Executive Director & CEO Corner

Kristyn Burr with her daughter, Emery, who has asked birthday party guests to consider donating to a selected charity in lieu of a gift. This year, Emery chose HomeAid!

I think we can all agree that when we really care about something, it’s easier to get really invested. That when we love what another organization is doing, we want to be part of its story and share the joys of success along with it. That when a person or organization reaches a goal we know is important to them, we feel lifted up right along with them. Think about that as you read this issue of Building Hope … because in every single story, that feeling of sharing goals, helping other humans, and celebrating each other’s successes is woven through every moment. You’ll of course read about some of our traditional fundraising events and renovation projects, which always require a massive level of time, resources, enthusiasm, and desire to give back. But you’ll also read about brand-new sources of support and love that have grown organically as HomeAid’s influence and reach has grown, including from an office team who wanted to memorialize the loss of a beloved father; my tiny human who wanted to support HomeAid—and others—instead of stock her toy box; a women’s group who knows that summertime can be just as hard on the homeless as the winter, and who decided to do something about it. You’ll find out how a local grocery chain will support us every time someone purchases a reusable bag in September, and you’ll learn about a local Realtors® group that has chosen us as a beneficiary of their annual fundraiser. You’ll even discover that this very newsletter was designed by one of our former interns, who came back to HomeAid to pitch in while one of our staff members is on maternity leave. In ways big and small, people are showing up. They’re sharing our resolve to make life better for our neighbors. And they’re pitching in, in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of, and making HomeAid their chosen family. I cannot imagine a greater honor.

With Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Only Two More Weeks ‘til HomeAid’s 5th Annual Golf Tournament!

Tournament Sponsorships are still available – support our mission and get your company name in front of our sold-out crowd!

 

 

Friday, September 20, 2019
7:00 a.m. Check-in
8:00 a.m. Shotgun start

Presented by

In 2018, Toll Brothers made a big splash with a vodka bar at HomeAid’s Annual Golf Tournament. This year, Carrington Homes will sponsor the bar. How will you introduce your company this year?

HomeAid Northern Virginia’s 5th Annual Golf Tournament is just two weeks away – on Friday, September 20 at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club – and although the tournament has SOLD OUT, there are still a couple of great sponsorship opportunities available! This event is a prime networking day for individuals and sponsoring companies: Did you know that ever since its start in 2015, all 144 slots for golfers have sold out well before the tournament date, and it has also grown every year in donations, fundraising, registration, and sponsorship dollars? That’s the kind of event progression many organizations only dream of, and we’re grateful to all of our supporters who have made it possible – we know that being able to offer that kind of consistent, growing audience for our sponsors is critical for making it worth their investment!

Available opportunities include hole and par sponsors, as well as breakfast & lunch sponsors. No matter your level of support, all sponsors enjoy maximum exposure and help support our mission of building and renovating homes for those experiencing homelessness in Northern Virginia.

For more information, and to find out how you can get involved, please contact Cilda Pretorius at 703.953.3525!

A big thank you to our 5th Annual Golf Tournament Sponsors to Date!

Did You Know?

At last count, nearly 23.5 million public school students across the country in 2010–2011 were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. For the 2014–2015 school year, 51.8% of public school students in the United States qualified for these meals. The National School Lunch Program, the second-largest food and nutrition assistance program in the U.S., says it provided “low-cost” or free daily lunches to over 30.4 million children in 2016.
Source: Teen Vogue 

In Your Neighborhood

HomeAid, Craftmark Homes Near Completion of Major Renovation for Friends of Guest House

At Friends of Guest House, their mantra is “We believe your past does not define your future.” So it’s only fitting that the organization, which helps women successfully reenter the community from incarceration, envisioned an entirely new future for a circa 1811 building that had most recently been used as office space. They dreamed of turning the historic property, located in Old Town Alexandria, into transitional housing for 21 women, which would mean turning office space into bedrooms, creating a communal kitchen and dining room, and retrofitting bathrooms on every floor. And it would mean a whole new future for a building, just as Guest House works to help women rebuild their lives and restart their lives.

HomeAid Northern Virginia shared Guest House’s vision, partnering with Builder Captain Craftmark Homes and more than 30 trade partners to see a dream turned into reality. The project, which began in mid-May, is due to be completed by mid-September and Friends of Guest House hopes to move in residents by month’s end.

