Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Catherine Baker Joins HAC Staff

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Dec 05, 2018 @ 11:14 AM

 

Baker_Headshot

This week, HAC welcomed former Board Member Catherine Baker to its staff, helping to bolster the agency's development efforts to increase donor engagement. 

Baker, who lives in Cotuit, will serve as HAC's Assistant Director of Development, supporting the nonprofit in achieving its fundraising goals, "As a past board member, I'm thrilled to join the HAC team," she said. "I truly look forward to meeting our donors and engaging our community in the organization's multifaceted programs and services." 

She comes to HAC with a breadth of experience in the nonprofit sector of Cape Cod. Most recently, she was the Donor and Community Relations Manager at the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance. Prior to that, she worked at Cape Cod Academy, Cape Cod Young Professionals (CCYP), and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod. 

"Catherine brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for the work we do to her position at HAC," said Chief Development Officer Anne Van Vleck. "Both will play a critical role in communicating the impact of our agency to current and prospective donors and supporters." 

At HAC's Annual Dinner in May, Baker joined its Board of Directors and in that capacity helped chair the agency's Big Fix in Harwich in September. In accepting her new position at HAC, Baker resigned from the board. 

A 2009 graduate of Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, Baker received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Endicott College in Beverly, in 2013. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) of Cape Cod as well as the Philanthropy Day Marketing Committee. In June, Baker was the recipient of a 40 Under 40 Award from Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine. 

Tags: Fundraising, Big Fix, 40 Under 40, HAC staff, Anne Van Vleck, Annual Dinner, Harwich Big Fix, Catherine Baker, development

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

Harwich Big Fix Helps Transform Lives

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Nov 08, 2018 @ 04:18 PM
Cape Associates BFBarbara and Chris Mack join volunteers, which include staff from Cape Associates, who donated their time fixing up the Harwich couple's home. 

Outside Chris and Barbara Mack’s Harwich house, volunteers were busy painting the trim, landscaping the yard, and fixing gutters. Inside, a skilled crew from Cape Associates was installing a new bay window.

As the scene unfolded in front of them, Barbara acknowledged how much this work meant to her. “It is just so overwhelming,” she said. “It makes my heart so happy.”

Individually, the projects done at the Mack’s house, which they have owned since 1998, may have been relatively minor. But combined, they made a huge impact on the couple who repeatedly expressed their gratitude for the kindness of complete strangers.

This is the magic of the Big Fix which started in 2010 in Barnstable as a way to support seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners in one town on Cape Cod. Through the one-day event, volunteers help raise funds for HAC’s programs while conducting the types of small home repairs that can be financially or physically difficult for homeowners like the Macks to do themselves.

Harwich Big Fix-8Jeanne Roque of Cape Cod 5 hauls trash during the Harwich Big Fix. 

“When you go to the site take a mental note of what it looks like before and what it looks like after,” HAC CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi said during the kick-off ceremony at Monomoy Regional High School. “You’re going to see how the power of a community coming together, like-minded people coming together, can transform a life and transform a house.”

This year, roughly 340 volunteers donated a few hours of their time to help 18 homeowners in Harwich at the end of September.

They included people like Ralph Perry, a US Army veteran, who has lived in his home for 32 years. He had nearly two dozen volunteers clearing brush, trimming trees, removing an old swing set, and hauling trash at his house.

“It means a lot. It means an awful lot,” he said. “I can’t believe how many people have come to help.”

Tags: Volunteer Cape Cod, volunteerism, volunteering, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers, Alisa Galazzi, home repair, veterans, Harwich, Harwich Big Fix, Cape Associates, Cape Cod 5

HAC's Big Fix Challenge

Posted by HAC Staff on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 @ 01:36 PM

Big Fix

If you follow HAC's Facebook page, then you know our CEO Alisa Magnotta Galazzi, pictured above with our COO Walter Phinney, has been issuing a challenge for residents, business owners, volunteers, and community leaders to step up and make a difference at this month's Big Fix in Harwich.

With 9 Big Fix fundraising teams consisting of 37 fundraisers, nearly $40,000 has already been raised. The public has embraced the challenge by raising funds to not only support this year's Big Fix, but to enable the agency to conduct the type of work that makes the annual day of service so meaningful to residents.

