Executive Director & CEO Corner

As so many parents did, I sent my tiny human back to school last week…a little anxious about a new school, meeting new friends, and her new teacher but with her new backpack, her healthy lunch, and all the required school supplies in tow. I realized how often things like this are taken for granted. For so many in our community, all of those things and more- are out of grasp. For kids living in crisis, whether in a shelter, in their family car, or even on a relative’s floor, the list of stressors goes way beyond what’s ‘normal’. Kids experiencing homelessness, poverty, or domestic violence can suffer lifelong effects on their mental and physical development, as well as on their ability to form relationships. This is why HomeAid continues to find new ways to support non-profits in our community and who they serve – big and small. A healthy, equitable community is a happy community!
This week, we delivered a custom playhouse build by Van Metre B.A.S.E. to Bethany House, a domestic violence shelter in Fairfax that we recently renovated and that serves women and children. Project Playhouse is an important part of our mission because a playhouse is so much more than a playhouse when its gifted to a shelter; it’s a symbol of holistic healing, creativity, laughter, and play. Of normalcy. The people we are helping may be small, but the impact we are making is enormous!

With Gratitude,

In the Spotlight

Join Us at Our Biggest Party of the Year

September is here – which means fall has arrived, and our 20th Annual Gala & Auction is right around the corner! Registration and sponsorship opportunities are now open, and we don’t want you to miss our biggest fundraiser of the year and your best opportunity for meeting hundreds of movers and shakers from the homebuilding industry under one roof. Put yourself – and your company’s name – in the spotlight!

As much as we enjoyed our virtual Maskerade in 2020, we are very much looking forward to our in-person “Masquerade 2.0” themed event, which will celebrate 20 years of making a difference in Northern Virginia and beyond. Whether it’s your 20th Gala or your first, there will be something for everyone: To start, we’ll enjoy a cocktail reception featuring a DJ and signature drink, as well as a silent auction with items at every price point. We will honor our 2021 Presidents’ Circle awardees over a three-course dinner and open bar; raise our paddles for live auction items and auctioneer-led paddle challenge; and put our hands together in celebration of two decades of impact in our community. We can’t wait to see you there!
Want to make a weekend of it? Reservations for our special room rate are also being accepted now – we have a limited number available, and reservations must be made by Thursday, October 14, to lock in this special rate, so be sure to book your room today.

In Your Neighborhood

A Second Act for ACTS

HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain K. Hovnanian Companies, and 26 trade partners have completed the renovation of ACTS’ Thrift Store in Dumfries, VA, transforming the metal shed building – formerly an auto parts supply store – into a beautiful retail shop with a showroom and separate administrative areas.
The project was a critically important one for ACTS and the people they serve: Donations and purchases from the thrift store result in unrestricted funding that ACTS uses to support those experiencing poverty or homelessness or who are survivors of domestic abuse or sexual assault. Yet, three years ago the store was at risk of closing down entirely as sales performance was falling and the physical building was increasingly worn and cramped.
Recognizing that having a flexible source of funding was too important to lose, ACTS reached out to HomeAid for help with the building and reached inward to retrain staff, revamp internal processes, and ensure that shoppers and donors alike felt seen and treated with dignity.
To ensure no loss of revenue during the construction process, K. Hovnanian and its partners committed to working around staff and shoppers, completing the entire project without having to close down the store. Interior aisles were widened to make for a more pleasurable shopping experience, while decorative molding, new lighting, paint on the walls and ceiling, and sparkling new windows further elevated the retail experience. The new office area, featuring built-in cabinetry, storage, and dedicated workspace, as well as a beautiful breakroom and renovated bathroom, provides staff with the professional environment they need to provide great service. And, to welcome shoppers in, the exterior was totally transformed from a dingy warehouse into a show-stopping store with a new brick façade, landscaping, lighting, and signage.
Foot traffic and sales numbers are already exceeding ACTS’ stretch goals, meaning the all-important flexibility of funding is secured for the people ACTS serves from three local shelters. Some may come with only the shirts on their backs, needing every basic necessity. Others may have urgently escaped their homes, having to leave behind their work clothes. No matter the situation, ACTS Thrift Store can provide vouchers to cover everything one might need – including clothing, shoes, toys, household wares, furniture, jewelry, and accessories – in addition to using funding from the sale of donated items to provide further support through programming.
The Thrift Store renovation marks the 10th project we’ve completed with ACTS, totaling a $2 million investment in their facilities and in support of their many life changing programs.
See more photos of this top to bottom renovation by visiting our Flickr page.

In Your Community

HomeAid, Van Metre Give the Gift of Play

This week, HomeAid Northern Virginia, Builder Captain Van Metre Homes, and Van Metre B.A.S.E. delivered a custom-built playhouse to a home owned by Bethany House in Fairfax County, much to the delight of the women and children survivors of domestic violence now living in the home. The playhouse is the finishing touch on our largest renovation project of the year but, most importantly, provides the gift of play, the outdoors, and imagination for kids and their moms.
With a beautifully rejuvenated and landscaped yard to also enjoy, gifts like these are a critical component to reaching our mission of rebuilding lives, especially for children who have faced intense trauma in their young lives. The playhouse provides a place where kids can be encouraged to play outside, promotes the joy of playing in a space that is uniquely theirs, and enables kids to enjoy playing with their siblings, other children, and their mothers.
This is the third “Project Playhouse” that Van Metre and B.A.S.E. have built for HomeAid partners – thank you for giving the gift of play! If your company is interested in participating by building or funding a playhouse, please contact Kristyn Burr!

Did You Know?

