In order to fulfill this mission, Home Builders Care depends on dedicated builders, suppliers, contractors, professionals and volunteers from the Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA) – willing to donate expertise, lend a hand, and inspire us to do more.
Each year, as a way to gratefully acknowledge our supporters, Home Builders Care recognizes select individuals and organizations for their significant contributions in support of our efforts to help the poor and disadvantaged in our communities.
On February 9, three (3) Community Service Awards were presented. The first award was our Community Builder Award, presented in recognition of a builder member for outstanding community service and leadership that has promoted the spirit of charity and goodwill in the building industry.
This year’s winner T.W. Ellis, served as our Builder Captain on an extensive renovation project for The ARC Baltimore in Rosedale. The project was the launch of a new partnership between Home Builders Care and The ARC to renovate a handful of group homes owned by the ARC.
Dedicated to providing advocacy and high quality, life-changing supports in the city and county, The Arc Baltimore supports more than 6,000 adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc’s Community Living Division assists more than 280 people in neighborhood homes. Many of these homes can be costly to maintain and are in regular need of upgrades to improve accessibility, energy efficiency, and everyday functionality for its disabled residents.
The total project value was near $60,000, of which 63% was covered by Home Builders Care and with in-kind donations contributed and solicited by T.W. Ellis. (www.twellis.com/) IN-kind donations included not just the universal design by T.W. Ellis, but also accessible cabinetry from John H Myers & Son (www.jhmson.com); durable flooring from Conestoga Tile (www.conestogatile.com); HVAC expertise from Smart Energy Systems www.smartenergysystems.biz/ and new appliances underwritten by Bob Ward Companies www.bobward.com.
By taking on the two-room kitchen renovation, HBCF and TW Ellis saved The Arc Baltimore $40,000 in construction costs off the top, with long term savings on the home’s operating costs expected down the road. But most importantly, the work done by TW Ellis will have a profound impact on the disabled residents of the home, particularly one resident who uses a wheelchair and is now able to cook a meal, get a glass of water, and even do her laundry with the accessibility aspects of the kitchen complete.
And the team of TW Ellis demonstrated real care in their work. “We were so impressed by the generosity and quality craftsmanship of T.W. Ellis and the other member companies in the Home Builders Care Foundation that participated in this renovation,” says Stephen H. Morgan, Executive Director of The Arc Baltimore.
This next award presented was the Tom Sawyer Award, in recognition of outstanding hands-on charitable efforts that make a difference in the lives of others in need. Our winner, Sherwin-Williams Paint and Wallcoverings, helped guide HBCF’s first Charity Paint event at the Rainbow Place Shelter for Homeless Women in Rockville.
For over 30 years, Rainbow Place, largely run by a volunteer staff on a shoestring budget, has aimed to provide a safe, caring environment where all guests are treated with dignity and compassion. The women sleep and are cared for in a large multi-purpose room of a commercial building adjacent to a local church.
The goal of the Charity Paint was to beautify the space to not only help improve the quality of life of women sheltered at Rainbow Place by providing them with an environment that promotes self-respect, but also help boost the morale of volunteer staff.
Over two days, a team of 34 volunteers helped re-paint the concrete walls of Rainbow Place Shelter’s main room which serves as the sleeping space for up to 26 women experiencing homelessness during the winter months. A total of 117 volunteers hours were needed to enhance the space into a more warm, caring and home-like environment.
The project was initiated and guided by a team of painting professionals from Sherwin Williams, who not only helped select the color palette and donated $1,500 worth of materials, but also lent a team of professional team of hands-on experts to the project. Special recognition is due to Judy Jensen, the New Residential Account Executive for Sherwin-Williams in the DC area, who personally helped lead the planning of the two-day event.
The final award presented was the Director’s Award, in recognition of initiative and leadership to champion HBCF causes and encourage the building community to give back to others in need. For the very first time, our winner is not an individual or a company, but rather a collective group of individuals representing their companies on an MBIA Council.
Since its launch, our winner, the ProfessionalWomen in Building Council (PWB), has partnered with the Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF) on its community service projects. And for the past few years, PWB’s Community Service Committee worked to make the collection of professional clothing and the preparation of hundreds of nutrition packs for the homeless signature PWB activities.
For the past four years, PWB has helped collect thousands upon thousands of men’s and women’s suits, dresses, dress shirts, and business casual wear through their Career Clothing and Accessories Drive. Held in conjunction with HBCF’s Bull & Oyster Roast, the clothing drive has benefitted hundreds of low-income job-seekers in need of “job interview ready” business attire. Clothes have been delivered to A Wider Circle in Montgomery County, Success in Style in Howard County, and the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training in Baltimore. Each year, the collection has grown thanks to the PWB network.
Additionally, for the past two years, the council has gathered to supply and prepare close to 200 snack packs to-go for the homeless as part of November’s National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month. “The packs are intended to keep on hand in your car to give to someone in need you may see on the street,” commented PWB’s Chair Maggie Witherup, an environmental attorney with Gordon Feinblatt. “It’s a simple act of kindness and a tangible way to help those less fortunate than ourselves in a time of need.”
PWB members have donated all items to put in the packs, which contain not only nutritional to-go snacks but also key Helpline and Crisis Hotline information to help connect neighbors in need to community resources and assistance programs throughout Maryland. Packs were then distributed and sold to MBIA members at subsequent events and meetings for a small suggested donation with sale proceeds supporting HBCF.
Their most recent community outreach endeavor is a Sustainable Urban Development Tour, led by PWB’s Student Awareness Committee. Last March, the group personally guided a group of middle school students on a “walk-about” of downtown Bethesda to show them how communities are designed and planned. PWB members mapped out a “trail” with stopping points along the way that identified features critical to developing a successful sustainable community.
Participating PWB members included Sallie Stewart, Raquel Montenegro, Donna McMillan, Meredith Byer, Ines Vega, and Carly Schrader. The walk-about concluded with milkshakes.
The cooperation, dedication and spirit of these 2016 Community Service Award Winners are excellent examples of why the Home Builders Care program is successful in helping improve the lives of at-risk individuals and families in our communities. Congratulations and thank you to all of our Community Service Award Winners. #homebuilderscare