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: Michael Princi, Area Princi, holiday giving, Holiday Drive, Family Shelter, shelter, charitable 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: Starbucks, Holiday Drive, Stuff A Stocking, homelessness, homeless teens, charitable giving, holiday giving

Toy Run Embodies Spirit of the Season

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Nov 29, 2018 @ 01:41 PM

hogs bridge

Motorcyclists make their way over the Bourne Bridge and to HAC's Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth. 

On the first Sunday of this month, a sea of roughly 225 motorcycles could be seen making their way from Buzzards Bay over the Bourne Bridge and down Falmouth’s Main Street with one destination in mind – HAC’s Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth.

With over $3,000 worth of toys, the goal of the motorcycle brigade was to spread some holiday cheer to children staying in one of HAC’s four family shelters. Now in its 30th year, the Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run started as a way to give back to those who are less fortunate on Cape Cod.

In 1999, the run was named after longtime participant and organizer Christina Wetherbee who died of cancer the following spring.

Her husband Joe and his second wife Clarissa have proudly carried on the tradition. This year, they had some assistance from Joe and Christina’s daughter Tammy Baptiste and her two children Cody Litchfield and Christopher Baptiste. “It is the best way I know to honor my mother’s memory,” Tammy said outside Eagles Hall in Buzzards Bay where the run kicked off. “We look forward to this every year. She loved the children. To be able to carry on this tradition means so much to me.”

joe&daughter

Tammy Baptiste with her father Joe Wetherbee. The pair helped organize this year's toy run along with Joe's wife Clarissa and Tammy's two songs Cody and Christopher. 

Along with the toys, this year’s participants raised $4,900 to support HAC’s housing programs, including a $2,000 donation from the Eagles Club.

“That’s what we are all about is people helping people and giving back to the community,” said Kim Genson, a trustee with the club. “We’ve got to take care of those in need.”

For Sarah and her son Izaiah, who have been at Carriage House for a month, seeing the outpouring of support from toy run participants was inspiring. “It means a lot to have people think about the homeless at this time of year,” she said. “To have people think about those who are less fortunate, that is the real spirit of Christmas.”

Support HAC's Family Shelters

Tags: Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run, Clarissa Wetherbee, Joe Wetherbee, Carriage House, The Village at Cataumet, Scattered Sites, Angel House, holiday giving, charitable giving, Falmouth, Bourne

Telethon Expands to Cape Cod Beer

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Mon, Nov 19, 2018 @ 05:34 PM

Shelter 2017-8

HAC's annual telethon is always a festive event that sometimes includes a surprise visit from Santa Scott. 

Now in its 15th year, HAC’s annual holiday telethon is being reinvigorated with a new name and a satellite location to increase engagement with new audiences.

The Telethon for Hope will support all of the programs and services offered at HAC with a goal to give hope to the clients we serve on the Cape and Islands.

 Purchase Tickets to viewing party

On Thursday, December 13, the majority of the event will be broadcast live at the Cape Cod Community Media Center, with a Give-a-Thon & Viewing Party running concurrently at Cape Cod Beer. The goal of the Give-a-Thon & Viewing Party will be to reach people through social media and encourage others to share, comment, and most importantly to give.

Longtime telethon co-host Matt Pitta will interview special guests and attendees at Cape Cod Beer where fundraisers who meet specific fundraising goals will be recognized and rewarded for their efforts.

“We’re excited about incorporating a satellite location that will allow people to watch the telethon and engage in and contribute towards our mission to help those in need during the holiday season,” said HAC Chief Development Officer Anne Van Vleck.

Cape Cod Beer owner Beth Marcus agreed, saying that she was looking forward to “being a part of the reimagination of the telethon as a social event. It’s unlike anything that we’ve ever seen on Cape Cod before. It encourages the entire community to understand, participate, and share in HAC’s vision for stable housing on Cape Cod.”

As in previous years, the Cape Cod Community Media Center will serve as the primary backdrop for the telethon which will focus on HAC’s housing programs, including its four family shelters, homeless outreach efforts, Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, annual Big Fix, and the agency’s new housing study and Rent 365 program.

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Throughout the night, the telethon will feature HAC clients talking about how our programs have helped them. Last year, Matt Pitta talked to Angel House facility director Lin Rohr (second from left) and mothers at the family shelter. 

“I like the telethon because it brings together a lot of prominent members of the community for a really good cause,” said Sarah Colvin, a producer for this year’s telethon.Special guests will include clients and community leaders as well as local school groups and musicians, including Kim Moberg and Chris Mack, as they all come together to embrace the spirit of the season by giving back to those most in need on Cape Cod and the Islands.

Visit www.telethonforhope.org to learn more about this year's Telethon for Hope and ways you can support the annual event. 

Tags: Telethon for Hope, telethon, Matt Pitta, Cape Cod Community Media Center, Cape Cod Beer, Give-A-Thon & Viewing Party, Anne Van Vleck, Sarah Colvin, Beth Marcus, holiday giving, Santa Claus

Toy Run Ushers in Holiday Season

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 02:21 PM
small Wetherbee Toy Run Photo-1Joe and Clarissa Wetherbee with HAC Event Coordinator Deanna Bussiere (middle). The Wetherbees are preparing for the 19th Annual Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run on Sunday, November 4. 