Now we're challenging YOU to accept the Big Fix Challenge. All you have to do is make your own video, explain why housing is important to you and/or you're participating in the Big Fix and tag two friends. And share the video on our Facebook page.

You can also make a donation by clicking this link so we can expand the reach and impact of this year's Big Fix.

Tags: social media, Big Fix, Fix-A-Thon, Harwich, Harwich Big Fix, Big Fix Challenge, Facebook

Volunteers Needed for Harwich Big Fix

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 @ 11:25 AM
Big Fix imageVolunteers work on a home during last year's Big Fix in Falmouth. This year's Big Fix is coming to Harwich on Saturday, September 22. 

A total of 15 Harwich homeowners will benefit from the generosity of HAC volunteers as part of this year’s Big Fix on Saturday, September 22.

“Each one of them are special in their own way,” said HAC Project Coordinator Romy Maimon. “Volunteers will be assisting a great group of people this year.”

Along with HAC Maintenance Supervisor Keith Trott, Maimon has visited each of the homes for recipients of the Harwich Big Fix. “From everybody, I heard the word ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘grateful,’” Maimon said.

Those feelings will be on full display next month when more than 200 volunteers come out to make small repairs for those homeowners, who are either veterans, seniors, or disabled.

“It is a wonderful way to make a difference for people who don’t have the physical or financial capability to do these jobs themselves,” said HAC Volunteer Coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin.

HAC is currently seeking hands-on volunteers who will spend roughly four hours on September 22 doing a range of work that will include raking, weeding, hauling brush, trimming trees, interior and exterior painting as well as light carpentry.

“In general volunteers don’t need to have special skills. They just need to be able to perform tasks of moderate intensity,” Everett-Patriquin said. “If people have some basic home repair skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing or other trades that is certainly a plus.”

Along with serving as a hands-on volunteer, residents can sign up as a Big Fix Fundraiser to help raise funds for HAC that will help the agency conduct this type of work on a year-round basis instead of annually.

To register as a Big Fix volunteer or fundraiser, click this link. The deadline to sign up as a volunteer is Saturday, September 1.

Tags: Mary Everett Patriquin, Fundraising, volunteerism, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers, volunteer, Falmouth Big Fix, Harwich, Harwich Big Fix, Romy Maimon

HAC Adds Fundraising Component to Big Fix

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Jul 24, 2018 @ 12:44 PM
Big Fix Team Leader-3Realtors Lisa Parenteau (left) and Robin Gunderson have signed up as Big Fix Team Leaders for this year's Big Fix in Harwich. 

In an effort to expand the reach of the Big Fix, the agency is seeking Big Fix Team Leaders and Big Fix Fundraising Volunteers to enable HAC to assist more residents, not only during the annual day of service, but throughout the year.

Realtors Lisa Parenteau and Robin Gunderson of Lisa Sells Cape Cod were the first to sign up as Team Leaders at the end of last month. In that capacity, the pair are organizing a Big Fix team that will volunteer their time for this year’s Big Fix in Harwich and also raise funds to not only support the event, but HAC’s programs that serve vulnerable populations on the Cape.

During a Big Fix Team Leader information session at the Harwich Chamber of Commerce in June, HAC CEO Alisa Galazzi spoke about how impactful the Big Fix is. “Last year was transformative,” she said, of the Big Fix which helped seniors, veterans, and disabled homeowners with small home repairs in Falmouth. “Now this year, our personal goal is to be financially in a position that would allow us to do this type of work year-round.”

Parenteau jumped at the opportunity to make a difference on Cape Cod “where there is just a real shortage of housing, in general,” she said. “We really want to be a part of the housing solution, both in selling houses, and in supporting the mission of HAC.”

To learn more about becoming a Big Fix volunteer, click this link. Those who sign up as a Big Fix Team Leader or Fundraising Volunteer by Tuesday, July 31 will receive two free tickets to HAC’s 4th Annual Cape Cod Quahog Challenge on Sunday, August 5, 1-4 pm, at Trader Ed’s in Hyannis.

Tags: Fundraising, Big Fix, Alisa Galazzi, Harwich, Harwich Big Fix

Donor Spotlight: Cape Associates

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Jul 05, 2018 @ 09:53 AM

 

Cape Associates Photo-1

As a business focused on custom home building and home renovations, it should come as no surprise that Cape Associates has long been connected to HAC’s Big Fix.

