13 New Charities on the Wall of Compassion!
2021 was an amazing year for #KeeleyCares and we are so proud to add 13 new charities to our ever-growing Wall of Compassion! Keep reading to learn more about each amazing organization.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. Some of the Salvation Army’s life-saving services include brightening the holidays, combating poverty, helping disaster survivors, fighting addiction, providing housing, serving veterans, and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community.
This year, Shelli Wassall, Executive Assistant at ADB, championed the Angel Tree Program for The Salvation Army. A-Team Members rallied around this great cause and provided toys and gifts for over 150 area children.
“I grew up in a poor family. Our family struggled throughout the year financially, especially during Christmas. I remember the tears my mom shed while she tried to figure out how to make ends meet and I don’t want any child to experience their mother’s tears over survival, especially during Christmas. Seeing The Salvation Army logo on the wall will serve as a great reminder that alone I can only do so much, but as a team, we can ease a family’s burdens, lessen a few tears, and allow a child to see a smile on their parent’s faces, if only for just a season”
Texas Ramp Project
Located in San Antonio, the Texas Ramp Project provides free wheelchair ramps to low-income older adults and people with disabilities. These ramps are built exclusively with volunteer labor, keeping costs to a minimum. Founded in 2006, the Texas Ramp Project has built over 21,800 ramps for those in need around Texas. That adds up to 110 miles!
Our San Antonio Team helps build module preparation for the builds and even participates in building the ramps themselves! Emily Burmeister and Shayne Coyle brought the Texas Ramp Project to us and we are so grateful for their passion for helping others.
“The Texas Ramp Project gives the individuals the help they need and the opportunity for an improved standard of living. I am passionate about this organization because they give people back their freedom to come and go.”
“The Texas Ramp Project is a great opportunity to help people who are less fortunate. In some cases, an individual is not allowed to return home from the hospital unless there is a ramp access to their home. The smiles and appreciation shown by a ramp recipient makes it all worth the hard work.”
Guided by their mission of “repairing homes, revitalizing communities, rebuilding lives” Rebuilding Together makes essential repairs to help our neighbors stay in their homes. With local affiliates across the nation, Rebuilding Together can create and execute plans to address the needs to each specific community. Through their work, they are also positioned to address the long-term recovery of communities struck by national disasters.
In 2021, Keeley’n volunteers helped fix up two in-need homes in the St. Louis area!
“Rebuilding Together is an amazing charity that helps people – often elderly, disabled, veterans, or some combination – that cannot help themselves due to resources or capabilities. With our skills and resources and just a little bit of effort over a Saturday, we change lives. The recipient can live safely, can stay in their homes, have their anxiety alleviated, witness their neighborhoods being improved, have years of their investment salvaged, and they feel pride in their homes again. A little bit of giving goes a very long way!”
“Rebuilding Together aligns so well with #KeeleyCares as both strive to help our neighbors in need. The program is planned around two one-day events per year which makes the volunteer opportunity available to many of our Keeley’ns. The projects can range from yard maintenance to rebuilding a complete kitchen which allows volunteers of any skill level to participate. I’ve worked with this organization for many years and I’m still amazed at how much of a positive impact a few people can make for the homeowner. I love that #KeeleyCares provides us with these awesome opportunities to give back to our neighbors and the homeowners smiles make it worth the effort.”
Mind the Gap
Mind the Gap – St. Louis focuses on helping homeless/displaced people by meeting their immediate needs and offering guidance toward helpful resources. Founded in 2017, the heart of Mind the Gap’s outreach is face-to-face fellowship with our homeless brothers and sisters who are facing hardships involving mental illness, poverty, loss of employment, addictions, etc.
Melissa Lopresti and Kim Love brought this organization to ADB and gathered team members to help assemble care packages for homeless community outreach! Recently, ADB held a Mind the Gap bag packing and pizza party where 20 A-Team volunteers came together to assemble over 140 bags for an upcoming distribution.