September is suicide prevention month, and COVID has forced us all to reckon with the very real crisis of pediatric mental health. A new CDC report released in June shows a distressing picture of the pandemic’s impact on America’s youth: Emergency department visits for suspected suicide attempts among U.S. girls age 12-17 rose by nearly 51% between February and March of this year versus the comparable pre-pandemic period in 2019. The rate for boys age 12 to 17 also increased but by a lesser amount (3%).

Making It Count

20 Years. 20 Ways of Making a Difference.

The homes and shelters we build are probably the most physical, tangible results of our work, and without a doubt, the 150+ projects we’ve completed over 20 years are impressive in their own right. But to really appreciate the impact we’ve had on nearly 170,000 people, we need to look further. Every home represents independence, stability, and a foundation for building a new life. Every kitchen becomes a place to make powerful choices about food and gather as a family for dinner. Every door stands for privacy and security. Grocery gift cards offer the autonomy to purchase what your family needs and likes. A bed becomes a place to lay your head and heal and a room becomes a place to safely store important documents and belongings. Diapers and baby essentials mean comfort and better health for our tiniest citizens. A closet provides the self-esteem boost that comes from wearing an outfit you love. A day out with family – without worrying about the cost – becomes a joyful memory of a shared experience. Fresh paint, clean floors, upgraded HVAC, new kitchen appliances, green grass, a kid’s playhouse … all of it, together, is a constant reminder that we are all worthy of beautiful things, and that we are all worthy of others’ care and compassion.

Supporter Spotlight

Supplying Support, Materials, and Heart for HomeAid

There are countless ways to get involved with HomeAid, and longtime HomeAid supporter Mitch Preiss demonstrates how varied our partners are in terms of the expertise they bring to the table. As the director of B.A.S.E. for Van Metre Homes, Mitch and his team not only provide materials and provide truck transport, but they’ve also built three playhouses and a shed for three of our completed projects. He does it all with a signature smile and can-do attitude, and Mitch reminds us that the success of every project is the people behind it. Read on to find out more about B.A.S.E. and Mitch’s outlook on saying ‘yes’ to HomeAid.
Q: First of all, what exactly is B.A.S.E.?
A: B.A.S.E. is the sister company to Van Metre homes; we are the supply side for the New Homes division. We are located in Winchester, VA, and supply the field with various materials to build the homes. We build and deliver all the wall panels, floor trusses, roof trusses, interior stairs and rails, exterior doors, and interior doors. In addition to those products we produce, we also supply loose lumber, deck material, exterior trim, windows, exterior features, exterior rails for porches and decks, and interior trim. We also have our own installed masonry division for brick, cultured stone, and natural stone. Our primary involvement with HomeAid has been through donating various materials to the different job sites, help move things around with our trucks and equipment, and help the exterior with our masonry install.
Q: You recently built a playhouse for a HomeAid project; why did you decide to jump in with these?
A: The playhouse idea came up as a way to help out some of the children in the HomeAid projects. We have actually built three playhouses and then a shed through HomeAid for the Winchester Rescue Mission. The playhouses are such a neat and fun idea – what better way to make a house really feel like a home for young children than by putting their own little playhouse in the back yard?! We have some very talented employees at B.A.S.E. who stepped up and framed some “mini” houses. They build these from start to finish with siding and exterior trim on them. We had some of the material donated by our suppliers who love helping as well. The shed was a great idea to help the Rescue Mission have some extra storage for things they really need while maximizing their use of space inside.
Q: If someone was thinking of working with HomeAid, what would you tell them?
A: As a Van Metre company and team member, philanthropy is one of our core values. We are in the business of building homes and communities, and what better way to tie everything in and help out where we can to really bring our communities and humanity together even more. We all live in this world with many different scenarios and circumstances, so when we can help out and really get teams working for the same greater good, it is an amazing feeling. There are so many ways to help out, donating time on projects, monetary donations, and in our instance supply certain materials or equipment to help out with projects. Through these different projects, you also get to meet great people and have lasting relationships. If anyone is wanting to get involved with projects that truly help our communities, I would urge them to reach out to Kristyn Burr of HomeAid, yet another friend I have had the pleasure of meeting along the way. Kristyn and her team are involved with so much, I’m sure they could find many opportunities for anyone to help out.

Did You Know?

So much of HomeAid Northern Virginia’s mission is tied to improving families’ mental health and providing stability for our community’s smallest citizens. It’s a critically important focus: 85-90% of a child’s brain develops by age 5, and ensuring that children are in safe, stable, nurturing environments is critical for growing and developing new skills, including social and emotional skills that will allow them to form positive, healthy relationships; think, learn, and solve problems; and heal from traumatic experiences.


Auction Items Needed
Our Annual Gala & Auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and we are now collecting donations for our silent and live auctions! Every year, we offer a wide range of items for every budget, with items ranging from tickets to sporting events, one of a kind sports memorabilia, themed gift baskets, and field to table hunting and dinner excursions to getaways at oceanfront properties and other magical destinations. Want to help but don’t have any goodies to donate? No problem! We’ve set up an Amazon Wish List of suggested items to make it easy or donate your item online here. (As a 501c(3) non-profit organization, donations are tax deductible.)

Builder Captain Needed
HomeAid Northern Virginia is seeking Builder Captain to lead a renovation project in Winchester – can you help? The project focuses on two adjacent buildings owned by the Congregational Community Action Program (CCAP), Inc. One building provides free clothing, diapers, and even a “pink room” with resources for breast cancer patients and survivors. The second building houses CCAP’s food pantry. Both buildings need expanded storage, improved lighting, and additional office space, as well as new paint and flooring. Contact Kristyn Burr for more information!


Save the Date

7th Annual HomeAid Golf Tournament – Friday, September 17, 2021, Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, Leesburg, VA SOLD OUT

20th Annual HomeAid Gala & Auction – Saturday, November 13, 2021, Lansdowne Resort & Spa, Leesburg, VA Reserve your tickets