Home Builders Care Foundation

Home Builders Care Foundation Honors Four for Community Service

The Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF), the 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Community Outreach Program affiliated with the Maryland National-Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA), announced its winners of the 2009 Community Service Awards on January 28 2010 at the association's first dinner meeting of the new year. The award is presented annually to individuals or companies affiliated with the local home building industry in recognition of significant contributions to the community through unselfish efforts and dedication in support of projects that help the poor and disadvantaged in our communities.

Four outstanding organizations and individuals were honored. Awards were presented by HBCF President Ted Smart in the following categories: The Community Builder Award - presented in recognition of a builder or associate member who helps raise awareness of the industry's spirit of giving; The Directors Award – presented in recognition of leadership and advocacy for the mission and purpose of Home Builders Care; and The Tom Sawyer Award – presented in recognition of significant in-kind donations to HBCF’s shelter-related projects.

The Foundation’s first service award, the Community Builder Award, was presented to two worthy recipients for their efforts during the past year. Both winners were honored for championing HomeAid Washington DC’s very first project.

GE Consumer & Industrial was the first to be honored and recognized for their support of HomeAid Washington DC’s first housing project at the Dunbar Apartments in NW Washington DC. Owned and operated by Open Arms Housing, the Dunbar is an existing two-story plus basement building built around 1920. Once vacant and abandoned, the renovated building is now home to 16 mentally-ill and once chronically homeless women. In the spring of 2009, GE Consumer & Industrial supplied and delivered over 90 of its kitchen appliance products to the Dunbar at a hefty discount. With a total retail value of specified items listed just under $40,000, the total cost savings to HomeAid Washington DC was about 60% for a total in-kind donation of $22,000. GE’s Dana Heidemann attended the grand opening of the Dunbar and also gave of his time to help educate Open Arms staff on their new equipment. The new residents absolutely love their new homes!

The second Community Builder Award was presented to Ruppert Nurseries. For the past four years, Ruppert has been a key sponsor of the annual Life is Good Pumpkin Festival in Clarksburg Town Center and has donated its resources and expertise to create a fun and festive atmosphere. For the past three years, the Festival benefited Home Builders Care Foundation’s own HomeAid Washington, DC chapter and its ongoing efforts to help families in need. This past June, Ruppert also stepped up to help on the HomeAid DC project at the Dunbar. With only a few weeks to go before the project’s grand opening, Ruppert, under the direction of Jason Kilmore swooped in to design and transform the bare and neglected inner city yard space into beautiful urban garden requiring minimal long-term maintenance. Plants, such as knock-out roses, hollies, laurel, arborvitaes, fresh green sod and much more were purchased below cost by HomeAid, but Ruppert donated delivery, labor, soil, fertilizer and mulch for the installation – an in-kind donation valued near $7,000. The company’s immediate response, professionalism, and spirit of generosity were first-rate.

The second award, the Directors Award, was presented to The William S. Abell Foundation, who in 2009 provided an $88,000 grant to launch the HomeAid Washington DC chapter. The Foundation was established in 1985 by William S. Abell and Patricia O’C. Abell to support qualified organizations in providing aid to people in need in the District of Columbia and nearby Maryland counties. The foundation’s core mission is to award grants to help the hungry, intellectually disabled, homeless, abused women and children, and to assist at-risk pregnant women in delivering and caring for their infants. The Abell Foundation’s grant to HomeAid Washington DC was earmarked specifically for permanent supportive housing projects as part of the foundation’s Strategic Initiative to End Homelessness. With this support Home Builders Care/HomeAid has been able to lend its expertise and resources to help create a total of 46 new units of permanent supportive housing chronically homeless persons with special needs in the District. Needless to say, Home Builders Care/HomeAid Washington DC is extremely thankful for the support of the Abell Foundation.

The final award of the evening, the Tom Sawyer Award was presented to Mr. Ron Keefer in recognition of his nearly year-long, daily hands-on leadership and commitment to the substantial addition project at the Home Builders Care Assessment Center, formerly called the Men’s Emergency Shelter in Rockville. As many may know, the original 5800 sq. ft. shelter was built by Home Builders Care in 2000 to accommodate 100 beds. Since then, demand for shelter and comprehensive services for homeless individuals has increased dramatically. The new 3700 sq. ft. addition provides space for 35 more beds and a range of new on-site services including laundry, shower facilities, medical exam rooms, meeting space and more. Throughout construction, Ron Keefer served as the project manager for Builder Captain Winchester Homes. Also throughout construction, the shelter continued to be open 24/7. Ron’s kindness, consideration and flexibility in working along side and with shelter staff and residents is admirable. As the project moved beyond final completion and Ron, unfortunately, separated from Winchester Homes, he continues to stay involved throughout the warranty period. We are honored by his ongoing commitment to serve.

The cooperation, dedication and spirit of our 2009 Community Service Award Winners are excellent examples of why the Home Builders Care program succeeds in helping end homelessness by improving the lives of poor and homeless individuals and families in our communities.

The mission of Home Builders Care Foundation, the principal community outreach organization of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, is to complete construction projects, with particular focus on shelter-related projects, by leveraging the industry’s specialized building construction skills and by working in collaboration with community service providers serving the homeless and other at-risk populations.

To learn more about getting involved with Home Builders Care, please contact Patti Kane, HBCF Director at 301-776-6212.

2009 Community Service Award Winners -

GE Consumer & Industrial

Mr. Ron Keefer

Ruppert Companies

William S. Abell Foundation