Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Donor Spotlight: Martha Knapp

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 @ 05:54 PM

Martha Knapp Donor Spotlight-1

Harwich’s Martha Knapp knows all too well what it’s like to receive support when all seems lost. It happened to her in 1995 when she and her husband Doug lost their three-and-a-half-year-old son Michael to cancer.

“Years ago when my life was in crisis, the people who reached out to help me made all the difference during a very difficult time,” she said.

From those darkest days, Martha was able to move forward, starting a nonprofit, Angel’s Hope, that worked closely with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston Children’s Hospital, and similar organizations, providing assistance to families of children with cancer throughout New England.

Though she has since dissolved the nonprofit, it was able to help more than 900 families in less than a decade. “I learned during that time how important it is to look outside yourself and live a life of service,” she said.

It is that attitude she took when her colleagues from the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS® organized a Cape REALTORS Care team for this year’s Harwich Big Fix. Together, the group raised nearly $3,000 to support HAC’s housing programs; with over $1,300 raised, Martha, a real estate agent with Kinlin Grover, was its top fundraiser.

Several team members also donated their time on the day of the Big Fix in which roughly 340 volunteers made small home repairs for seniors, veterans, and disabled homeowners in Harwich in September.

Though she was unable to attend the Big Fix, Martha understands how a little giving can go a long way. “I think I recognize very clearly that at any time, any of us may need help so I’m always grateful for the opportunity to help somebody else,” Martha said.

Since last month’s Big Fix, she has had a chance to talk to members of the Cape REALTORS Care team. “They all said it was very inspirational and really made them feel like they helped somebody,” she said. “I know some of them are already looking forward to being part of next year’s Big Fix which will be in Barnstable.”

You can include Martha Knapp on that list as well. “I absolutely plan on participating,” she said.

WHY I GIVE

Cape Realtors Care Photo

The Cape Realtors team at this year's Big Fix

Thanks to her involvement with this year’s Big Fix in Harwich, Martha Knapp became more familiar with HAC’s work and the programs the agency offers to those on Cape Cod and the Islands.

As a real estate agent for the past 15 years, she clearly understands the importance of a home in one’s life. “Having a home is such a fundamental, basic need,” she said. “It gives us value and gives us purpose.”

That is why she views HAC’s work – from its first-time homebuyer workshops to its affordable property listings to its Big Fix – as crucial to the region.

While houses are the centerpiece of her job, Martha said, her work ultimately comes down to relationships. “It is a service industry to get to help people achieve their goals,” she said. “Buying and selling a home is a big, emotional transaction for people.”

That is particularly true for first-time homebuyers, something she experienced this month with a couple that was buying their first home on the Cape. She said having agencies like HAC which can support that segment of the population through their first home-buying process is critical. “It is important we have programs in place that can guide them via education and resources,” Martha said.

Beyond that, she noted that HAC plays an important role in addressing the Cape’s housing needs. “The challenge is finding the balance to continue to draw people who are buying the second homes and paying real estate taxes and supporting our businesses and economy, yet still being able to provide affordable housing and year-round jobs for the young people and families to stay here,” she said. 

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Tags: Donor Spotlight, Harwich Big Fix, Harwich, HAC donors, Martha Knapp, Cape Cod & Islands Associaton of Realtors, Barnstable, Barnstable Big Fix

Donor Spotlight: Jim Hinkle & Roy Hammer

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 @ 04:21 PM
Jim and Roy-2Since 1994, Roy Hammer (left) and Jim Hinkle have been supporting HAC as a way to make an impact at the local level. 

Nearly 14 years ago, Jim Hinkle and Roy Hammer decided to close their art gallery, Cummaquid Fine Arts on Route 6A, and enter the next phase of their life – retirement.

Since then they have enjoyed the perks that come with making your own routine. They regularly take trips over the Canal to take in performances at the Boston Symphony and exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Travel has also been a priority; over the past six years, they have explored Europe and they will do once again later this year when they go on a Baltic cruise, from Copenhagen to St. Petersburg to Stockholm.

Just as rewarding as these personal adventures has been the opportunity to make an impact on this place they have called home for the past 32 years.

The couple, who both attended Yale University and met while graduate students at Harvard University in 1965, have focused their giving on three local nonprofits – Housing Assistance Corporation, Duffy Health Center, and Cape Abilities. “With all of these, there’s a theme of helping people in need and people living below the line,” said Hinkle.

Next year will represent a milestone for the two, at least in terms of donor longevity. That is when they will become members of the quarter century club, having donated to HAC every year since 1994.

The two were initially drawn to the agency thanks to HAC’s efforts to support the region’s homeless. Shortly thereafter, they took a tour of HAC’s properties “and that is when we realized what a much larger organization it was, and when we recognized that, we increased our support,” Hinkle said.

Having an organization like HAC on Cape Cod, Hammer said, is vital, especially for the region’s workforce. “The problem is, there isn’t enough affordable housing for people who make the general salary on Cape Cod.”

“The jobs available don’t pay enough for people to afford living here,” Hinkle said.

And so the two continue to give to HAC because they know the work it is doing is transforming the lives of their neighbors, from those who have little-to-no income to those who are working to purchase their first home here.

“I think it’s important to support organizations [like HAC] in our community,” Hinkle said. “It can make a lasting difference.”

Why We Give

With over a dozen programs that help those of all income levels on Cape Cod and the Islands, Jim Hinkle and Roy Hammer know that each plays a vital role in the lives of HAC clients.

“I think it’s very important what HAC does,” Hinkle said. “They prepare people for housing and enable people to eventually afford housing. And I think the programs HAC offers, in terms of homeownership, are very valuable.”

But to them, the programs that support single parents – specifically its Angel House shelter in Hyannis and Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth – are particularly meaningful. “We’re very impressed with their programs for single parents who are trying to make a go of it,” said Hinkle.

Since 1991, HAC’s Angel House shelter has supported mothers overcoming addiction and their children. Two years earlier, HAC purchased Carriage House in North Falmouth which serves younger mothers and their children.

Both shelters are vital, the pair said, for providing single parents with the support they need to move forward with their lives in a productive manner.

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Tags: Donor Spotlight, HAC donors, Roy Hammer, Jim Hinkle, Cummaquid, Duffy Health Center, charitable giving, giving, Barnstable, Angel House, Carriage House