Housing Assistance Corporation Blog

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

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From today through Friday, November 2, you can enhance your support of Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) by shopping online at AmazonSmile

That's because Amazon's sister site is increasing the amount it donates to charities like HAC in celebration of AmazonSmile reaching a major milestone - over $100 million raised to support charitable organizations around the world. Typically, AmazonSmile donates .5 of each eligible purchase to the charity of your choice, but this week it is increasing that amount to 5 percent. 

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

Editorial: Spirit of the Season

Posted by Alisa Galazzi on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:09 PM

Galazzi_HACbeat (2017).jpg

This was my first Christmas as CEO of Housing Assistance Corporation and I am awestruck by the generosity of the community towards our clients, many of whom are families in shelter and those on the edge of homelessness, struggling just to get by.

People give to Housing Assistance Corporation in all kinds of ways this time of year, from the elderly lady in Harwich who knits hats and scarves for our families to the many people who sponsor a needy family at Christmas to make sure they have gifts under the tree.

Businesses like Snow’s in Orleans, Whole Foods in Hyannis and Starbuck’s in Mashpee and Hyannis all run holiday drives for our clients, as do students and others throughout the Cape. We are so grateful for this outpouring of giving from hundreds of anonymous individuals.

One local mother whose family received Christmas gifts from one of our generous donors this year wrote this eloquent note as a thank you and I think it captures the spirit of the season:

To the Family that so graciously helped my family at Christmas time,

It’s extremely difficult to put into words how grateful I am for your generosity and care. The heartwarming feeling is completely overwhelming.

My daughters and I have been through a great deal of struggle, cold nights, hungry days, and with a lot of encouragement and support I’ve worked hard to get past those times to try and ensure that doesn’t happen again. We are still struggling a bit.

It’s very difficult to pay the rent, keep food on the table, keep a warm house, buy the warm coats, pay all the bills, support all the activities that active growing girls come with, and provide a Christmas—even if you have girls who don’t ask for much. However, when you have girls who make Honor Roll, stay positive through so much negative, show so much love and support no matter what, are grateful for all they have (and don’t have) and try their hardest (always), that makes me want to provide a Christmas that they aren’t asking for, even when I really can’t.

When I am trying 110% and still falling somewhat short, and someone else steps in to help out at this time of year, to help give my daughters a little more joy during their Christmas, it feels so wonderful.

They know the meaning of Christmas. They understand it’s not about presents under the tree, or big shiny boxes or bags or fancy labels or what you get or don’t get. It’s about who you have around you, the love you feel, what you’re able to do for others, the peace you bring, the joy you can spread, the happiness and joy that you share with others; being with family, friends, and loved ones.

Please do understand just how thankful I am for all of your help—your help and support during this time is exactly the kind of love and support that my daughters strive to give back to our community in every way they can on their own level. May all your hopes for the New Year come true.

From all of us at Housing Assistance Corporation, best wishes for the New Year.

 

Tags: Alisa Galazzi, holiday giving, charitable giving, donations, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod

How Can I Help with a Gift of Appreciated Stocks?

Posted by HAC Staff on Tue, Dec 26, 2017 @ 10:42 AM

Stock Donation Photo-1.jpg

With the stock market trading at all-time highs, and the possibility that the new tax reform package that was recently passed in Washington, D.C. may limit the benefit next year, now is a terrific time to donate stock to HAC as a year-end gift. Make a bigger impact by donating long-term appreciated stocks directly to HAC. Compared with donating cash, or selling your appreciated securities and contributing the after-tax proceeds, when you donate your stock directly, you may use the full value of your gift as a tax deduction.

If you are interested in donating stocks please contact Margaret Benaka at 508-771-5400 ext. 272 or email mbenaka@haconcapecod.org.

Your end-of-year stock donation will allow us to bolster several HAC initiatives in 2018, including:

  • The second year of our Cape Housing Institute; 
  • Outreach to the homeless on Cape Cod; 
  • Our home repair program
  • And our shelter program which serves nearly 200 families on an annual basis. 

In addition to a gift of stock, you can also make a monetary donation to HAC by clicking here. Your gift will ensure that we can continue to provide safe, secure, decent housing to our neighbors in need. 

Tags: donations, year-end giving, holiday giving, HAC, HAC donors, Affordable Housing on Cape Cod

Century 21 Office Donates Holiday Meals

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Fri, Dec 22, 2017 @ 01:07 PM
Thanksgiving Realtors-1.jpgCentury 21 North Shore Cape Cod Realtor Joanne Stephenson (second from right) with HAC Volunteer Coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin, Event Coordinator Deanna Bussiere, and Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator Jan Nelson. 

With a number of HAC clients, the ability to have the Thanksgiving they want, let alone the one they need, is difficult. But thanks to the generosity of Century 21 North Shore Cape Cod, HAC was able to provide 14 of them with a basket full of food – potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and more – so they could have the Thanksgiving they deserve. 


“We thought this would be a great way as we enter the holiday season to give back to the community and those less fortunate than ourselves,” said Realtor Joanne Stephenson, who dropped off the donations last month.

About a dozen of her colleagues participated in the drive which also included giving another 10 baskets to Cape Cod veterans in need. The ones donated to HAC went to clients receiving Project Prevention, HomeBASE and Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) funding, which provide assistance to families and individuals experiencing a housing crisis.

Make A Donation

Tags: Thanksgiving, holiday giving, Project Prevention, HomeBASE, RAFT, Residential Assistance For Families in Transition, Century 21 North Shore Cape Cod

Toy Run Spreads Holiday Cheer for 29th Straight Year

Posted by Chris Kazarian on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 @ 10:06 AM
Toy Run17-2.jpgSanta leads the parade of nearly 200 motorcyles that made their way to HAC's Carriage House shelter last month. 

Ariana and her nine-month-old daughter had only been at Carriage House for a little more than a month when nearly 200 motorcyclists delivered over $3,000 worth of toys to the North Falmouth shelter on the first Sunday of November. 

“This means a lot,” she said. “I feel like for the kids, Christmas is really important.”

The Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run gives children in HAC’s four family shelters – Carriage House; Angel House in Hyannis; the Village at Cataumet in Bourne; and Scattered Sites in Hyannis – an opportunity to experience the joy of the holidays thanks to the generosity of the bikers who participate in the annual event.

The toy run started 29 years ago as a way to spread some holiday cheer to children in shelter. In 1999, it was named in honor of Joe Wetherbee’s first wife Christina, an organizer of the event, who died of cancer the following spring. Joe and his second wife Clarissa continue to hold the event every year with the support of the Cape Cod Harley Owners Group.

“All of these bikers have come together today for these kids and their families to let each and every one of them know that because they are here… doesn’t mean that they’re forgotten. Because they are not,” an emotional Clarissa told those in attendance who came from as far away as Boston and Rhode Island to participate in the event which also raised nearly $3,000 for HAC’s housing programs. “They will have clothes on their back at Christmas and for their birthdays, and they will have toys, and they will have love.”

Support HAC's Homeless Shelters

Tags: Carriage House, Chris Wetherbee Memorial Toy Run, Joe Wetherbee, Clarissa Wetherbee, holiday giving, Falmouth, charitable giving