Executive Director & CEO Corner
We’re coming up on a year of this strange reality that we’ve been living, and I know that so many of us are exhausted, feeling tired of the constant stress and missing our favorite people and pursuits. I get it – I’ve felt the same way, believe me. But as I look at the calendar, I am trying to reset and refocus my mindset with the two messages from this month’s Valentine’s Day: love and compassion. As I look around me, I see my third-grade daughter and her classmates working on a kindness project, and I realize that her teachers are helping our tiniest humans understand that kindness can be taught, learned, and practiced. I feel the painful loss in my heart as I learned of Barry Schwartz’s passing – but am reminded that the kindness and compassion of a single person can have such broad, far-reaching effects not only on those who knew him, but also on those who benefited from the tireless work he did to make our world a better place. I talk with our Builder Captains, trade partners, and shelter partners about a project we’re working on, and I’m reminded that without love and compassion, HomeAid literally could not exist. What we do here is love personified: As Mother Theresa said, “The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.” Please join me this month in reflecting on all we’ve experienced and learned this year; we’ve been through so much, and we have still further to travel. Be kind to yourself, and be kind to another. Reach out to someone with compassion. Show others how to be a good human by being a good human. From my viewpoint here at HomeAid Northern Virginia, I know that you’ll have some amazing company.
Happy Valentine’s Day, from our HomeAid Family to Yours.
In the Spotlight
Impact Report 2020: Building New Lives
2020 turned out to be nothing like what we expected, but we proved to ourselves – and to all who depend on our work – that HomeAid Northern Virginia can pivot and stay true to our mission no matter the challenge. We found new ways of doing business in an industry that at its core cannot be done remotely; construction is an intimately personal job, and it never felt more essential to provide safe places for people to call home. As a result, we served 10 non-profit organizations and completed six projects, including our milestone 150th, working with almost 100 Builder Captains and trade partners. Savings to our service providers exceeded 80 percent, and we changed 1,313 lives – reminding us time and again that our partners, friends, and supporters are truly extraordinary humans.
Our HomeAid Northern Virginia 150 Campaign – which encouraged donors to give $150 in honor of each of our projects – raised $32,000. We collected and distributed 40,000 diapers, 45,000 baby wipes, and $6,000 in gift cards to our non-profit partners. We found new ways to enjoy our Builders & Friends BBQ, Housing Forum, and Gala & Auction. We benefited from third-party fundraisers and golf tournaments. No matter the challenge or the opportunity, our supporters showed up.
In so many ways, it’s a year we wouldn’t want to re-live, but the lessons learned and the takeaways of progress will always be something to celebrate. We hope you’ll join us by checking out our 2020 Impact Report, which will be in your mailbox soon! And then, join us this year to kick off our 20th year right!
Did You Know?
HomeAid’s mission depends on love and compassion for others, and with this month’s Valentine’s Day depending on the same, it seems only right to take a closer look at the “holiday” that celebrates love. Did you know that “wearing your heart on your sleeve” dates back to the Middle Ages, when young men and women drew names to see who their Valentine would be? According to the Smithsonian, they would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for one week so that everyone would know their supposed true feelings.
In Your Neighborhood
Operation Renewed Hope Project: For our Veterans, With Love
HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Christopher Companies, KTGY Architecture + Planning, and 26 trade partners are putting the finishing touches on a $106,000 renovation and expansion project at a home owned by Operation Renewed Hope Foundation (ORHF), with the goal that it will be ready for a virtual ribbon cutting ceremony by the end of the month. In addition to providing housing to Veterans, ORHF will have far more funding to provide supportive services, such as transportation, furniture and household items, dental care, business attire, and employment networking, since the majority of the project costs were covered through grants and donations.
Staged Interior, a home staging company and HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 2018 Trade Partner of the Year, will be furnishing and accessorizing the entire home, as well. Check out next month’s Supporter Spotlight to learn more about what they contributed to this project.
The project expanded the home with an additional ADA compliant bedroom and bathroom by converting a carport into living space; converted the upstairs layout into two large bedrooms with a ‘Jack and Jill’ shared bathroom; and renovated a basement bedroom with an en-suite bath. In addition, Christopher Companies and trade partners completely renovated and updated the kitchen, shared living spaces, flooring, electric and plumbing, light fixtures, roof, and exterior siding and landscaping.
Enormous thanks to all who made this project a reality – your dedication, generosity, and talents made this project the most beautiful home in ORHF’s program!
“We have always thought it important to give back to those less fortunate in the communities in which we live and work. As housing providers, any project related to housing is right up our alley; we can leverage our skills and contacts with trade partners and deliver a cost-effective result. In this particular case, working with Deborah [Snyder] and her organization meant we are able to support armed service members who have watched over us, an added bonus! Thank you, Deborah and HomeAid, for all you do.”
~ Craig Havenner, past president, Christopher Companies
“We’re so grateful to HomeAid, Christopher Companies, and all of the trades and sponsors of this wonderful renovation. We pride ourselves in providing quality housing to our Veterans and their families experiencing homelessness, and this project has been a phenomenal opportunity to provide a much-needed and beautiful home to those who have served our country.”
~ Deborah L. Snyder, President & CEO, Operation Renewed Hope
“Heritage is always proud to be involved in the HomeAid projects. It is even more rewarding when you can be involved in helping on a project for our Veterans.”