“Mind the Gap provides an essential connection to the unhoused community. I’m proud of their strong relationships within the city and I believe their work creates a lasting impact.”
Started by a concerned group of community members in 1976, Harmony House has provided shelter, advocacy, and education to survivors of domestic violence. They promote the principle that all individuals have the right to a life free of abuse. To date, Harmony House has impacted the lives of over 20,000 women, men, and children.
Kristin Highley, Champion for Harmony House, put together an incredible inaugural event for ADB team members. A Poker Tournament & Chili Cookoff in Springfield raised over $3,000! We are so proud of this event and can’t wait to continue to grow our efforts in the years to come.
“It’s a safe place, to go for anyone and everyone who needs it when times just won’t let you. I’ve known people in that situation, and the effect it makes to have that available, can make a world of difference.”
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a transformational youth development program for girls in grades 3-8. Life skills are taught through interactive lessons and running games, with the culmination of the program being a celebratory 5k run! Their goal is to unleash confidence in young girls through accomplishments while establishing a lifetime of healthy living.
Our first ever KeeleyLife Kickball Tournament raised over $3,000 for Girls on the Run with 120 Keeley’ns and A-Team Members coming out to play! It was a fun-filled evening and we can’t wait for 2022’s Tournament to be even bigger!
“Girls on the Run empowers girls to move their bodies, build confidence, and forge strong positive relationships — all key components of physical, social and emotional health. It’s critical that we, as a community, help foster these healthy habits in girls at a young age and set them up for a lifetime of wellness!”
Hondo Animal Shelter
The City of Hondo Animal Shelter is a temporary home to lost, unwanted, and stray animals and is a part of the Hondo Police Department. Their goals are to ensure humane care while the animals are in their custody, enable adoptions to individuals and facilitate transfers to rescue organizations, and humanely euthanize animals as necessary.
A-Team Members in Hondo were proud to build shelters for the dogs that are cared for by Hondo Animal Shelter. They also partnered with the #KeeleyCares Foundation to purchase flea preventatives and beds for the animals so they could remain healthy and comfortable while awaiting their forever homes.
“As an animal lover, I am passionate in my belief that animals deserve to find their forever home. The Hondo Animal Shelter provides animals with the care and home they need while in the process of finding forever homes for them.”
“All my life, I have recused stray animals and the Hondo Animal Shelter not only provides a shelter to the strays but also gives the rescued animals a chance to find their forever home or find a rescue organization that will take them. The shelter is a place close to my heart as their mission is to rescue, rehome, and help as many strays as possible.”
Flags of Valor
Part of America’s Heartland Remembers, Flags of Valor occurs on every five-year anniversary of 9/11. The commitment to honor our fallen heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11 and in the War on Terror includes helping more than 60 families of fallen heroes with funeral arrangements and memorializing their loved ones with picture boards, placing flags at churches and funeral homes when veterans pass away, assisting in the planning and construction of veteran memorials in the St. Louis area and one in Prestion, IA, and photographing funeral services at Jefferson Barracks on behalf of veterans’ families.
Rob Lochner, VP of Development at Keeley Properties, brought Flags of Valor to our attention and we could not be more grateful that he did. Team members from across Keeley Companies and ADB came together to assist the Flags of Valor team in getting the display ready for the public. Our team spent time assembling 300 flags that would have an informational dog tag and photo of the hero, installing those flags on Art Hill, and then removing them at the end of the exhibition and packaging them up so they could be distributed to the family of the hero represented on that flag.
“It is always important to remember and honor our fallen. Gold Star families grieve for their lost family members in much the same way as we do for our own loved ones. The difference is that their family member chose to put themselves in harm’s way when others would not or could not for our country. In my mind, it is truly one of the most selfless actions one can do. I think Flags of Valor gave the families some indication that their fallen hero is appreciated and that their sacrifice meant something to us as a country.”
Click here to learn more about our 2021 efforts with Flags of Valor!
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
As one of the largest children’s hospitals in the nation, Phoenix Children’s provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency, and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest.
