Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

Donor Spotlight: Michael and Area Princi

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 25, 2019 @ 05:09 PM

Michael and Area Princi-1

Michael and Area Princi at HAC's Annual Meeting in 2017. The pair have been longtime supporters of our work, organizing a Gift Basket Party for clients in shelter during the holiday season. 

This year, HAC is celebrating its 45th anniversary and for 41 of those years, Michael Princi of Marstons Mills has supported the agency in its work to ensure all on Cape Cod and the Islands have access to safe, secure housing. 

An attorney and senior partner in the law firm of Wynn & Wynn in Hyannis, Princi’s initial involvement with HAC was focused on his profession. “I started to do some legal work, most of it on a pro bono basis,” he said.

Princi assisted HAC in large ways by helping move housing development projects forward through the legal process and in smaller, day-to-day matters, including internal, regulatory, landlord-tenant, and lease issues.

For Michael and his wife Area, giving back to HAC is rooted in their identity and has extended to serving meals to the homeless and collecting gifts for homeless families during the holidays.

Their efforts are tied to the belief that everyone deserves a home. “In order for people to move forward in their lives, the most important thing we can give them is a roof over their head,” Michael said. “Many people on the Cape did not have that available to them before Housing Assistance came along.”

That basic concept, he said, was something that “I identified with, in terms of wanting to give my time and efforts to.”

While housing is HAC’s primary goal, Michael noted that over the years its work has expanded to empowering families and individuals through such programs as its financial literacy classes which help clients maintain their housing through budgeting and improving their credit.

As HAC’s services have grown in size and scope, Michael is proud to have been affiliated with an agency that has helped so many over the years. “I feel like I’ve been part of the fabric, I’ve been with HAC so long,” he said. “A number of people and companies have been so supportive of HAC because they genuinely feel what Housing Assistance Corporation does is of tremendous importance to our community.”

Why We Give: Michael and Area Princi

At the beginning of last month, Michael and Area Princi organized their 28th Annual Holiday Gift Basket Drive, collecting presents that went to 50 families in HAC’s four family shelters – Angel House in Hyannis; Carriage House in Falmouth; Scattered Sites in Hyannis; and the Village at Cataumet in Bourne.

It’s a tradition that began with Michael and his first wife who passed away shortly after establishing the event. “The boys and I wanted to continue that tradition very much in memory of her,” said Michael. “When I remarried two years later, Area and her family blended into mine and we’ve expanded on it and continued it together for the past 26 years.”

With their children, Patrick, Peter, and Brendan, the Princis have been able to build a holiday drive that went beyond the confines of their home and now extends to their family, friends, and colleagues. “At the highest point, we did about 70 families and a number of homeless individuals,” Michael said.

While participation ebbs and flows, Michael said, “every year we manage to get 45 to 50 families allocated out so they all get Christmas baskets.”

Admittedly, it is a lot of work to organize the annual event, requiring the help of HAC staff as well as Michael’s legal assistant, Aimee Uhlman.

All of that effort is worth it for the Princis as they know those receiving gifts would have little to nothing to open on Christmas morning. “We play Santa for people who otherwise don’t have much or anything at all under their trees,” Michael said. “For many of the people who participate, the idea of anonymous giving is important to them… They are doing it truly out of the kindness of their hearts because they know there is a need and they are fulfilling that need.”

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Tags: Family Shelter, Michael Princi, Holiday Drive, shelter, Area Princi, charitable giving, holiday giving

Starbucks Gives Back

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Wed, Dec 12, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

small starbucks

Josh Leonard (left) and Dillon Probert of the Mashpee Starbucks which is collecting donations for the Stuff A Stocking Holiday Drive along with the Hyannis Starbucks. 

In advance of Thanksgiving, staff at the Mashpee Starbucks organized a drive, collecting toiletries and baby items for HAC families who were formerly homeless.

The drive is just the latest example of how the coffee shop has helped support our clients most in need over the years. “We like to give back to the community,” Starbucks Shift Manager Dillon Probert said.

Now the store, as well as the Hyannis Starbucks, is encouraging customers to help stuff stockings for teens who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by donating a range of items, including hair products; bath and baby products; toothbrushes; deodorant; sports water bottles; candy or other wrapped treats; socks; shaving kits; cards or small games; nail polish; nail care items; ChapStick; and other similar, small items.

Donations can be dropped off at either the Mashpee or Hyannis locations through Monday, December 17.

Tags: homelessness, Holiday Drive, charitable giving, holiday giving, Starbucks, Stuff A Stocking, homeless teens

Holiday Giving: No Yankee Swap 

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:43 PM
Dooley Family.jpgCindy (left) and Tess Dooley with a few of the presents they collected for our families in need last month. 

Instead of their annual Yankee Swap, Fred, Cindy and Tess Dooley of Marstons Mills convinced their family to forego the holiday tradition and give back to HAC’s clients instead. Gifts came from all over the country, including Pennsylvania, Florida, New Hampshire and Vermont.  Thanks to the Dooley’s generosity a total of 10 families and 14 children had presents to open last month. “This has more meaning to us,” Cindy said. “And it’s way more fun.”

Give Hope to a HAC Client

Tags: Holiday Drive, donations, giving, charitable giving, holiday giving, 2017 Holiday Giving

CCIAOR Organizes Gift Basket Drive for HAC Clients

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 @ 10:31 AM

Welcome Home Gift Basket Drive Photo resized 600

In the spirit of the season the Cape Cod & Islands Young Professionals Network is teaming up with HAC to show their kindness to our clients making the transition from shelter to permanent housing.

The Young Professionals Network, which is a subcommittee of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors, will be collecting a variety of new household items (towels, silverware, canned goods, paper goods, blankets, cleaning supplies, toiletries, gift cards, hats, gloves, winter coats) that will be placed into Welcome Home Gift Baskets for our clients. The drive kicks off today and runs through Friday, December 19.

“Our mission is we’re trying to support housing on Cape Cod,” said Kimberly Koplow, the director of marketing and sales for the association of realtors. “This is a good fit and is in line with our mission and there’s a lot of momentum behind this.”

Those wanting to take part in the gift basket drive and give our clients a fresh start in their new homes can do so by bringing donations to the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors office at 22 Mid Tech Drive in West Yarmouth.

A full list of drop off locations can be found by clicking this link or by contacting the association at 508-957-4300 or communications@cciaor.com.

Tags: HAC, Holiday Drive, CCIAOR, Kimberly Koplow