On the first Sunday in November, Santa Claus will make his first holiday appearance of the year at HAC’s Carriage House shelter in North Falmouth.

It’s an annual tradition that dates back 30 years with motorcyclists from throughout the region joining Santa in delivering gifts to children in need.

“It’s for the kids,” said Joe Wetherbee, who organizes the event each fall with his wife Clarissa.

In 1999, the ride was renamed the Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run in honor of Joe’s first wife, Christina, an organizer and participant in the event, who died of cancer the following spring.

The run begins at Eagles Hall in Buzzards Bay with roughly 200 motorcyclists bringing new unwrapped toys that will go to children staying in one of HAC’s four family shelters that includes Angel House in Hyannis, the Village at Cataumet in Bourne, and Scattered Sites in Hyannis.

They make the trek to Carriage House where they are greeted by HAC staff and families in shelter.

“It’s a great yearly event that kicks off the holiday season,” said Paula Mallard, program director at the Village at Cataumet. “The toys and money that get donated help provide Christmas for our clients and makes the holiday season a little happier for a lot of our children.”

Clarissa said the event serves as a reminder of the need that exists in the community. “It’s not their fault they are in these shelters,” she said. “It could happen to anybody… It could happen to the richest person in the world; their children or they themselves could end up in a shelter.”

That is why the toy run, which also raises funds for HAC’s housing programs, is so important. “What we do brings a lot of joy at Christmas time,” Joe said.

HOGS Flyer for HACbeat article 10-18

Tags: Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run, Carriage House, Clarissa Wetherbee, Joe Wetherbee, holiday giving, Falmouth, Santa Claus, Paula Mallard, Christmas

Support HAC Through AmazonSmile

Posted by HAC Staff on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 @ 12:50 PM

amazon_logo-resized-600

Did you know that you can enhance your support of Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) by shopping online at AmazonSmile

That's because Amazon's sister site donates .5 percent of each eligible purchase to the charity of your choice. 

With the holiday season approaching, you can purchase gifts for a loved one, all while supporting HAC's mission to ensure all on Cape Cod and the Islands have access to safe, secure, decent housing.

Every donation HAC receives through AmazonSmile adds up, helping strengthen HAC's programs and services. It's a perfect opportunity to enhance your giving at a time when our clients need it the most. 

To support HAC, simply go to www.smile.amazon.com, enter your Amazon account info as you normally would, and designate Housing Assistance Corp. as your charity of choice. 

Tags: AmazonSmile, holiday giving, holiday shopping, charitable giving

Holiday Giving: A Birthday Wish

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 05:05 PM

Ariel Martynyak-Edited.jpg

Throughout the year, our donors give to our clients in a variety of ways. That giving is always magnified during the holiday season. The following are a few of the heartwarming stories of how those young and old, local businesses, and families took time to remember those we serve last month. 

Last month, Ariel Martynyak celebrated her 7th birthday by donating her gifts to children in need. “I wanted to donate this to other kids,” said Ariel, a first grader at West Villages Elementary School in Barnstable.

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

Holiday Giving: Realtors Give Back

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:57 PM
Realtors Gift Baskets (December 2017).jpgCape Cod & Island's Associaton of Realtors Patricia Pry (left) real estate agents joined Sarah Lapsley (second from right) and her husband Gregory Martin in dropping off donations to HAC's Mary LeClair last month. 

For the fourth straight year, the Cape Cod & Island’s Association of Realtors (CCIAOR) Young Professionals Network worked with local Realtors to collect items for our Welcome Home Gift Basket Program. The donations - 10 laundry baskets full of basic home goods – will be given to our clients in shelter when they make the transition into permanent housing. CCIAOR Member Programs Director Patricia Pry dropped off the donations to HAC’s Mary LeClair along with Sarah Lapsley and Gregory Martin of Kinlin Grover Real Estate in Yarmouth Port. 

Tags: 2017 Holiday Giving, Cape Cod & Islands Associaton of Realtors, Mary LeClair, Welcome Home Gift Basket Program, Welcome Home Gift Basket Drive, charitable giving, holiday giving, HAC donors, donations

Holiday Giving: A Tree of Presents

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:51 PM
Whole Foods-1.jpgHAC's Deanna Bussier (from left) with Courtney Wittenstein and Lucy Fernandes of Whole Foods Hyannis. 

Since opening four years ago in Hyannis, Whole Foods has made a commitment to supporting HAC and those most in need. This past December, it did so once again as part of the store’s Giving Tree, collecting toys for 48 children who celebrated Christmas in our shelters.

Whole Foods Metro Marketing Team Leader Courtney Wittenstein talked about the relationship the store has forged with HAC. “We are just really happy we’ve been able to continue this partnership that has allowed us to help our local community and our local families in need,” she said. 

Tags: 2017 Holiday Giving, holiday giving, Whole Foods, Deanna Bussiere, giving, HAC donors, donations

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 giving, Holiday Drive, charitable giving, donations, giving, 2017 Holiday Giving