The project, like many, turned out to be a far larger undertaking than expected: What was originally thought to be a $150,000 rehabilitation project turned into almost a half-million-dollar extensive full interior gut and major structural renovation.

New meets old at Friends of Guest House, where HomeAid, Craftmark Homes, and trade partners are renovating the 200-year old building to welcome 21 formerly incarcerated women in Old Town Alexandria.

“We’re a new homes builder, not a renovation specialist for historic properties,” said Court Treuth, executive vice president for Craftmark Homes. “But we really enjoy being able to give back to our communities this way, and thanks to George Aubrey, our incredibly knowledgeable and seasoned project manager, we are almost there. This property, since it was zoned for commercial use, meant working through a whole host of code ramifications first, in addition to dealing with the realities of working with a 200-year-old building. We expected sagging floors and cracked walls, but once we started demo, we discovered major structural deficiencies, such as unsupported roof framing components; a flooring system failure that required bringing in a 10-ton jack; crumbling and disintegrating bricks; and support beams that had totally rotted away, meaning that the floor system they once held up were no longer supported. With 21 individuals poised to inhabit the space, it also meant that we had to build to very stringent load requirements and install an updated fire safety system. We’ve also replaced all of the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems; installed a communal kitchen and dining room; added laundry space in the basement; and carved out more than 10 bedrooms with five community bathrooms. It reminds me a bit of a historic boarding house, with all the charms of the old but with a brand-new interior.”

The updated building is now also ADA accessible, which with a total renovation sounds like it should have been easy … but with a historic property, it meant that Craftmark Homes and partners had to go to the Alexandria City’s Board of Architectural Review (BAR) for permission to make a change to the exterior of the building; the original door was only 30 inches wide, and it needed to be widened to 36 inches wide. Throw in 12-inch thick walls and required a steel lintel beam over the door, and things got complicated quickly, but the request was approved!

“I cannot say enough about Craftmark Homes,” said Kari Galloway, executive director at Friends of Guest House. “Their level of professionalism, their desire for everything to be safe for the residents, and the quality and craftsmanship of their work is just remarkable. Working with them has been easy and a real pleasure; George is such an ally. Kristyn [Burr] has been the same; she helped us think things through to ensure this would be more livable, usable space, and her team has been patient and helpful every step of the way.

“As for what it means organizationally, it’s hard to even put into words,” she added. “To watch the transformation of this property has been such a pleasure, and it is going to knock the residents’ socks off! It’s beautiful, and everything is brand new. The attention to detail, all with their safety in mind, is unmatched. We’re also really excited about the building’s location, so close to the King Street Metro and all of the employment and transportation opportunities in Old Town Alexandria. The neighbors have been very caring and welcoming, and we’re hopeful to also collaborate with our neighbors across the street, the ALIVE! House, a supportive transitional home for women and children. We really lucked out on this whole project – from being matched with Craftmark Homes to having the support of our Board and the community. I can’t wait to see it open!”

Craftmark Homes has long made philanthropy a part of their corporate philosophy and has led one previous project with HomeAid. Owner Ken Malm also generously contributed $25,000 toward the Friends of Guest House project, while his son, Robert, managing partner at BeaconCrest Homes, has continued the family’s tradition of giving back.

Since Friends of Guest House was founded in 1974, Guest House has helped more than 4,000 women break the vicious cycle of incarceration, reunite with their families, and reintegrate into their communities.

Did You Know?

In 2017, 6.5 million children were food insecure in their households, meaning that outside of school-provided breakfasts and lunches, they might not have food for dinner, weekends, or over summer break.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

In Your Community

WBI Assembles End-of-Summer Care Kits

Non-profits serving populations at risk for homelessness always see an enormous upsurge of volunteers during the winter holidays, with food bank pantries and soup kitchens being especially popular during Thanksgiving, and collection drives for coats and holiday gifts seeing upticks around Christmas. It is all enormously appreciated of course, but the reality is, supporting the needs of those in poverty or struggling with homelessness is a year-round effort. Tied to that fact is the common misconception that cold exposure is the deadliest weather those experiencing homelessness face; dehydration during the summer is actually a bigger cause of death.