~ James Stagi, president, Heritage Contracting LLC
“Coming from a family with military involvement, saying ‘yes’ to working on this project was a no-brainer. I was so glad that KTGY was given the opportunity to contribute, and I am very grateful that I got to work on the project. Giving people a house that they turn into their home is one of the things that attracted me to architecture, but we rarely get to meet the owners who actually end up living in our designs. It was great to talk to some of the Veterans while we were out at the house to measure and document, and it was so rewarding working on the drawings while having an idea of who would be living there and what they might need. ORHF is doing such a wonderful thing, and I’m happy that I was able to participate.”
~ Kit Thackrey AIA, NCARB, senior job captain, KTGY Architecture + Planning
“We are big believers in HomeAid. Their model allows us to accomplish much more by utilizing our skillsets to stretch the value of each dollar. With respect to Operation Renewed Hope, members of our military make many sacrifices for us to enjoy the benefits of living in this great country, and if they need our assistance once their service is completed, we have a moral obligation to help. It was our honor to have been able to use our hands to give them a helping hand.”
~ David Pereira, Stonewall Concrete, Inc.
Did You Know?
About a quarter of those we help at HomeAid are kids, and kids never stop teaching us about gratitude. So we’re feeling all the feels to learn that teachers are the number-one recipient of Valentines. And honestly, who else is more deserving? Oftentimes classrooms in elementary schools do fun Valentine exchanges to celebrate the holiday, which means that teachers often receive a sweet note from each of their students, making them the group of people who receive the most Valentines, according to Good Housekeeping.
In Your Community
Adventure - and Hidden Treasure - Await!
Looking for an adventure that is COVID-safe, will tease your brain, and that offers big bucks for the winner? Then be sure to register for SN Mortgage’s upcoming Treasure Quest Adventure Hunt on Saturday, April 17, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (rain Date Saturday, May 8), where questers will hunt for a real hidden cash prize of $7,500 in Loudoun County. The scavenger hunt will feature a homebuilding theme, and proceeds from the event will benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia – talk about a win win!
Treasure Quest Adventures is a locally founded company that uses COVID-19 conscious, virtual AND real-world clues requiring skill and speed. Solving each increasingly difficult clue, puzzle or riddle will lead questers through a series of physical check points in our community and closer to the hidden treasure.
Questers can register as individuals or as part of a team, and there are multiple sponsorship levels to show your support and gain big exposure for your organization – some of which offer the ability to be a clue location or have a clue relating to your business! The starting line and finish line reception will both be held at SN Mortgage Company’s parking lot at 21430 Cedar Dr. Sterling, Virginia 20164 and – depending on its success – may be expanded to other SN Mortgage offices with local HomeAid chapters nationwide.
“Third party benefits like this are so enormously appreciated and important to us,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “They help introduce HomeAid to people whom we may never otherwise reach, raise important awareness about homelessness and how our organization is working to end it, and bring critically needed funding to sustain our mission. They also allow our small staff to focus on other efforts, which makes a big difference for all of us. We are so grateful to SN Mortgage for making us part of their event, and it will be enormously fun – we can’t wait to see how it goes, and who wins!”
For more information, please contact Heather Kyle at 703.880.1851.
Making It Count
20 Years. 20 Ways of Making a Difference.
Over the last 20 years, our supporters have grown exponentially, ranging from Builder Captains and trade partners who build and renovate properties for service providers and from sponsors and donors to suppliers who donate everything from money to dishwashers to support our mission. There are countless more volunteers who donate their time and hard work to organize events, throw third-party benefits, and track down auction and raffle items. And there are still more – individuals and entire companies – who coordinate collection drives of grocery cards, household essentials, seasonal self-care kits, and diapers and baby wipes. These efforts have been especially welcome this past year, as COVID protocols have radically altered volunteer opportunities while simultaneously increasing need. And while we may not be able to say exactly how many collection drives have been organized over the course of 20 years, we can for certain say these efforts have been life-changing for recipients.
In Memoriam, Barry Schwartz
We are heartbroken to share the news that longtime HomeAid Northern Virginia supporter and NVBIA member Barry Schwartz passed away on January 31, at age 69. Our Board president in 2007 and an important member of our Board since 2004, Barry gave his everything to support HomeAid’s mission, whether he was chairing our Shelter Projects Committee, guiding and working with our Board, or leading a project as a Builder Captain through his homebuilding company, Schwartz Enterprises.
In the early 2000s, he continued his volunteer leadership with NVBIA, serving on their Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
“Barry was more than just a long-time Board Member; he was a good man and always brought laughter and positive energy into every room he entered,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “He was a devout supporter of HomeAid and our mission. He loved his beautiful family, enjoyed traveling, and loved spending time with his kids and grandkids. The world has lost a good soul, and our hearts and thoughts are with his family and all those who knew and loved him.”
Even in his passing, Barry and his family continue to support HomeAid, a tribute we feel deeply: his family has invited contributions to Barry’s memory be sent to HomeAid Northern Virginia. More information about Barry’s service and other ways to remember him can be found online.
Save the Date
4th Annual GolfAid Fundraiser – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED
Great American Living Awards 2020 – Thursday, February 18, 2021, Virtual
Women in the Building Industry Spring Mixer – Thursday, April 21, 2021
Crawfish Boil – Thursday, April 29, 2021
SN Mortgage Treasure Quest Adventure Hunt – April 2021 (All proceeds to benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia. More information to come.)
2021 Annual Housing Forum – Thursday, May 13, 2021, Location: TBD
CMC Summer Mixer – Thursday, June 3, 2021
12th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 17, 2021, Location: TBD
Women in the Building Industry Winery Event – Thursday, June 24, 2021
7th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 17, 2021, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, VA
20th Annual HomeAid Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 13, 2021, Lansdown Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA
In-person events pending Virginia State COVID-safety guidelines.