Members and HBAs Rally to Help First Responders, Local Communities

Disaster Response

Members of the home building industry are still responding to the needs of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting their efforts and sharing positive news during this challenging time.

Feeding Essential Workers

Employees of Mifflingburg, Pa.- based Birch & Beam Custom Homes were considered non-essential workers in their state for six weeks, however, they helped out many essential workers in their community by providing lunches to emergency medical personnel at nearby Geisinger Medical Center and Evangelical Community Hospital.

The company partnered with a local restaurant and Weis Markets for the lunch donations, and worked with electrician and electrical contractor Kopper Konnection of Lewisburg to offer free delivery of take out, groceries and other supplies to Union County residents.

“Our company values relationships and connections with the community. During this crazy time of fear and anxiety, we felt that we were able to step forward and offer hope to the people that we serve here in Central Pennsylvania,” said Birch & Beam owner Delmar Bender.

Fischer & Frichtel Homes of St. Louis and St. Charles Counties, Mo., has made it a priority to contribute to charitable endeavors since its founding in 1945. A few years ago, the company decided to focus its efforts on the March of Dimes, which funds scientific research in an effort to prevent premature birth and birth defects.

During the COVID crisis, the March of Dimes, along with the Fischer & Frichtel team, helped provide meals to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit staff at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Raffle to Support Ronald McDonald House

The Home Builders Association of Dayton (Ohio) and the Ronald McDonald House Charities Dayton sold nearly 900 tickets in a community-wide 50/50 raffle, with the proceeds raised supporting the work done to provide lodging, food, transportation and support to the families of sick and injured children.

During the pandemic, the house also collaborated with local hospitals to provide lodging for frontline healthcare workers.

The HBA of Dayton helped build and support the local Ronald McDonald House 40 years ago. “The House has been a symbol of hope and peace to Daytonians for more than 40 years, and, during these times they’ve seen their own homes as a source of safety and comfort. With those two sentiments, it is important that we support the House and homeownership for all throughout the region,” said HBA of Dayton CEO Eric Farrell.

Supporting Youth in Foster Care

The Greater Orlando Builders Association (GOBA) and its GOBA Foundation held a week-long donation drive to benefit Embrace Families, a local organization that serves vulnerable children and families in Central Florida. The monetary donations were used to fill care packages for 115 older youth in the area’s foster care system that had little to no resources to make it through the quarantine on their own. In addition to support from members and the Central Florida community, GOBA and its foundation matched a portion of the donations, raising over $9,000 to benefit the young people.

With the donations, the Embrace Families Youth Services and Foundation teams put together and delivered over 100 care packages that included a gift card to Publix Super Markets, snacks, toilet paper, masks and information to help keep them safe and healthy.

Donating Plasma After Recovery

Construction was deemed essential in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during the pandemic, and while the Dallas Builders Association remained hard at work, it was also at the forefront of the industry’s regional response by organizing compliance efforts for new social distancing guidelines, taking part in hand sanitizer and mask drives, and maintaining advocacy efforts.

But in the early days of COVID-19, the group’s executive officer, Phil Crone, was sick with the virus. Crone says he was lucky he had a fairly mild, flu-like case, and has fully recovered. He donated plasma that contains antibodies that will help with treatment of the disease or prevention in others. “I'm keenly aware of the terrible toll the virus is taking, especially on older people. That’s why I’ve started convalescent plasma donations. I'm grateful I can help someone having a harder time with it than I did,” Crone said.

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