Building Hope Newsletter, January

Executive Director & CEO Corner

Last year, we expanded our territory, rebranded to better reflect who we are, and continued striving toward a more holistic mission by focusing on wrap-around services with the same intensity we dedicate to building and renovating the physical buildings that serve as home. It was an exhilarating year, and as we open the door this month to the second year in our new three-year strategic plan, I feel like we’re on to something big.

In sheer numbers, we have the biggest pipeline of projects in our history, with 11 in progress– representing almost 60,000 square feet and with 10 Builder Captains already committed – and five more pending project applications. But as with everything we do at HomeAid, our work is much more than the numbers. Four projects will be new builds, with two being demo and rebuild and two being from the ground up. It’s a massive undertaking to do one new build, let alone four! We have projects reaching from Washington, DC, to Fredericksburg and everywhere in between. We continue to welcome commercial builders to work alongside us and have teamed up with five additional new nonprofit partners. With the help of our Builder Captains, we will add to the communities’ stock of affordable housing and changing the lives of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We’ll be building and renovating spaces that will not only house individuals and families, but also food pantries, clothing donation centers, counseling and life-skills training programs, and other critical nonprofit offices. All told, our work will impact thousands of people in the coming year alone.

Thank you for taking this incredible journey with us – I am filled with gratitude and a sense of awe at what we can accomplish together. Happy New Year!

With gratitude,

In the Neighborhood

First Female President for HomeAid National Capital Region

Lauren Vanni Kinard, president at First Excel Title, has been named 2023 president of the HomeAid National Capital Region Board of Directors, the first woman to serve in the role. Kinard has been a member of the Board since 2020 and served as Secretary in 2022. Kinard has served on the Executive, Gala & Auction, and Strategic Planning committees and is a dedicated supporter of countless events, including the Builders for Babies Diaper Drive, Home Essentials Collection, and through personal and company sponsorships. She and her husband, Jonathan, also generously provided the Paddle Challenge match donation during our Gala in November.

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be the first female president for HomeAid NCR,” Kinard said. “There have been incredible leaders before me, so I have big shoes to fill. Giving back to the community has been instilled in me by my family since I was a little girl, and the Board of Directors and staff at HomeAid NCR align with the same goal of making an impact on people’s lives in a meaningful way. I look forward to leading the way in 2023.”

Kinard will be joined on the Executive Board by Tom Twomey (Stanley Martin Homes), vice president/president-elect; Bryan Guidash (Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.), secretary; Rick Cole (The Long Companies), treasurer; and John Buhl (Buhl Electric Company, Inc.), immediate past president.

Lauren Vanni Kinard, First Excel Title

Two new Board members will also be joining the team in 2023: Please help us welcome Kevin Canary (Richmond American Homes) and Tom Hyde (Miller & Smith). Thank you to Smita Anand and Jack Gallagher for your service and contributions – we will miss you!


In Your Community

Play With Us at GolfAid

Mark your calendars and register today for GolfAid, to be held at TopGolf Loudoun on March 2, 2023, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.! This always-popular and fun event means networking with the region’s top builders and trade partners; plenty of food and beverage; and, if you wish, trying your hand at golf at one of TopGolf’s 34 climate-controlled bays. We’re again offering two types of registrations – one for golfers, which offers full access to everything the event has to offer including three hours of unlimited golf and one for networkers, which offers access to the great food, great drinks, and networking (no golf). Register today!

All funds raised will directly support nearly a dozen upcoming projects, giving new hope and changing the lives of those experiencing homelessness, at-risk kids, single moms, veterans, intellectually and physically disabled adults, and countless others who are coming out of crisis and need a hand up. 

Making It Count

Giving Back in 2023

At HomeAid’s Gala & Auction, we screened a new volunteer video, highlighting the many ways people can get involved with HomeAid and give back to their communities. And while all of the examples are critically important to our mission – building new homes, donating playground equipment, donating and delivering diapers, participating in Care Days – what’s especially heartwarming is hearing the ‘why’ behind so many volunteers’ decisions to help. Hear directly from industry leaders as they explain why they feel “those who can, should” give back. Learn why a company president has found that staff volunteerism has led to a greater feeling of family and bonding between colleagues. Why working with a reputable brand like HomeAid makes service opportunities easy and convenient, no matter a person’s schedule. How one volunteer has translated her professional design skills into selecting materials for HomeAid projects. And why another volunteer summarized, “When I needed help, someone offered a helping hand … now it’s my turn.”

