Executive Director & CEO Corner

May is a study in contrasts. Sometimes cold and rainy; sometimes warm and sunny. The season for Mother’s Day, with romanticized images of moms enjoying breakfast in bed, complete with flowers. The season for Mental Health Awareness Month, where we’re reminded that one in five adults suffers from mental illness every year. With every contrast, I’m reminded of the importance of peeling back the layers to peek underneath, because so rarely is anything as it seems.

We as a nation are starting to rejoice at a return to ‘normalcy,’ as we emerge from what I pray was the worst of the pandemic … but so many individuals and businesses will feel the impact of COVID-19 for untold years, especially as women in particular were forced to leave the workforce when they chose their kids over their careers. And when I look at my own situation – a single mom balancing my tiny human’s life and my own – I sometimes want to break with how hard it all feels. The constant fighting, advocating, striving to ensure she gets what she needs, while trying to balance what I need as well. But then I see what so many women in shelters are facing (which make up 24% of shelter population) – as they try to break the cycle of their pasts and write a new future for their families – and it never fails to change my perspective from one of ‘this is so hard’ to ‘I’m humbled … and thankful I can keep doing what I’m doing as a mom and a professional.’

It’s with these thoughts swirling that I look ahead, with an enormous number of new project applications rolling in and supporters vowing to lend a hand in spite of the hardships that so many faced this past year. And I’m reminded of the sheer amount of good we do. The lives we can help rewrite. The moms – whether they’re mothers of babies, or the glue that holds friends or communities together – that we can show through our actions ‘We see you. We thank you. We support you.’

With Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

New Year, New Venue – Register Today for our Builders & Friends BBQ!

Thursday, June 17
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
North Lake Pavilion
National Botanic Garden
26314 Ticonderoga Road
South Riding, VA 20152

Life is churning closer to “normal” every day, and we are so excited to welcome our supporters for some much-needed, in-person human interaction at a brand new and spacious outdoor venue for our 2021 Annual Builders & Friends BBQ! The BBQ will be held on June 17, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the North Lake Pavilion at the National Botanic Garden in South Riding, and protection of our supporters and host is of utmost priority. We will therefore be following state health guidelines; capacity will be limited for this event, and no walk-ups or day-of registrations will be permitted. We’re already over halfway sold out, so be sure to register today!

This event is one of our best opportunities to show our gratitude for our trade partners and Builder Captains who work so hard on our projects throughout the year, and we’re also looking forward to announcing our Trade Partner of the Year. In addition to the unbeatable socially distanced networking, everyone can look forward to all-you-can-eat boxed BBQ meals, an open bar with craft beers and seasonal cocktails, live music, corn hole games, and a raffle with great prizes – including the always enormously popular wheelbarrow of beer, courtesy of Old Ox Brewery and Home Depot! Everyone will also receive a branded face mask courtesy of Buhl Electric Co, Inc., at check in.

 

A huge thank you to our sponsors to date! We cannot wait to see you next month!

Free Tickets for Project Participants

Builders & Trade Partners, if you participated in a HomeAid Project from July 2020 to – Present, you get TWO FREE tickets to the BBQ! Contact Cilda Pretorius at (703)953-3525 with questions or to reserve yours today.

Did You Know?

The ripple effect of unresolved mental health and illness is enormous: People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population, and 18.4% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2019 (9.5 million individuals). The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (5.8%) compared to those who do not (3.6%), and high school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers. 20.5% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition.

In Your Neighborhood

Lennar Homes Steps up to Lead Project for New Hope Housing

Reed Livers, Asset Manager for New Hope Housing, first reached out to HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr to see if one of their townhomes could be considered for HomeAid’s “Turnover Program,” which helps organizations quickly repaint and replace flooring for recently vacated units so that new residents can move in to more fully refreshed homes. But when Kristyn toured the townhome with Reed, she realized it would qualify for far more than a turnover. The result will be an $80,000 renovation of the entire property, with Builder Captain Lennar Homes and 15 trade partners gutting and totally updating the kitchen and bathrooms; installing luxury vinyl plank flooring; replacing trim and doors throughout; updating electrical and smoke alarms; repainting; and cleaning up the yard.

