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Winchester Homes Honored for '25 Acts of Charity'

Employees, contractors and suppliers at Winchester Homes in Maryand renovated two Baltimore row houses for Martha's Place, a women's drug rehabilitation program. The renovation was part of the builder's "25 Acts of Charity" program.

Winchester Homes
, a medium-sized builder based in Bethesda, Md., was honored by the National Housing Endowment — the philanthropic arm of NAHB — for its “25 Acts of Charity” program that encourages employees to donate their time and labor to selected charitable activities.

Winchester Homes was awarded the 2005 Silver National Housing Endowment Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service Award — which includes a $5,000 donation to be directed to the charity of its choice — during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla. last month.

Winchester Homes directed its award donation to Martha’s Place, an all-women drug rehabilitation wellness program in Baltimore.

“Professionally, working on this project has been one of the proudest moments in my career,” said Vince Mendel, division sales manager for the builder and co-chairman of its 25 Acts of Charity program. “It was an awesome example of how a few people working together and pooling their resources can really make a significant difference. Being honored for this work is just the icing on the cake.”

Winchester Homes started the charitable program last year in celebration of the company's 25 years in business. Under the program, Winchester Homes employees and their contractors and suppliers are encouraged to help and participate in at least one of 25 selected charitable activities. More than 55 Winchester employees and more than 100 of the company’s subcontractors and suppliers participated in the program.

At the heart of 25 Acts of Charity program was Winchester’s support of Martha’s Place. Initially, the builder provided the organization with meals and guest speakers who provided encouragement and life skills coaching to Martha’s Place clients —  including checkbook balancing, what to wear on a job interview and other tasks that would help the women in their daily lives.

That commitment grew to  include the renovation of two dilapidated row houses that Martha’s Place had acquired with hopes to eventually convert then into long-term rental space for its clients. Upon learning of this need, a team of Winchester employees led the fundraising and renovation efforts and donated more than 800 hours to the effort. Martha’s Place opened its new facilities on Nov. 18.

“The National Housing Endowment is proud to honor the tremendous charity of Winchester Homes,” said Gary Garczynski, chairman of the endowment. “Their 25 Acts of Charity Program serves as a source of inspiration to our members and our industry. With the new Builder Achievement Award, we can highlight the often overlooked support and leadership home builders such as Winchester contribute to community service endeavors.”

The National Housing Endowment Builder Achievement Award for Outstanding Community Service program was begun last year to honor NAHB builders, developers and remodelers for their philanthropic programs. Winners were chosen in the gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention categories.

Seven other builders were honored with Builder Achievement awards during the presentation at the builders' show.

The awards were established through a grant to the endowment by Isaac Heimbinder, vice chairman, president and COO of Kimball Hill Homes, based in Houston. 

For the complete list of winners, click here.

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