There are so many ways to give; find out how you and your company can get involved. 

Thank you, Builders First Source, for sponsoring the production of this video.

Support Spotlight

A Champion to HomeAid

Stanley Martin Homes has been a huge supporter of HomeAid since our founding, but it’s often individuals who make such a big difference day to day. One such person is Megan Grimes, permit coordinator for the company, who first volunteered with our Gala Committee, took on the herculean job of running our silent auction, coordinated home essentials collection drives, helped deliver diapers to our nonprofit partners, and is constantly encouraging others to volunteer with us. After only a year with HomeAid, she’s made an incalculable difference and is living proof that no matter how we contribute, there are countless ways to champion our work. Find out more about why she keeps saying, “Yes” to HomeAid.

Megan Grimes

Q: How did you get involved with HomeAid, and what inspired you to get more deeply invested in helping advance our mission?

A: I’ve always been one to get involved – I always did extracurriculars in college, and since beginning my professional life have sought out ways to get involved. I shared that interest with our president, Tom Twomey, who serves on HomeAid’s Board of Directors, and he told me about the Gala Committee needing volunteers. That was my initial contact, and I found such a connection I wanted to continue supporting HomeAid any way I could. I’m from Fauquier County, and I guess I thought of homelessness affecting more urban areas. In truth, though, it’s everywhere … it’s in all of our communities. I remember feeling so stunned when I learned that out of desperation, some moms will feel forced to re-use diapers, because they’re so expensive. I don’t have kids, but I remember calling my mom to share it with her … we interact with people all the time and have no way of knowing what they’re going ‘home’ to or how they’re paying for any of their needs. People are hurting everywhere, and I didn’t realize how widespread it is until I got involved with HomeAid.

Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering? 

A: I’ve learned that there are so many ways to give back. Donate money, volunteer your time, create a graphic … no matter your strengths, there are ways to give back. There’s something for everyone at HomeAid – if you like to get dressed up, go to the Gala! If you love digging in the dirt, volunteer for a CareDay and plant flowers at a HomeAid project. If you love to shop, participate in a Home Essentials drive. Everyone is busy, and even when we think we can’t possibly do another thing, there’s always a way. At HomeAid, I’ve especially enjoyed meeting so many incredible people and have benefited from the educational aspect – I’ve learned so much, and I like being able to share with others and expand awareness. When we share what we’ve experienced, we can help spread the love.

Q: Tell us about your career with Stanley Martin Homes.

A: I manage all the permitting for our Northern Virginia division, which keeps me very busy. I’ve always been fascinated by homes, drawing houses as a kid, shadowing a home stager as part of a career day in high school, and working in property management before coming to Stanley Martin. I’ve been here 3.5 years.


Thank You
A raucous, hockey-style word of thanks to the Washington Post for gifting us with your company suite at Capitol One for the December 19 Washington Capitals hockey game! HomeAid hosted a very successful Builder Captain Recruitment event, where we welcomed seasoned and prospective Builder Captains to network and learn more about HomeAid and what it means to serve as a Builder Captain.

Happier Holiday
Our warmest gratitude to the following organizations for organizing company-wide collection drives for HomeAid’s Holiday Home Essentials Drive: The Engineering Groupe, Inc., Stanley Martin Homes Northern Virginia, Stanley Martin Homes Paralegal, Women in the Building Industry (WBI), Sun Design, Inc., and K. Hovnanian Homes. Your generosity will bring much needed necessities to nonprofit partners’ clients and enable our partners to dedicate even more funding to programs and services rather than on supplies.

Internship Opportunity Available
Intern opportunities for spring 2023 are available, and we are now recruiting for our Spring Events Intern position! Our small office means a content-rich and busy position, helping to plan and execute our many major social and fundraising events, as well as smaller events throughout the year. Find out more!

Upcoming Events

March 2, 2023 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
TopGolf Loudoun 20356 Commonwealth Center Sr. Ashburn, VA