Yankee Home Improvement - November 2018

NOV/DEC 2018


GRATEFUL FOR LIFE’S OPPORTUNITIES Watching My Daughters Change the World and Help Others

A s an Irish immigrant who came to this country with just $80 in my pocket, I have a passion for helping others with the blessings I’ve been afforded since then. I’m continually motivated to give back to the country that has provided me with endless opportunities, but what inspires me the most is seeing the impact it has on others, including my daughters. Their actions make me a proud dad, and I’m happy to cheer them on as they help others across the globe. My eldest daughter, Molly, returned to my homeland of Dublin, Ireland, in 2016 after graduating college to work as the CFO of a video gaming start-up there. In 2019, Molly will wrap up her job and begin traveling the world with a puppy companion, spending a few months in each location she travels to. At age 24, Molly is also in the process of finalizing her website, TheNomadPup.com, and her social media accounts, which she’ll use to raise awareness about adopting a rescue animal. Her plan is to travel to a dog shelter on the Greek island of Crete and inspire dog lovers to get out there with their pets and travel. Molly is passionate about every dog and animal she’s had in her life, and she’s combining that passion with her love of travel to improve the world. It’s inspiring to see her taking this chance. Yankee Home Improvement is also giving Molly’s dream a lift by sponsoring the work she’s planning to dive into in 2019. Molly is hopeful that more businesses will take a chance on her mission and provide some level of sponsorship. Her ideas for growth with this mission keep expanding, and she’s working frantically to get everything set up in time for her departure.


inspired she was that one person could make a big difference in this world, and her spark was lit.

Maeve, who currently lives in Bali, after a stint in Thailand, is committed to helping young girls in inner cities form connections and learn from successful, strong women around the world. She does this through her company, Girl Innovate, by interviewing successful women, recording their stories, and sharing them with teen girls. This company and its website, Girlinnovate.com, are still in their infant stages, but since she is a ferocious reader like me, Maeve is in the process of compiling these stories into a book about female success. Her mission is to improve the lives of teen girls by providing them the tools to learn real-world concepts so they can reach their full potential in a world of endless opportunities. I’m proud of all of my daughters and the missions they’ve embraced. Yankee Home Improvement obviously fully supports and is happy to sponsor Molly’s and Maeve’s endeavors. Molly and Maeve’s youngest sister, Maura, at 19 years old, attends GCC and she still has plenty of time to figure it all out. Whatever she chooses to pursue, I’m proud that she and her older sisters were given good opportunities, and I can’t wait to see what they give back to the world in return. –Ger Ronan

Molly’s younger sister, Maeve, age 21, is also becoming a world traveler, but her inspiration to help others began locally. Maeve was accompanying me one weekend to help the homeless population in Philadelphia, when she formed a connection with Margaux Murphy, the founder of The Sunday Love Project. On the way back, she told me how


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ROLL OUT THE DECORATIONS Still not talking about bread. Not everything in Thanksgiving preparation needs to be tied to the kitchen. Creative family members of all ages can work together to bring some seasonal flare to the dining room. Maybe this means picking up some Thanksgiving coloring books, or perhaps the family can venture outdoors to collect autumn trimmings for crafts. It’s a great way to let each family member put their own personal spin on the holiday! HAVE A ‘ROLLER DERBY’ Finally. While an adult should be the one to put these delicious baked goods in the oven, the whole family can help shape the dough. In fact, Care.com recommends making this a contest. Set aside a time when everyone can vie for the title of Fastest Roll Maker, and you’ll have plenty of warm, flaky, delicious treats come dinnertime. Letting everyone play a part may take a little more planning and add slightly more chaos to your Thanksgiving preparations. But it’s sure to produce a lot of great memories and bonding moments among your loved ones. And by the time you sit down to eat, you’ll all have something to be thankful for right in front of you — Those. Delicious. Rolls.

Thanksgiving is more than just a feast; it’s about coming together as a family and being thankful for one another. So why wait to get into the spirit until everyone is seated at the table? Here are a few ways you can

make the actual preparation of Thanksgiving dinner fun and engaging for the whole family!

GIVE EVERYONE A ROLE No, not those rolls — yet. Making the feast a family project can turn the day from a hectic list of chores into a magical bonding experience. It’s important to match each family member to a job that best fits their abilities. Young children can mash potatoes or rinse ingredients in the sink. Older kids can take on more responsibility, like measuring ingredients, keeping an eye on timers, and setting the table. Teens and young adults can supervise their younger siblings and cousins in these important tasks and may be called upon to stir what’s on the stove while an adult checks on the football game.

Why We Choose to Help Others During the Holidays and Every Other Day G I V I N G B A C K A L L Y E A R

Giving back is an essential value for Yankee Home Improvement. Since we’ve been afforded so many opportunities, we feel compelled to give back to the community that puts their trust in us. Learn more about some of the organizations Yankee works with below, and hopefully you’ll feel as inspired by them as we do. Providing a Meal This November, Yankee Home Improvement will be hosting a food drive for Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry. For the past 25 years, this kitchen has been serving Chicopee, connecting donors, supporters, and those in need. The kitchen began in 1980 when a group of citizens saw a need to help feed those who were struggling to find their next meal. The organization’s namesake, Lorraine Houle, served as the first and only director of the group. To learn more, visit www. LorrainesSoupKitchen.com Safe Communities Work off some of those extra holiday pounds and raise money for a good cause at the same time! Yankee will be sponsoring the Hot Chocolate Run in Northampton, which features a 5K course for individual and team runners. The event is a benefit for Safe Passage, an organization that has been battling domestic violence in Hampshire County since 1977. Each year, Safe Passage helps thousands of families find safety, justice, and a chance to rebuild their lives. Learn more about Safe Passage at www.SafePass.org , and sign up for the walk at www.hotchocolaterun. greatfeats.com .