But the company’s support of HAC goes far beyond the annual day of service held every fall. It has regularly donated to several of the agency’s annual events, including our Shelter Cape Cod Telethon.

This summer, the construction firm will increase its giving by serving as a Signature Sponsor of HAC’s Oysters & Champagne fundraiser, a new event taking place on Thursday, July 19 at the Wequassett Resort in Harwich.

Sponsoring the event, said Cape Associates CEO Matthew Cole, aligns with his company’s desire to give back to the community. “Without this community, there would be no us,” he said. “We look for opportunities to make the greatest impact [with our giving] as much to create a sustainable future as to pay thanks to that which has been provided to us.”

HAC’s role in the community, he said, is vital to addressing the lack of housing units on Cape Cod. “The most acute need is for additional rental housing,” he said. “We need to create more for our current workforce and for the future workforce. Too many folks are house burdened and paying too much for housing.”

Why We Give: Cape Associates

Over the years, Cape Associates Executive Vice President Richard Bryant has organized a Big Fix team of skilled professionals who donate their time and talents to the day of service.

The annual event has allowed Cape Associates to “get out of the office and use our skills as a great team-building exercise,” company CEO Matthew Cole said. “What we’ve seen is some really neat stories of recipients of the work who always are very grateful, whether it’s a veteran who served in the military or an elderly person who needs a little help. It leaves the group feeling very good about the contributions they’ve made. We take away more than we give through that event.”

As they have in the past, Cape Associates plans on organizing a Big Fix team to assist veterans, seniors and disabled homeowners with small home repairs in Harwich this September.

If you want to support HAC's Big Fix, we are currently seeking Team Leaders, Fundraising Volunteers, and Hands-On Volunteers. Click this link to learn more. 

 

Tags: HAC Events, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers, HAC donors, Donor Spotlight, corporate sponsorship, sponsors, Harwich Big Fix, Cape Associates, Oysters & Champagne

HAC Seeks Recipients for Harwich Big Fix

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 12:17 PM

 

Harwich Sign-2

Since 2010, the Big Fix has been to eight towns on Cape Cod. On Saturday, September 22, 2018, HAC’s annual fundraiser will next come to Harwich in an effort to help those in need in that Lower Cape community.

HAC is currently seeking recipients for the Big Fix. The event typically sees roughly 200 volunteers come out to make small home repairs for income-eligible veterans, seniors and disabled homeowners in one town on the Cape each fall.

“The idea of the Big Fix is to help people most in need do the basic maintenance on their home that they can’t do themselves and don’t have the income to keep up themselves,” said David Quinn, HAC’s assistant director of Housing Development.

Last year’s Big Fix was Quinn’s first “and it happened to be the biggest one we’ve ever done,” with a record 340 volunteers assisting 18 homeowners in Falmouth.

“It was really amazing for the community to come out and rally around all of these homeowners,” Quinn said. “A lot of them were smiling and a lot of them were in disbelief. They couldn’t believe their neighbors and complete strangers were willing to come out and help them in such an enthusiastic way.”

Harwich homeowners who are either veterans, seniors or disabled can apply to be a recipient by clicking this link.

Hard copies of applications can be found at the Brooks Free Library at 793 Main Street; the Harwich Community Center at 100 Oak Street; the Harwich Chamber of Commerce at 1 School House Road; Hands of Hope Outreach Center at 49 Route 28; and the Family Pantry of Cape Cod at 133 Queen Anne Road.

The deadline to apply to be a recipient of the Big Fix is Friday, June 1. Those with questions can contact HAC’s Project Coordinator Romy Maimon at rmaimon@haconcapecod.org or at 508-771-5400, ext. 103.

Those interested in volunteering or forming a fundraising team for the Big Fix can email volunteer@haconcapecod.org. To become a Big Fix sponsor, email Deanna Bussiere at dbussiere@haconcapecod.org

 Recipient-Big-Fix-Yarmouth

 

Tags: volunteers, fundraiser, Big Fix, HAC Volunteers, charitable giving, Falmouth Big Fix, Harwich, David Quinn, Harwich Big Fix