With that in mind, volunteers from Women in the Building Industry (WBI) will gather at the HomeAid offices on Tuesday, September 24, to assemble end-of-summer care kits full of summer care essentials, including bottled water, AA and AAA batteries, sunscreen, dry shampoo, plastic tarps, protein and granola bars, baby wipes, lip balm, and small-denomination gift cards for food purchases. Later this month, we will work with WBI to distribute the kits to the homeless population, much like we have delivered winter weather essentials to those living in tent encampments and emergency shelters.

“Events like this – which have an enormous impact on our communities in need – are such a great illustration of how easy it can be to help, and how organizations of any size can do creative things to show support for those less fortunate,” said HomeAid Northern Virginia Executive Director and CEO Kristyn Burr. “It really does take a village to make events and efforts like this a success – WBI ran a collection drive for several weeks in order to make the assembly day a success – and I am especially appreciative that they acted on the knowledge that humans need help year-round and not just around the holidays.”

WBI, founded in 2015, now has more than 200 members and makes community service a major part of its mission. For more information about joining WBI and learning more about their committees, including the Community Service Committee, please contact Jenn Keesling.

We’re still looking for donations of…

Water (gallon jugs)
Batteries (AAA, AA)
Small denomination gift cards (Subway, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts)
Sunscreen
Dry Shampoo
Plastic tarps
Soft Protein Bars/Granola Bars
Lip balm
Baby wipes

 Drop off your donation at the following events!

The NVBIA Women in the Building Industry and Real Estate Finance Committee Happy Hour on September 17

The HomeAid Golf Tournament on September 20

HomeAid/NVBIA offices any time between now and September 24

Did You Know?

Approximately one in four public-school students in Fairfax County—the largest public-school system in Virginia, as well as the largest in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area—qualify for free and reduced-price meals.
Source: Fairfax County Public Schools

Making It Count

Three Stories, Three Ways to Give, Three Times the Love

Help for the homeless comes in many ways, through many channels, from a wide range of people. And in August, we witnessed three incredibly generous examples of giving that we simply had to share. Because if you’ve ever really wanted to get involved with HomeAid but didn’t know where to start, here are three stories that illustrate that no matter your background, there’s always a way to give back.

Alison Paley, as the director and trustee of Van Metre Family Trust at Van Metre Companies, is used to giving. After all, it’s part of her job! But sometimes, the giving feels personal, and three years ago, Alison started donating backpacks for local schoolchildren in need as part of HomeAid’s Backpack Challenge during our Night at the Ballpark events. Kids were able to select their own brand-new backpacks when they arrived at the baseball game, which provided them not only a school necessity but also the confidence boost that comes along with getting to “shop” for something new.

She also took another step: She has donated $10,000 to our Helping Hands program the last few years, giving us the flexibility to purchase any additional items our shelter partners needed for the kids in their care. We bought backpacks and school supplies, ensuring that our partners could fill 100 percent of their clients’ needs, and will use remaining funds for items such as grocery gift cards and household essentials for families moving in to homes recently renovated by HomeAid and our homebuilder partners. Thank you, Alison!

Out of loss can come great joy, and such was the case when all of us in the homebuilding industry said a sad goodbye to James Dale Davidson, father of Brian Davidson, Van Metre Group president and HomeAid life director. Mr. and Mrs. Davidson have been long-time supporters of HomeAid Northern Virginia, and Brian has been an essential part of the HomeAid family since joining the Board in 2012.

As a way of remembering Mr. Davidson, Van Metre’s sales and marketing team coordinated the collection of 80 backpacks and a large variety of school supplies, donating them to HomeAid Northern Virginia so that we could distribute them to local kids in need. All have already been claimed, ensuring that 80 excited boys and girls will carry with them a memory of this remarkable man throughout the academic year. Thank you to Van Metre, and our warmest wishes for Brian and Mrs. Davidson.