join the board of directors for Harmony House of Western Massachusetts. Harmony House provides terminally ill patients with a loving, home-like

environment to comfortably live out the remainder of their life in peace. Learn more about Harmony House at www.HarmonyHousewma.org . In addition to joining Harmony House’s board of directors, Yankee will begin working with Hartford

Harmony House - Ger was just placed on the board of directors

Bags of Love. On Christmas Day in 2017, 9-year-old Tiernan Cabot’s family fed those who were less fortunate as part of a family volunteering opportunity. After that experience, Tiernan wanted to help all year long, and he began creating care packages for those who are homeless or

in need of assistance. The packages include hygiene products, food, clothing items, and other essentials needed for survival. Learn more about Hartford Bags of Love by visiting www. HartfordBagsOfLove.com .

Hartford Bags of Love – great first meeting with Tiernan

At Yankee Home Improvement, we value the opportunity to give back to our community. To learn more about our values, visit www. YankeeHomeImprovement.com .

Two New Organizations At Yankee, we’re always looking for opportunities to help others in our community. Ger was recently asked to

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presence. Unfortunately, your roof can become a hotbed for its growth, especially as it collects moisture and ages. But it’s pretty easy to tell if this is a problem for you. Take a look at your roof. Do you see black streaks running down it? This may be algae growth right on your home! Yankee Home Improvement uses Atlas Scotchgard Protector shingles to prevent this growth, keeping your family safe and your roof working for you. Keep It Classy Not only will an old roof impact the quality of the rest of your home, it will also decrease its aesthetic. A dull and outdated roof can bring down your home’s value and make it look antiquated. Updating your roof can give your home a facelift without you ever having to move — talk about beauty and brains. Update your roof this winter to prepare for this season’s moisture and to upgrade your exterior with help from Yankee Home Improvement. Learn more about our roofing options and get a free estimate by calling (413) 320-4994.

When it comes to the exterior of your home, you take pride in how it looks. It’s time to take pride in how it works, too — starting with your roof. There are many benefits to having a good roof, and a damaged one could give you grief come melting time this spring. As the following benefits will show you, a good roof can keep you and your family happy. H2O No! Your roof is your first line of defense from rain, ice, sleet, and snowstorms this winter. So don’t leave a tattered roof up any longer than necessary. An old roof is going to struggle to withstand the abuse from wind and debris that these storms will throw at it. Come springtime, when everything thaws, you could be looking at major home repairs due to leakage. But with the ice and water underlayment we use at Yankee, you can be sure your family is warm, dry, and comfortable throughout the lifetime of your roof. Not a ‘Fun Guy’

Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, but they’re often the blandest thing on the table. Luckily that’s not the case with this recipe, which features Thai spices and coconut milk. Spicy, Creamy Sweet Potatoes


5 pounds sweet potatoes

1 cup canned coconut milk

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon kosher salt


Mold and fungus are killers inside your home, and many health problems can result from their

1. Heat oven to 375 F. On a large sheet pan, bake potatoes until very soft, approximately 75 minutes. 2. Let potatoes cool until they are safe to handle, then peel and mash. 3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine coconut milk and curry paste. Once mixed, add the mixture, salt, half the sugar, and half the butter to potatoes. 4. 30 minutes before serving, heat oven to 425 F. Spread potatoes in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. 5. Uncover potatoes and dot with remaining butter and sugar. Broil until brown, crusty, and delicious. Serve hot.

Inspired by The New York Times

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Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday closed

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36 Justin Dr. Chicopee, MA 01022 INSIDE

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How My Daughters Make Me Proud

Let Kids Play a Role This Thanksgiving Giving Back to the Community


Consider an Upgrade Spicy, Creamy Sweet Potatoes


The Best DIY Gifts


Looking for gift ideas that don’t break the bank but still show the special people in your life how much you care? Do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts are the way to go. Here are a few ideas to put together on a chilly night. Pull out your crafting supplies, turn on some holiday tunes, and get creative. Best DIY Gift to Make With the Little Ones: Handprint-Covered Apron Aunties, uncles, and godparents will love a gift that incorporates their favorite little ones, and it’s a great way to get the kids in on the project. Choose some unadorned aprons from your local craft or home goods store and some acrylic paint in a variety of colors. Then get crafty! The kids can use their handprints as a starting point and add other decorations as they like. You can also find some fun ideas on the blog Little Page Turner, like painting a butterfly from your kids’ stamped footprints. Have fun with it! Best DIY Gift for Your Bestie: Personalized Mug You only need a mug and an oven-safe or porcelain marker to create this personalized gift. Use a mug you already own, or pick one up from the

dollar store or thrift store, and get expressive! You could write a sweet or funny message (“but first, coffee” or “two shots, hold the chatter”) or list their favorite beverage (“coffee, no sugar” or “green tea”). Write something that makes them think of you, or create a simple drawing. Enjoy the artistic freedom as much as they’ll enjoy your thoughtful gift. Best DIY Gift for Someone Special: Memory Map Utilize a map, a pair of scissors, some glue, and your memories of meaningful places to create this sentimental gift. Choose map locations

that are meaningful to you and your special person — where you met, where you celebrated special moments, where you first lived — and cut them out in geometrical or heart shapes. Then, glue the cutouts to a piece of matboard. You can

add kind words at each point, or let the places explain themselves. Place in a frame and gift to your loved one.



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