Running for a Good Cause

A team of affordable housing industry leaders will be putting on their running shoes this summer for a good cause.

The group, Running for Shelter, is taking part in the 200-mile Hood to Coast Relay in August with the goal of raising $100,000 for National Church Residences’ (NCR’s) hospice program, which would be a group record, says team captain Paul Cummings, senior vice president and director of originations and capital markets at the National Affordable Housing Trust (NAHT). Close to $70,000 has been committed to date.

The 2017 Running for Shelter team at the finish line.
The 2017 Running for Shelter team at the finish line.

The funds will aid in the creation of two in-patient rooms at two of NCR’s communities as well as the expansion of its Memorable Moments programming.

In its 20 years, Running for Shelter has logged thousands of miles and raised over $800,000 for different nonprofit affordable housing organizations.

“It’s a unique way to fundraise for affordable housing,” says race veteran Cummings, adding that the event is also very collegial, bringing together people from different areas of the industry.

Mark McDaniel, CEO of Cinnaire, ran on the team in 1997 and 1998 and calls it one of the top activities he has participated in his life. He recalls getting to know his teammates during the course of the event.

“We came to realize all of us were driven to help people have safe, decent affordable housing, and we were all very competitive,” he says. “I could write a small book on the impact of this race on all of us. It pushed all of us to our limits, but it was so satisfying when you realized over and over again what it was for.”

The challenging Oregon race, dubbed “The Mother of All Relays,” consists of 36 legs and takes about 24 hours to complete. Teams have a maximum of 12 runners and must run in rotating legs. Over the past 20-plus years, the team has run through scorching temperatures and torrential downpours but always crossed the finish line.

“I will never forget the beauty of the mountains, lakes, rivers, the city at night, and finishing on a Pacific Ocean beach,” says McDaniel. “But the most satisfying thing was knowing we were helping people have a safe and affordable place to live, helping to change lives.”

A new team takes the course this year. This year’s team features several people well known in the affordable housing business. In addition to Cummings, the team includes Michelle Norris and Matt Rule of NCR, Jim Bowman, formerly of NAHT, Elizabeth Flannery of Community Housing Development Corp., Lisalynne Quinn of Red Capital Group, Anne Fennema of National Equity Fund (NEF), and Dan Mendelson of Chesapeake Community Advisors.

The affordable housing connection isn’t limited to the road warriors. Running for Shelter has been supported by a number of different affordable housing corporate sponsors. Over the years, they’ve included Cinnaire, Enterprise, NEF, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, Sugar Creek Capital, Gallagher Evelius & Jones, Kantor Taylor, Bocarsly Emden, Holland & Knight, and the Kresge Foundation.

For more information, visit www.200MilesForHospice.com.

 

We want you to be a part of the National Church Residences mission. Feel free to leave a comment, suggest a topic, ask a question, or send an email to communications@nationalchurchresidences.org.

 

 

originally posted on Affordable Housing Finance

photo credit: Hood to Coast Facebook

 

Seniors give warm donations to National Church Residences hospice patients

 

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Clients at National Church Residences Center for Senior Health on Livingston Avenue in Columbus work on knitting hats and shawls for hospice patients.

By LANCE CRANMER                                                              lcranmer@nationalchurchresidences.org

COLUMBUS – Margaret could quickly crochet hats. Barbara spent her free time making shawls.

Before long, their passion and skill with needles and thread began to spread around the National Church Residences Center for Senior Health on Livingston Avenue.

“It was one winter when we had all the clients together in one room. One lady did hats. One did blankets,” said DeVonne Tucker, a volunteer at in the Center for Senior Health’s Adult Day program. “I knew how to crochet, so some of the things that these two ladies were doing I learned.”

Eventually, several other clients joined in and the casual knitting group became an every-Thursday activity.

Roughly 18 months later, the small-but-dedicated group of seniors pooled together all of the items they made and donated them to be given as gifts to National Church Residences hospice patients.

“This was really unique for the folks at our Adult Day centers to share their time and talents in such a lovely way to brighten someone else’s day,” said Deana Thatcher, National Church Residences Hospice Director. “When someone is in hospice care, anything that can brighten their day is so wonderful. Hospice is based around improving the quality of life for our patients. When they get a gift they weren’t expecting, it brightens their day. And it brightens the day of those who care for them just to see them happy.”

For many years now the seniors at Center for Senior Health Livingston have found ways to participate in charitable programs to benefit their community.

“We started this huge civic engagement program here,” said Terri Napletana, the Site Manager at CSHL. “We let clients pick out organizations they want to donate to. Then we do fundraisers.”

At first they assembled care packages to give to the formerly homeless and disabled military veterans who were moving in next door at National Church Residences Commons at Livingston. Later they raised money to purchase winter coats for the children at a nearby church.

Then came the idea of crocheting hats and blankets.

“My sister was going through chemotherapy and someone gave her a shawl to use while she was getting her treatments,” Terri said. “She said it was a lifesaver.”

DeVonne and Terri organized the group that met every week to make the hats and blankets.

“Some people couldn’t crochet, so DeVonne came up with little dogs that people could make,” Terri said. “In the beginning we would sell the dogs to get money to buy more yarn.”

After a year-and-a-half of work, on June 2 the group donated 11 sets of hats and shawls, eight adult hats, three children’s hats and two lap blankets to the National Church Residences hospice team with a small ceremony at the Livingston center.

“The whole idea of the civic engagement is there,” Terri said. “We want to give back. They love to give back.”

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Michelle Barnhart, Volunteer Coordinator, DeVonne Tucker, volunteer, and Deana Thatcher, Hospice Director, show off some of the items Center for Senior Health clients donated to National Church Residences hospice patients.

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