and wipes for Builders for Babies, supports President John Buhl with the myriad documents and details needed for his service on our Board, and is now volunteering with our Gala Committee. Learn more about how she first got involved – and start imagining how you might follow in her footsteps!

Kristie Ward

Q: How did you first get involved with HomeAid, and what inspired you to get more deeply invested? 

A: Company President John Buhl has served on HomeAid’s Board for seven years, and he introduced me to HomeAid in 2015 through his involvement. He started asking me to attend some events to help represent the company, which led me to a deeper understanding of the community’s needs. I started helping out more by securing items for the gala and helping with set-up at various events. My desire to really get invested can probably be tied to the 2018 Gala, when a speaker from Final Salute shared how much HomeAid had done for her nonprofit organization that helps veterans who are homeless and/or at risk of becoming homeless. I’m a ‘military brat,’ and this really hit a chord with me. The speaker wore a red dress and combat boots – I’ll never forget it – and she was so real and made it so clear that HomeAid is covering all aspects of homelessness for all people.

Q: What have you been most surprised to learn about homelessness?

A: This is such a wealthy area, and it’s shocking to hear and see how many people in our area are experiencing homelessness. There’s also so many different aspects to it – it’s not just about someone on a street. It’s also about food pantries, programs for at-risk youth, storage facilities for donated essentials … HomeAid works at prevention too, to intervene before someone becomes homeless, and I like that. I’ve also been struck by how ‘easy’ it can become for someone to be at risk of homelessness; a job loss, a divorce or separation, a youth trying to escape an unhealthy home situation. There are so many everyday reasons that could happen to any of us.

Q: What would you tell someone who is considering volunteering with HomeAid? 

A: HomeAid’s mission is simple: everyone should have a home and a place where they feel safe. There is a huge array of ways to help; some take five minutes, some are more involved. Whether it’s making some purchases on an Amazon wish list or volunteering for a committee, there’s something for everyone. It’s a great way to give back.

Q: What is your role with Buhl Electric?

A: I’ve been here since 2005, starting in accounts payable and last year promoted to being one of two vice presidents. I love being part of an organization where I can see firsthand how every job matters and makes an impact. John is also just an incredible person; he’s great to work with and for, he takes care of us and his community, and he’s philanthropic. I can’t imagine a better place to be. He’s such an out-of-the-box thinker as well; he has so many ideas for solutions to tough problems, and if he himself can’t fix it, he almost certainly knows someone who can. He’s a connector and I love having a front-row seat to that.


Welcome Home
We’ve teamed up with the Lamb Center, a nonprofit homeless services provider in Fairfax, Virginia, that offers daytime drop‐in services. With individuals and families regularly moving into housing, HomeAid will now manage the collection and distribution of household essentials for their residents through our HomeAid Essentials program.

Join Our Team
With an ever-growing list of social and fundraising events, HomeAid is hiring for a part-time Event Assistant position, with responsibilities that pertain to planning, marketing, hotel/food/beverage, awards presentation, speakers, programs, and on-site logistics. Find out more!

Thank You, Third Party Event Hosts!
Third-party charity fundraisers are game-changers for us, as every time an organization plans and hosts a fundraising event on our behalf, we benefit enormously from the planning effort we know these events demand and of course for the funds raised. This month, we have K. Hovnanian Mid-Atlantic TPC and PulteGroup to thank for hosting golf tournaments and Sight and Sound for including us in their annual Taste of Technology event. Every event expands our capacity and helps spread awareness and increase education about our mission and local homelessness with people who may not know about us otherwise. Thank you!

Upcoming Events

HomeAid Golf Tournament
September 15, 2023
7:00 AM Registration 8:00 AM Shotgun Start
Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
41601 Raspberry Dr.
Leesburg, VA. 20176

Third Party Events

K. Hovnanian Homes Mid-Atlantic TPC Charity Golf Outing
September 8, 2023
Westfields Golf Club, Clifton, VA.
A portion of the proceeds will go to HomeAid National Capital Region.

Sight and Sound Systems A Taste of Technology
September 21, 2023, 3:00-8:00 p.m.
Chima Brazilian Steak House, Tysons, VA.
Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to HomeAid National Capital Region.

PulteGroup Charity Golf Tournament
September 25, 2023
1757 Golf Club, Ashburn, VA.
For registration information, please email or call 703.932.2641.
A portion of the proceeds will go to HomeAid National Capital Region.