The Keeley Construction Team out in Arizona, led by Justin Naber, participated in Phoenix Children’s Big Dig for Kids in the Desert. The Big Dig for Kids gives patients of Phoenix Children's Hospital and their siblings the opportunity to explore, interact, and operate heavy machinery including excavators, scissor lifts, and more. Playing in the desert sand with these big construction toys promotes healing for Arizona's children while also sparking curiosity and wonder for our construction community. This incredible event raised $415,545 for the hospital with over 500 families in attendance!
“I’m truly grateful to champion Phoenix Children's Hospital for #KeeleyCares in supporting their mission and families with our volunteer time, treasure & corporate partnership in the local Arizona community! We support the PCH Dig in the Desert annual event to drive fundraising for the kids and provide a special day for their patients to enjoy a day outside the hospital playing with all of the construction industry partners heavy equipment and learning about our special trade skills!”
With a vision to be the community leader in educating and supporting young people whose lives are impacted by suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and/or depression, CHADS Coalition offers numerous programs to advance the awareness and prevention of suicide and depression. Aside from providing counseling services and educational programs to adolescents and young adults ages 25 and under, CHADS Coalition also serves parents, educators, and community members with resources, presentations, and more to provide a holistic and proactive approach to mental illness and bullying.
The Keeley IT team assisted CHADS with evaluating the best platform for the collection and analysis of data that they collect from students served through their suicide prevention programming. Historically, data was collected on paper surveys and transferred to spreadsheets. The Keeley IT team helped train CHADS on their new system, Power BI, and guided them in creating meaningful reports and charts. The founders of CHADS were grateful for the input of our knowledgeable team members. CHADS provides life-saving services and are now benefitting from having their information available electronically.
DC Longview Dream Center
The Longview Dream Center, in Longview, TX is focused on providing hunger relief and free clothing for individuals in need. The Longview Dream Center provides hunger relief, senior boxes, fresh produce, and free clothing to those in crisis.
Dave Drury of ADB gathered Longview team members to facilitate a Trunk or Treat to raise money for the Dream Center. Working with our incredible partner, Sparklight, the team was able to support over 2,000 families, raising over $12,000.
I am passionate about The Longview Dream Center because they do so much to help the local community in Longview, Texas and take a holistic approach to helping families in need. They provide clothing, food, mental health care, children’s services, job placement, and so much more! The work they do deserves a bright spotlight on it. Their logo on our wall would be an honor for us and would represent a long-term commitment to partner with them in the vital work they do. None of this could have been accomplished without the help of Emily Hawkins; please recognize the work that she put into it as well as my local team.
Ronald McDonald House
With locations all across the nation, Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a home-away-from-home to families of seriously ill children and support to organizations that serve the needs of children. Their mission is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families.
April Lopinot, Vice President of HR, recently joined their board and spearheads our efforts with the Ronald McDonald House. Along with her work, our 2022 summer interns are planning a fun event to benefit Ronald McDonald and Keeley’ns will participate in their annual golf tournament!
“This group is an amazing organization that provides families the comfort of a home-away-from-home to be able to be close to their ill children when they need it the most. For me every time I got off the elevator at Cardinal Glennon and walked on the floor to head to Nora’s room I would encounter families and each family had a unique story. What pulled at my heart strings was knowing that I had it easy I was there a week at a time and some of these families had been there months and months with no end in sight. To have some normalcy in a chaotic time in one’s life and have a warm dinner and a kind smile means the world.”
Covenant House builds a bridge of hope for young people facing homelessness and survivors of trafficking through unconditional love, absolute respect, and relentless support. Their doors are open 24/7 in 33 cities across six countries. Their high-quality programs are designed to empower young people to rise and overcome adversity, transforming their lives and putting them on a path to independence
Six Keeley’ns, led by Mike Rupinski, participated in Covenant House’s annual Sleep Out to boost awareness and raise funds for the area’s youth that are experiencing homelessness. The team attended programming and spent the night outside in solidarity with the unhoused community.