Project Mend-A-House Improves, Enhances Internal Operations for their Clients

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By Katrina Wilson

Sponsored by Project Mend-A-House

Project Mend-A-House, a Prince William County nonprofit known for aiding the elderly, the disabled and those on a fixed income, has a new grant committee that will allow them to innovate their fundraising efforts.

Project Mend-A-House has been around since 1984 and “mends” homes for different demographics. These efforts include helping individuals age in place or modify their homes for their disabilities to live independently.

Fundraising

Kevin Williams

Kevin Williams, PMAH’s Chairman of the Board, said the organization has really been run by a labor of love with the volunteers.

“The organization has a capability to do more – more reach, more breadth, more depth involving and engaging more people – not just within the county, but outside,” Williams said. “Gaining more outside funding keeps us from fishing in the same pot as other Prince William County nonprofits.”

Altonia Garrett is Director Chair of the Grant Committee for the nonprofit. As a board member, she helps with governance, accountability and strategy and fundraising for the organization.

Project Mend a house

Altonia Garrett

While she is new to the board, she is ready to act for the grant committee.

The ultimate goal is to utilize grants to help support the programs within Project Mend-A-House.

“We’re reorganizing our thoughts on maintaining the local Prince William County perspective and think bigger on the grant space and ultimately grow to serve others,” she said. “Community-based foundations over the years have been great — let’s continue that –but build and broaden our net to catch larger more national funders so we can grow.”

She said because the organization takes care of such a vulnerable and under-resourced group of the community they must work together.

“When we take care of our community, it makes us stronger together,” she said. “That’s why people should get involved supporting this part of the community. If you were in their position, wouldn’t you want the support?”

She said volunteering with their organization impacts how people can safely live in their home, out of the hospital and age in place.

“We are employing thoughts and ideas, not the usual ideas – to stay mission and community-driven,” she said. “The fundraising and friend-raising are important. Friend-raising is the in-kind gifts and the volunteering that matters, and those relationships help with our ultimate goals.”

2022

Williams said at the beginning of the new year, they want to restructure so that their capacity is strengthened and enhanced in their ability in a more global approach to philanthropy.

“Stretching our horizons and give ourselves a more global opportunity to engage friends and funds that are outside of the county even though the activities will take place inside of the county,” he said.

Considering speeding up their desire to work outside of Prince William County as their funds and capacity increases will enable their stretch into Stafford County or the City of Alexandria. There are not many organizations in those areas that do work like PMAH does.

One day, he hopes the nonprofit can be nationwide – not a franchise – but modeled after PMAH.

“It begins with a vision,” Williams said. “With a vision, fund it, staff it and operationalize it.”

Youth and College Sector

Williams said Prince William County students are involved with PMAH since they are required to do community service.

PMAH opens its organization to these students to include them in participating to learn and understand philanthropy.

“We want to create a mechanism for students to learn early what it’s like to give back and not receive all the time,” he said.

He wants to eventually start junior board positions to bring in high school seniors and local college students. This would demonstrate to the students what a board organization’s responsibility is and give them an opportunity to serve on a board capacity early in life.

“I don’t see enough opportunity for them to exceed at the board level, so this is a start,” Williams said. “These are things they can aspire to as they are growing and learning for their personal and professional growth, they can attach themselves too.”

He said this is important because when adults in those positions age out, those who held junior board positions know how to govern and serve.

View their Facebook page to see more of what they do in the community.

 

Katrina Wilson says writing is her outlet. Follow her on Twitter @KatrinaMWilson_.

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