Blog

Group donates shoes every month to troops overseas

In 2018, Deborah Hausladen got a call from her son who was deployed to Afghanistan. He wanted a pair of sneakers.

Hausladen, suddenly aware that soldiers are not provided with shoes, began a nonprofit called Sneakers for Soldiers. Each month, shoes are chosen for individual soldiers and shipped all over the world.

Today, Hausladen’s group sends more than 300 pairs of sneakers to active duty soldiers.

*Picture c/o Deborah Hausladen/Sneakers for Soldiers

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University students grow food for the homeless

When students at George Washington University started the GroW Garden, the intent was to learn about agriculture. More than 11 years into the project, the academics are growing food to feed the homeless.

The Washington, D.C. students seed, water, weed, and then pick produce that goes directly to Miriam’s Kitchen, a group that works to end homelessness. The fresh vegetables are also distributed at a local church and to the on-campus food pantry.

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12-year-old invents device that prevents kids from dying in hot cars

Two years ago, 10-year-old Lydia Denton learned that kids were dying after being left in hot cars. She was determined to change that.

Today, the now 12-year-old North Carolina girl has invented a car seat device that measures the temperature inside a vehicle. Once a pre-determined temperature is reached, it alerts parents and emergency officials.

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Bus driver graduates college with push from high school students

Clayton Ward comes from a family of bus drivers. His parents and grandfather drove bus . Though he didn’t want to continue the tradition, he also found himself behind the wheel after quitting college.

During his bus routes, the Massacussetes man would share his love of history with high school students. Inspired, the students encouraged him to return to college.

And that’s just what Ward did. He drove bus during the day and took college courses at night.

Ward graduated with a 4.0 GPA and has plans to continue his education and become a history teacher.

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Wisconsin mail carrier honored by community

Mail carriers are essential workers whose contribution often goes unnoticed. In Altoona, WI, the community pulled together to show their love to one local mailwoman.

Ellen Olson has been walking and driving the same mail route for more than two years. Residents say she goes above and beyond her job description, and they wanted to show their appreciation.

The neighborhood erected signs, hung balloons, and placed gifts at their mailboxes for the local post office employee. The grand gesture of support brought tears to Olson’s eyes and a new appreciation for her community.

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School librarian uses a drone to deliver books

When coronavirus concerns closed library doors, one Virginian went to great lengths to keep kids reading.

Kelly Passek is a school librarian. Eager to get books into kids’ hands, she partnered with Wing, a drone delivery service founded by Google’s parent company Alphabet.

The drone buzzes around a four-mile radius of the library, dropping off books to school students.

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NY teen gifted car and scholarship for cleaning up after protesters

Dishearted by the damage left behind from marchers protesting the killing of George Floyd, 18-year-old Antony Gwynn Jr. worked alone to clean the streets.

Gwynn was a peaceful protester in Buffalo, NY. He was shocked to see the state of his hometown the morning after the protests. For 10 hours, the teen worked solo to repair damage and sweep up broken glass.

When word of his action spread, Gwynn was gifted a car and a full scholarship to college for his kind actions.

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7-year-old throws social distancing prom for his babysitter

When Rachel Chapman’s prom was canceled over coronavirus concerns, she was devastated. It is but one of many events the North Carolina student will miss out on during her senior year.

Curtis Rogers, the 7-year-old Chapman babysits, surprised her with a mini prom. With help from his mother, Curtis donned a suit, picked out a menu, and hosted a social distancing prom in his back yard.

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Texas principal drives 1,500 miles to hand-deliver diplomas

A Dallas principal lived one of his school’s core principles to “ignite joy” by driving to the homes of each of his 240 senior students.

Dr. Scott Rudes spent 10 days on the road in his own vehicle, hand-delivering diplomas to graduates.

In a message to seniors, Rudes said, “Whatever presents in life, find the opportunity with that and run with it.”

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10-year-old spends quarantine time donating art kits to those in need

She’s a little girl with a big heart.

Chelsea Phaire, a 10-year-old from Connecticut, spent her spring in lockdown like the rest of us. Always one to focus on giving, Chelsea used her time to construct art kits for children who are homeless or in foster care.

To date, Chelsea has sent out more 1,500 packages filled with art supplies for other kids.

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Our Mission: Inspiring Our Neighbors

We provide rental housing for over 1,200 people, and our staff believes that housing is the most fundamental of needs. Almost all of our staff lives in our communities, and each morning we are there as residents embark on their day. We expect our residents to pass on to others the good service, good deeds, and acts of kindness we provide every day. Our staff works hard to inspire our residents so that they can inspire others. Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the staff’s deeds spread across our properties, to our neighbors, down our blocks, and into the entire region.