Wayne Homes' Annual Charity Drive Raises Thousands of Dollars for More than a Dozen Non-profit Organizations

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Wayne Homes' annual charity drive, called "Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness," raised thousands of dollars for more than a dozen non-profit organizations. Giving doesn't stop at holidays' end. Charity is an idea that is woven into Wayne Homes' company culture.

Wayne Homes’ annual charity drive raises thousands of dollars for more than a dozen non-profit organizations

The needs of these kids are pretty simple, and they don't ask for a lot. And the recipients are very appreciative.

When the spirit of giving meets the spirit of competition, everybody wins.

During the holiday season, Wayne Homes' annual charity drive, called "Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness," raised thousands of dollars for more than a dozen non-profit organizations. The program uses two different but equally effective approaches: invitation and competition.

First, Wayne Homes turns its model home centers into drop-off locations and invites members of the community to bring their contributions. At the same time, the company challenges the six departments in its corporate headquarters to participate in a fund-raising contest. Whichever department raises the most money is declared the winner.

Instead of writing one corporate check, the goal is to try to get a lot of people to contribute to a variety of causes. "All the departments really have a good time," says Joanne McClaskey, the chief organizer of the program. "They raise money through bake sales, silent auctions and by doing little home improvement jobs for their co-workers in exchange for money."

The odd-job strategy was developed by the Estimating Department, which has emerged as a dynasty the last few years. Other departments made a strong showing with innovative fund raising events, such as selling hot chocolate or spicy tacos to fellow employees on cold winter days. However, it was local charitable organizations and individuals in need who reaped the spoils of victory. For example, each of a dozen kids received 100 dollars worth of presents this year as part of the Doylestown Share-a-Christmas program.

"Maybe it doesn't sound like a lot compared to what kids expect these days," McClasky says. "But the needs of these kids are pretty simple, and they don't ask for a lot. And the recipients are very appreciative. Sometimes the parents break down and cry because they don't expect people to help them like this."

Then there were the victims of last year's Bowling Green tornado. One young girl lost her mother, father and brother along with the family home. She's now living with relatives whose home was also damaged. A scholarship fund has been set up for her, with the cash donation acting as seed money.

All in all, the Wayne Homes charity drive benefited over two dozen organizations, including: St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital; United Way; Habitat for Humanity; Boys and Girls Clubs of Eerie County; Food for the Poor, Inc.; Alicia's Voice; and the USO of Northern Ohio.

Rich Smothers, Wayne Homes Sales Manager at the Ashland office, knows what it is like to be on the receiving end of charity. He was with the armed forces in South Korea and says he looked forward to "platoon care packages," so his office's donation to the USO is coming from a pretty special place. "To know someone is thinking about you when you're serving your country half a world away is an amazing feeling. To be able to donate all of this food and supplies to our troops in Afghanistan warms my heart."

At Wayne Homes, giving doesn't stop at holidays' end or once a winner of the "Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness" competition is declared. Charity is an idea that is woven into the homebuilder's company culture. Employees are given paid time off to volunteer in their communities. Trade partners are actively encouraged to get involved. Customers, too. And that's what it's all about: finding new ways to do some good.

About Wayne Homes
The task of constructing a home from the ground up is made less daunting thanks to Wayne Homes' four decades of experience, streamlined process and exceptional personal service. They help customers through every step -- from home-site prep and financing to choosing from numerous combinations of floorplans, features and finishes. The result is a home of extremely high quality that perfectly suits the homeowner's needs. Homes range from 1,300 to 3,500 square feet and from the $80s to $200s (plus land cost). Learn more about building a custom, energy-efficient home by dropping by one of the company's eight model home centers or by visiting WayneHomes.com.

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Maurie Jones
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