Ever since Emery was born, she has asked that when friends and family come to her birthday party, they consider donating to a favorite charity instead of bringing her a gift. When Emery turned five, she started picking the cause herself—starting with Heifer International, a charity organization working to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities. Next, she focused on a nonprofit dedicated to childhood cancer research. And this year – her seventh birthday – she chose HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Kristyn Burr said that Emery has been coming to Night at the Ballpark since she was two and began helping distribute backpacks as soon as she was tall enough to reach over the table. “I think because backpacks are something she also uses every day at school, it felt personal and relatable to her,” Kristyn said, “and it became really important to her that kids have the same opportunities as she does. I’d like to think that I’ve helped instill a sense of giving, but she’s also just a really compassionate and empathetic kid, and I love this opportunity I have as a parent to help feed that spirit and help her find ways to give. She seems to ‘get’ that she really doesn’t need more toys, but that there are other kids who need the most basic of life supplies. I feel like this desire to give back and think of others is being sparked at a younger age, and this rising generation of kids are incredibly special. This desire to teach compassion to the next generation will just keep multiplying – they are going to change the world for the better.”

Supporter Spotlight

HomeAid and the Potomac Nationals: Celebrating the Love of the Game

Bryan Holland, general manager of sales for the Potomac Nationals Baseball Club (left) appears with Johnny Holliday (middle) and former Major League Baseball player Ray Knight (right) on MASN-TV at Nationals Park.

For the last nine years, HomeAid Northern Virginia has partnered with the Potomac Nationals to provide a “Night at the Ballpark” for families living in Northern Virginian shelters, giving them the opportunity to experience a baseball game, complete with free concessions and in-stadium entertainment, and make priceless family memories together. While we are sorry that this summer’s event was our last at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium, as the ball club will be moving its operations further south, we are grateful for the many years we worked with the Potomac Nationals to ensure a fun, safe night out for kids and adults alike. This month, Bryan Holland, general manager of sales for the Potomac Nationals, joins us to talk about what the past nine years have meant to the baseball club and how baseball can offer every family the quintessential American experience of summertime fun.

Q: What do you feel are some of the most important aspects of making time spent at Pfitzner Stadium a positive experience for your guests?

A: The Potomac Nationals’ invaluable, long-term partnership with HomeAid Northern Virginia has afforded our club the opportunity to provide an annual night of solace for families at risk of homelessness at Northwest Federal Field at Pfitzner Stadium. We’ve appreciated the opportunity – over nine seasons – to offer an upbeat, family-friendly Minor League Baseball experience, and we believe that our professional baseball ambiance affords families from all backgrounds a chance to escape from the everyday stressors of life and take in the unique sights and sounds of our national pastime together. That’s a very special thing. From the on-field exploits of our players – many of whom are top prospects within our farm system – to the entertainment and ballpark fare, to the traditions that our fans establish in the stands with their children that transcend generations, and to having a preview of the Washington Nationals’ future, there are so many aspects of the P-Nats Baseball experience that bridge the gap among those in need of a distraction from their personal life struggles. We believe that improves their quality of life, and our top priority is ensuring that our guests of The Pfitz have the best time possible.

Q: What is attractive to you and the baseball club about this kind of charitable event?

A: The P-Nats have always stepped up the plate with respect to giving back to our community by utilizing our Minor League Baseball franchise as a beacon of goodwill and charity to those in need. Hosting the good folks who HomeAid Northern Virginia brings out to the ballpark each season is a true joy for our club, and we feel an obligation to assist in improving the lives of those in our own backyard who need that assistance the most. We are humbled to play a small role in helping to allow underprivileged families in our community the opportunity to take in a ballgame at The Pfitz in a safe, entertaining, and joyous venue.

Q: What have been some of your favorite moments of hosting HomeAid over the years?

A: Seeing the genuine excitement and appreciation on the faces of the HomeAid Northern Virginia-sponsored families in the stands at our stadium on the evening of our annual “Night at the Ballpark” event reinforces that this terrific partnership is a wonderful example of what a tangible impact a professional sports entity can and should have on the disadvantaged people in its community. We know that they often need that outreach so much more than others, and we’re honored to help provide it.

Q: If you could tell kids – who don’t necessarily have the easiest home life or the stability that many others do – one thing that you’ve learned from your career in baseball, what would it be?

A: Your future is truly what you make it. No matter your current circumstances in life, you have the power to do anything you set your mind to. You can make it happen no matter how the odds may seem to be stacked against you. When life knocks you down, as long as you always make an effort to get back on your feet and keep moving forward towards your goals, and never give up, anything and everything is possible. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

Announcements

Winter Nights Are Coming!

