January 2015 l Building Hope

In the Spotlight

HomeAid Northern Virginia Elects Brian Davidson President

Brian Davidson, executive vice president of Van Metre Homes, was recently elected the 2015 president of HomeAid Northern Virginia, following his most recent service as secretary and, before that, as a two-year member of the board. His new role is a natural extension of his personal interest in making a positive impact on the community and of Van Metre’s long-held commitment to philanthropy.

“Van Metre has over the years donated more than $2 million to the children’s hospital and $1 million to hospice care, and several years ago we were honored with the Humanitarian Award at a builder’s show in Orlando,” he explained.

Brian Davidson

“While there, I learned more about the Wounded Warriors program, which builds homes for our veterans, and HomeAid Northern Virginia Board Member Terri Stagi urged me to learn more about HomeAid, which of course has a similar mission, but for the homeless. I was inspired and got involved with the board right away, and also served as a builder captain. It’s been an incredibly rewarding few years.”

Looking forward, Davidson hopes to focus on expanding HomeAid’s reach within the homebuilding community and to influence more builders to take on projects and serve as builder captains.

“We’ve been leaning on many of the same homebuilders and trade partners to donate more and more, and it’s come time to reach out and inspire more companies to pitch in, get involved, and help us fulfill our mission. It’s going to be a great year with a lot of projects in the pipeline, and we’re poised to do great things.”

Also serving on the 2015 executive committee are Sal Migliore, immediate past president; Gregory Carter, vice president/president-elect; Rick Cole, treasurer; and David Gill, secretary.

New Board Members

Three new members were elected to the 2015 Board of Directors: Jon Adler, KB Homes; Bryan Guidash, Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.; and Jason McDonough. Doug Fahl, DR Fahl Consulting, and Lewis Birnbaum, Pulte Homes, who served on the 2014 Board of Directors, have stepped down.

Welcome and thank you for your service!

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid Launching Builder Captain Campaign

The New Year is shaping up to be a big year for HomeAid Northern Virginia, with seven projects already in need of a Builder Captain and more to come. Along with that growth comes the need for a larger and deeper team of homebuilders to serve as Builder Captains, so that HomeAid can fulfill its mission of building and renovating facilities for the homeless. BuilderCaptain_x600
HomeAid is meeting the challenge head-on, with its first organized campaign to reach out to builders who have never before participated, as well as to those who have proven themselves time and again to be among HomeAid’s strongest partners.
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Recognizing that timing is everything when it comes to accepting a project, HomeAid will launch its campaign with a letter to experienced and potential Builder Captains, asking for a commitment to take on one project at some point over the next 18 months—with the hope that having a wider timeframe for commitment will inspire more builders to accept.

HomeAid is also developing marketing collateral that will illustrate the many benefits of serving as a Builder Captain, including improved employee morale; the opportunity to give back to the community; marketing and public relations coverage; and increased exposure at the organization’s many events and on its marketing materials and website.

“Our board, led by President Brian Davidson, has made it a 2015 priority to introduce our mission and the benefits of serving as a Builder Captain to many more homebuilders—from small, local builders to national builders,” said Christy Eaton, HomeAid Northern Virginia’s executive director. “If we want to increase our effectiveness at reducing homelessness in Northern Virginia, we need to expand our capacity to take on more projects, and that means expanding our builder partnerships.”

HomeAid will also be rolling out a new recognition club, the Builders Circle of Excellence, for all homebuilders who have served as a Builder Captain.

HomeAid Northern Virginia has an immediate need for Builder Captains for projects in Alexandria, Bristow, Falls Church, Manassas, and Reston. For more information about what it means to serve as a Builder Captain, please contact Christy Eaton at 571.283.6320.

At the Store

Women Giving Back to Host Open House

On Wednesday, January 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Women Giving Back (WGB) will host an Open House for service providers in HomeAid’s network, with the goal of giving staff and case managers the opportunity to tour WGB’s Store facility and gain a better understanding of how WGB can benefit their clients. HomeAid board members and staff, as well as WGB board members and volunteers, will be on hand to provide tours and answer questions. A complimentary lunch will also be available.

“Shelters refer women to us every month so that they can ‘shop’ for free clothing and accessories in our Store,” explained WGB Founder Terri Stagi, “and every year, we give tens of thousands of items to thousands of women. But, due to turnover and tight schedules, many of the staff members and case managers haven’t seen for themselves what it means to shop in our Store. Many don’t really know who we are or how we operate, and this Open House is our way of helping them understand what their clients experience when they come to see us.”

Prior to the Open House, HomeAid is also planning a media exhibit to showcase its Picture Your Life project, a series of photographs that clients living in local shelters and homeless facilities took in the fall of 2014. The resulting photographic display seeks to illustrate the similarities we all share in our daily lives, even as many struggle every day to find stable housing.

For more information about the Open House, please contact Terri Stagi.

In Your Community

WGB Needs YOU: Donate Time at our Monthly Clothing Sorts!

GMU sort at WGB
Students from George Mason University sort boxes of shoes at a recent Day of Service.
Every month, Women Giving Back (WGB) provides a retail shopping experience to hundreds of women from nearby shelters, who can shop for free clothing and accessories for themselves and their children at the WGB Store. But the items—all of which are donated—must first be sorted by size and displayed on racks, which requires hours of volunteer time in the weeks leading up to each monthly shop, and WGB needs your help!
WGB welcomes groups of any size—from corporations and universities with as many as 100 volunteers—to Scout, church or moms groups with as few as 10 individuals. Volunteers can also work at virtually any time that works for them, as WGB Volunteer Coordinator Marjie Blassey works with every group to schedule sorts at a convenient time, including weekends and evenings.

“We’ll set the schedule to fit our volunteers’ needs, and we’ll have someone on staff throughout the sort to train and help volunteers,” Blassey said. “We encourage groups to bring food and drink for scheduled breaks, as well as favorite music, to make it a fun, energetic day. Yes, it’s an excellent way to earn community service hours, dedicate a day of service or enjoy employee team-building exercises, but it can also be a really fun way to give back.”

During a typical sort, volunteers open and sift through bags of donated clothing, sorting it by size; removing damaged items; and placing items on hangers and shoe displays in the Store. Volunteers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes, as the sorts take place in a warehouse setting, and it’s an active job. Volunteers are welcome to bring donations, as well. A minimum of 10 people, working a shift of two hours, is recommended, but smaller groups can be paired with others to ensure that there are always enough hands on deck.

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“Staying on top of the donations that come in and getting them out onto the floor is our most ongoing challenge,” Blassey added, “and these sorts are our best way of ensuring that WGB can keep fulfilling its mission every single month. It’s also a wonderful way for us to introduce WGB to a new network of volunteers!”
Two regularly scheduled sorts and donation drop-off times are held every month at the Store, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on the Wednesday and Friday prior to the second Saturday of the month. The Store is also open to volunteers for donations, sorting and working with shoppers from 8:45 a.m. to noon every second Saturday of the month.

To schedule a sort or to find out more, please contact us! Additional information about supporting WGB is available online, as well.


Read: HomeAid Northern Virginia Elects Brian Davidson President, HomeAid Launching Builder Captain Campaign, Women Giving Back to Host Open House, WGB Needs YOU