The three bedroom, two bath townhouse was originally part of New Hope Housing’s Family Program, typically housing families with kids, and has been home to several different families over the last decade or so. New Hope Housing no longer operates a family program and is converting use of this townhouse to permanent supportive group housing for three single adults currently in New Hope Housing’s shelter programs or on the streets.

“We’ve updated appliances, HVAC, and the hot water heater over the years,” Reed explained, “but the interior was pretty beat up after so many families coming and going. We made it as livable and as nice as we could, but it’s always difficult to really do much when it’s occupied, and without a lot of funding to totally renovate it, the flooring in particular was in really bad shape. When our last family moved out, the timing of this renovation couldn’t have been better, and we’re so grateful to HomeAid and Lennar for coming through for us. It feels great to really do this right – with top to bottom repairs and updates – rather than just ‘piece-mealing’ it as best we could. It’s really looking beautiful, and knowing that we are soon going to be able to get three more individuals experiencing homelessness into a home is so gratifying. HomeAid is always there, and it’s tough to overstate how lifechanging this renovation will be.”

Eric Ferriera, Director of Construction for Lennar, hopes to have the project completed by late spring and says it feels great to be working on another HomeAid project.

“Lennar led a project about six years ago, and we’re happy to get back into a project with HomeAid for New Hope Housing,” he said. “This is a really nice two-level townhome that just needed a lot of work, and it’s a small enough home that we found it easier and more impactful to just replace, for example, all the trim and all the doors, rather than try to only focus on damaged areas. The result is that the entire home is getting a facelift at the same time, with higher quality materials that will last longer and be easier to keep clean. It’s going to be a really nice home for people coming out of crisis.”

Thank you to our Builder Captain:

Is your organization in need of a Turnover Project?

Are you a non-profit with a housing unit in need of a turnover between clients? Or have questions about the program? Find out more on our application, or call Kristyn Burr (571)283-6320 for details!

Did You Know?

New strategies for addressing student mental health are emerging, with some schools selecting teens to be peer support leaders, and training them in how to be good listeners, encourage teens to seek help, and alert an adult if signs of suicide or other serious problems are identified. This kind of peer support is an important part of mental health recovery, and its availability in school settings may be a lifeline for teens experiencing mental health issues for the first time. According to a recent national poll, more than three-quarters of parents (76%) believe peer leaders in schools would better understand students’ mental health challenges than teachers or counselors. Most (72%) also think access to peer support in schools would encourage students to speak up when they need help. 

In Your Community

Plan Ahead For HomeAid's 7th Annual Golf Tournament

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Annual Golf Tournament has been a sell-out every year since it was first launched seven years ago, so before your fall calendar fills, act now to register your foursome for this year’s event on September 17! We’ll have 1st and 11th hole bars, amazing hole-in-one prizes, custom tee gifts, and a range of awesome raffles to make the entire day – from shotgun start to 19th hole frivolities – a great time!

Raspberry Falls Golf Club has also renovated its clubhouse since the last time we were there, and what better crowd than our HomeAid friends to appreciate its fresh new look?

“Last year, in the middle of the pandemic, we together raised over $125,000 for HomeAid through this popular golf tournament,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “This year, I’m excited to replicate what is always a great morning of networking, laughing, golfing, fundraising, and business building, with the hope that with many more of us vaccinated, we can all breathe a little easier and enjoy each other’s company that much more while we work to support HomeAid’s mission. The pandemic has had so many unintended consequences on all of us, and our nonprofit partners who serve at-risk populations and those experiencing homelessness need us more than ever. I hope that a beautiful day on the golf course will help close more funding gaps on projects and help us continue to expand our footprint so that our partners can provide even better services and housing to those who need it.”

Register today – and to learn more about some of the many sponsorship opportunities available, please contact Kristyn Burr at (571)283-6320.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Darvish Companies!