Wait, what? It’s only September! But fall is nearly here … and our 18th Annual Gala & Auction will be right behind, on November 9! Themed “Winter Nights”, the Gala will educate and inspire guests with winter-care priorities, we’ll collect diapers and wipes for distribution to those in need as part of our Builders for Babies initiative, and we’ll of course raise critical funds for HomeAid Northern Virginia’s mission. Registration and sponsorship opportunities are now open, and reservations for our special room rate are being accepted now. There are only 20 rooms in the block, so be sure to reserve your room now so that you can turn the evening into a getaway!

Thank You!

Wells Fargo, a longtime and consistent HomeAid supporter, is again helping fund our mission through an incredibly generous $10,000 grant. In sharing their good news with us, they added, “We are proud to support your organization as we work together to build stronger communities.” Thank you, #WellsFargo – we could not do what we do without supporters like you!

On October 5, cornhole fans from around the region will gather at the Brambleton Fall Festival for Van Metre’s Annual (and epic!) Cornhole Challenge, and we’re pleased to report that the Cornhole Challenge will focus on three pillars that serve non-profit initiatives that help educate young minds, shelter the homeless, and care for individuals and animals in need: The Children’s Science Center, HomeAid Northern Virginia, and the YMCA Loudoun. Thank you!

NVAR Cares, a committee of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, presented HomeAid with a check for $1500 on August 21, and we are already looking forward to building a growing partnership with them: They have selected HomeAid Northern Virginia as a beneficiary of their upcoming Party for a Purpose on November 6, 2019! Supporters will join together at the Carlyle Club for an evening of dancing, music, fun, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, helping raise money for five selected non-profits. We are so honored to be chosen for this year’s event and hope to see you there – thank you NVAR Cares!

A New Way to Give

Save the planet and support HomeAid! For the month of September, each time a reusable $2.50 Community Bag is purchased at the Giant Food located at 13330 Franklin Farm Road in Herndon, $1 will be donated to HomeAid Northern Virginia (unless otherwise directed by the customer through the Giving Tag). This is a great way to raise awareness, support the environment, and fundraise for our cause. Please help us spread the word by letting everyone you know in the Herndon area that now is the time to purchase reusable Community Bags! To learn more about this program, please visit giantfood.bags4mycause.com.

Old Friends, New Friends at NVBIA

NVBIA’s Annual Crab Feast is always a great time, for catching up with colleagues and industry friends while cracking open bushels of crabs at The Farm Brewery at Broad Run. We also used our time there to meet new friends and spread awareness about HomeAid and how we fit in with NVBIA’s mission. We hope to continue our conversations in the months ahead!

Staff Updates

Congratulations to Madeline Walker, our program and communications specialist, who welcomed Charlotte Grace into the world on Monday, August 5 – we can’t wait to meet her! And, while Madeline is on maternity leave, welcome back to one of our former interns who has returned to her old digs to help us out with programming and communications efforts, including laying out this very newsletter. Thank you!

Save the Date

PulteGroup 2019 Charity Golf Tournament– Monday, September 9, 2019, Pleasant Valley Golf Club, Chantilly, VA (Benefitting HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

K Hovnanian Golf Tournament – Friday, September 13, 2019, Westfields Golf Course, Clifton, VA  (All proceeds benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia!)

5th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 20, 2019, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, VA

WBI Care Kit Collection– Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 6 p.m., HomeAid Northern Virginia, 3684 Centerview Drive, Suite 110B, Chantilly, VA (Drop off donation items to the HomeAid Northern Virginia office antime before September 24!)

NVBIA Oyster Roast – Thursday, September 26, 2019, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., 1801 Potomac Shores Parkway, Dumfries, VA (Collecting diapers for HomeAid Northern Virginia Builders for Babies Initiative!)

NVBIA Great American Living Awards (GALA) – Thursday, October 10, 2019, 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, McLean, VA

NVBIA Food Truck Festival – Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 3:00 p.m., Ferguson Enterprises, Chantilly, VA

NVBIA Future Leaders Oktoberfest– Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Mustang Sally Brewing Company, Chantilly, VA (Collecting grocery store gift cards for Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month.)

HomeAid Northern Virginia 18th Annual Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m., Lansdowne Resort and Spa, Leesburg, VA

GolfAid – Thursday, March 5, 2020, Top Golf Loudoun, VA