Making It Count

20 Years. 20 Ways of Making a Difference.

In 2018, we realized something: Often, when a housing unit is vacated, there’s a big gap in how much refreshing and updating a non-profit can realistically do – or afford – before it’s time to move in another family in need. Yes, the homes were thoroughly cleaned, but repainting the entire interior or fully replacing carpets were rarely possible – and even if a carpet did get replaced, they’re notoriously hard to keep sanitized and fresh over the long-term! As a result, HomeAid Northern Virginia’s Turnover Program was launched, which was designed to help organizations quickly prepare units that need new flooring and fresh paint before new families can move in. The program focuses on replacing carpet with luxury vinyl planking (LVP), which has a higher upfront cost but is far more durable, has a much longer lifespan, and is far easier to keep clean—meaning long-term savings for HomeAid partners and dignified, healthy spaces for clients. The turnovers are fully funded by HomeAid – saving labor and the retail prices that non-profits would otherwise have to pay.

Did You Know?

Locally, Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and local partners established a hotel room program to house homeless persons based on need during the coronavirus pandemic. The rooms were geared toward those who had been tested and were awaiting results, those who tested positive, and people at higher risk for severe complications from the virus. Hotels were also being used to help shelters run at a safer capacity in light of social distancing, and by year-end, more than 900 people transitioned into Quarantine, Protection, Isolation, and Decompression (QPID) Hotels since April 16. The QPID Hotels were managed by several non-profit (and HomeAid Northern Virginia) partners, including Cornerstones, FACETS, New Hope Housing, and Shelter House. Northern Virginia Family Service also operated a Central Intake to triage referrals to the QPID Hotels.
Source: Patch.com and FairfaxCounty.gov

Supporter Spotlight

Scott Canan: A Can-Do Attitude and a Willingness to Serve

Scott Canan, DC Metro Division Vice President for Toll Brothers, has been a supporter of HomeAid in more ways than we can count. He’s served as Builder Captain, Board Member, President-Elect, cheerleader, supporter, and golf tournament organizer and promoter. In 2019, Toll Brothers held its first third-party charity fundraiser for HomeAid, raising $60,000 through a golf tournament, and while the 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic, the 2021 event is already sold out – with Scott once again leading the charge. Find out more about what inspires Scott to always jump in with both feet, never take ‘no’ for an answer, and always find new ways to lead and inspire!

Q: How did Toll Brothers’ beneficiary golf tournament come about?

A: At our HomeAid Board meetings, we always discuss third-party events, which are hard to come by. Knowing that we are in need of more events, I felt compelled to do something. I met with Toll Brothers Regional President Karl Mistry and asked what we could do to assist. We discussed holding a golf event to be held at Belmont Country Club with all proceeds going to HomeAid, and I just took the idea and ran with it. We formed a golf committee, created a website for the event, and sold out in two weeks! What a spectacular charity event it was, and we are holding our second event this year, hoping to raise $75,000 with all proceeds going to HomeAid. This year’s event also sold out in two weeks – what great support we have in this community!

Q: How did Toll choose HomeAid?

A: HomeAid works closely with NVBIA, which involves all the local and national builders, and our working with HomeAid was intentional – it allows us to reach a much larger audience. HomeAid is like the mother ship of charities; they support the smaller local organizations, and with the combined effort from HomeAid and NVBIA, the amount of resources to pull from for fundraisers and sponsorships is vast. And, by having the support of most local builders and vendors, the attendance at our events is always packed – it’s like one big family working together for a great cause, and it’s something very special that I am fortunate to be part of.

I feel extremely blessed to work for Toll Brothers, and they instill values that we all believe in. Be the Best, Do the Right Thing, Take care of each other, Delight the Customer, Create Value and Honor our History … values like these help create synergy and encourage others to give back.

Q: In terms of your work with Toll and serving HomeAid, what are you most proud of?

A: To date, I am most proud of the immense support I receive when I ask vendors for donations or in-kind support. It amazes me how generous our trade partners are and that they never stop giving …

What gives me the greatest satisfaction is seeing how happy it makes people when we complete a project and give them the keys. Even during the process, they are so grateful and appreciative of our help. It’s very emotional in such a good way, and there are always tears of joy.

Q: You’re president-elect for HomeAid! What inspired you to step up to a leadership position, and what do you love most about serving on – and now helping lead – the Board?

A: My inspiration came from being a part of the Board. As a vice president for Toll Brothers, I lead many teams, so stepping up to a leadership role with HomeAid felt right. The best part about serving and assisting the Board with decisions is making a difference. Giving back isn’t something new for me – it’s always been part of my life – and HomeAid just makes it easier. With the generosity, dedication, and tenacious drive of this Board and the HANV team, there is no telling what great things are to come.

Q: It’s been a rough year in so many ways. What do you think you’ll most remember about this time, when you look back on your personal and professional life years from now?

A: Survival comes to mind. There were so many challenges, and every day was something new. We are not out of the woods yet, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer. I will always remember all the adversity that we overcame, and we did it as a team. Without the collective effort of everyone, getting to where we are now would not have been possible. It has been overwhelming to say the least, but we never give up!

One of the most memorable moments for me was when COVID first came to light and everything was shut down. Our division office, sales offices, and models were all closed. People stopped coming to work. However, my production team did not have that luxury, as we still needed to build and deliver homes despite the danger of contracting COVID. I created Fun Fridays in order to keep the teams motivated and not feeling left alone – we personalized lunches and hand delivered them along with cookies and gifts, every Friday. All our vendors pitched in each week to show their support by sponsoring lunches – it was really something you had to experience to understand, but there was always a Zoom call with everyone following lunch, where we checked in and asked how everyone is doing. Then I’d send them home early for the weekend. This went on for months, and I can say everyone gave 110%, no one ever complained, and we met all our settlement goals for the year. Our team is the best group of people I’ve had the pleasure of working with – there is power in numbers and together we can accomplish anything!

Announcements

Toll Brothers 4 Charity SOLD OUT!
The Toll Brothers 4 Charity Golf Tournament on June 21 is already sold out to a full field of golfers. Tournament organizers have named HomeAid Northern Virginia as their sole beneficiary again this year and we are so grateful. In 2019 (the 2020 tournament was canceled due to COVID), the tournament raised more than $60,000 to support our mission!

 

Open House at Winchester Rescue Mission!
We’ve been waiting a long time to celebrate the completion of HomeAid Northern Virginia’s renovation project at Winchester Rescue Mission, which was led by Builder Captain Dan Ryan Builders with the help of 11 trade partners. And finally with COVID protocols easing, Winchester Rescue Mission Executive Director Brandan Thomas and HomeAid’s Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr were at last able to throw a combined trade appreciation and Open House event in late April, welcoming visitors and supporters into this bright, beautiful space that provides transitional housing, meals, job training, and mental health care for 33 men, in addition to operating a community food pantry.

View photos of the transformation HERE
To read the latest news about this project CLICK HERE

Together Again – in Person!
For the first time in well over a year, the HomeAid Northern Virginia Board of Directors met face-to-face for its May 2021 meeting! It felt fantastic to meet in-person instead of online, and carry out Board business with more organic and natural conversations and debate that result from the more intimate – and fun! – personal meetings. All Board members were given HomeAid-branded masks and branded jackets in celebration of our 20th year anniversary.

Save the Date

12th Annual Builders & Friends BBQ – Thursday, June 17, 2021, “North Lake Pavilion” at The National Botanic Garden, 26314 Ticonderoga Road, South Riding, VA 20152 (Please note the new venue)

Toll Brothers 4 Charity Golf Event – Monday, June 21, 2021, Belmont Country Club, Ashburn, VA (Benefiting HomeAid Northern Virginia)

Arts in the Park Wolf Trap Event – Saturday, July 31, 2021, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts Vienna, VA. (This event is geared towards our non-profit partners, their clients & families)

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, Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA

In-person events pending Virginia State COVID-safety guidelines.