in this Issue
3 impact of the Open Arms Foundation
8 Welcoming Back Old Friends 7 A True Fighter 6 Giving with Heart and Hand 4 MAA Volunteers Generate Huge Fundraising Success for 2019
open arms foundation States with Open Arms homes Cities with Open Arms homes Homes Total Homes Added in 2019 Homes Refurbished in 2019 2019 Nights of Rest 2019 Families Helped Program to Date Nights of Rest Program to Date Families Helped *Statistics as of 12/05/2019; Refurbishments include total or partial refurbishments Average Cost to Furnish a Home Furniture Supplier Target Furnishings & Decor *One-time costs associated with new home or total refurbishment of existing home 13 35 53 5 18 14,420 116 236,504 3,058 $4,204.91 (1 home) $4,426.50 (1 home)
Average Cost to Maintain a Home per Year Rent + Utilities
$19,000 (1 home)
MAA Volunteers Generate Huge Fundraising Success for 2019
Each year, the Open Arms Foundation relies on donations, payroll contributions, grants, memorial donations, and fundraising to support the “home away from home” for those in need. Although MAA donates a large portion of the rent for all of the Open Arms homes, the furnishings and utilities are paid by the Open Arms Foundation. This makes event fundraising a key component to operating a successful program. Thousands of dollars each year are collected through smaller fundraisers like bake sales, pizza parties, and movie nights. However, the larger fundraisers, like the annual golf tournaments, 5K races, and BBQ sales are what push fundraising to a whole new level, while also making it fun and challenging for MAA volunteers, vendors, and residents. Open Arms recognizes and gives special thanks to everyone who helped with fundraisers throughout 2019, but especially to the event organizers and volunteers of the larger fundraisers. The months of planning and execution, along with all the event volunteers from the hard-working and dedicated MAA teams, make these large fundraisers truly successful and impactful.
In 2019, the following fundraisers were approved and guided by the Open Arms Fundraising Committee and contributed to a record breaking year of donations. Coastal Division
Charleston, SC Savannah, GA Tampa, FL East Division Alexandria, VA Charlotte, NC Charlotte, NC Raleigh, NC Richmond, VA
1st Bi-Annual Palmetto Invitational Golf Tournament 1st Annual Savannah Paintball Tournament 1st Annual Fairy Tale 5k Dash 2nd Annual Topgolf 2nd Annual Cornhole Tournament 3rd Annual Queen City Golf Classic & Topgolf Event 3rd Annual Raleigh Open Arms 5K 6th Annual Open Arms 5K 2nd Annual Topgolf
North Division Birmingham, AL South Division Greenville, SC Houston, TX West Division Dallas, TX Corporate and All MAA locations
1st Annual Topgolf 2nd Annual Houston Golf Tournament
5th Annual West Division Golf Tournament
3rd Annual Open Arms October
Further assisting these large events, and the program in general, was the new donor management This system, Network for Good, provides efficient and accurate tracking and reporting of donation funds, as well as the ability to create and maintain event webpages that can be used system approved and implemented in 2019.
for event marketing and registration. The donor management tools also allow for convenient year- end reporting to calculate annual winners announced at the MAA Annual Leadership Conference, and also provide quick and easy receipting for donors to use for personal tax records. After approval by the Open Arms Board of Directors in
early 2019, the system was implemented with guidance from the Open Arms Treasurer, as well as a multi- departmental committee of MAA teams. The Open Arms donation page can be found through the “Make a Donation” section of the MAA Open Arms webpage.
Givingwith Heart and Hand “My journey started in 2005-2006 after hurricanes hit Louisiana. I moved back home to Arkansas and later married Jerry in 2009. In 2012, I started having a rough cough that would not go away. I also started having trouble walking the stairs at work at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. I went to see a rheumatologist for back pain and she found the pulmonary fibrosis that I had developed, which was the reason for my symptoms. I did chemotherapy for a year to slow it down and did well until 2018 when my doctor told me it was time to start looking at a lung transplantation. My whole world crashed. I was still working and making holiday wreaths at that time, but got so sick I really thought I was going to die.
We came to Houston to see the transplant team and they said that Houston Methodist Hospital was the best. But there was a big problem - I could not afford the housing in Houston. My husband had just quit his job to be my care taker, so we only had my disability income. The social worker at Methodist told us about Open Arms and I applied. Being accepted into the program was a blessing for us. We didn’t have to stay somewhere where we did not feel safe, and the home away from home has allowed me to concentrate on getting ready for this big transplant surgery. I miss my home in Arkansas, but am very humble from the love I’ve been shown this past year in the Open Arms program. ” – By Deborah, Open Arms Guest
Jerry and Deborah
Deborah and Jerry, Open Arms guests in one of the two homes located at our Park Place Houston community in Houston, TX, have been so moved by the support of Open Arms they decided to give back to the program in several ways. In early 2019, the couple participated in our MAA Investor Relations photo shoot in Houston, and in August of 2019 they were interviewed for the new Open Arms marketing video that will be released in early 2020. Deborah has also continued her love of crafting and making holiday wreaths, and in October of this year, she presented the teams at all four Houston Open Arms communities with a beautiful holiday wreath. Deborah also created an Open Arms themed
wreath for the Memphis Corporate Office, and has pledged to donate 10% of future wreath sales to the Open Arms Foundation.
A True Fighter
“Never in our minds would we have imagined that we would be embarking on such a journey in our lifetime. However, here we are today, trying to enjoy each moment with Leon as we know they could be limited. In late May of this year, Leon had been complaining of headaches and we thought that it was due to the change in the Arizona summer weather. We had taken him in several times to doctors and they prescribed migraine medicine as an initial form of treatment. One day he was riding his skateboard with his friends and got sick and continued to complain of headaches. We took him to the emergency room where they ran a CT scan and discovered he had a large tumor in the left ventricle of his brain. They rushed him to Cardon Children’s hospital in Mesa, AZ where he received an emergency brain surgery on June 27th to remove the tumor.
The doctor was able to remove most of the tumor and Leon recovered for a few weeks. He was then transferred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, where to receive 42 radiation treatments on his brain and spine. It was important to Leon to finish all his treatments in time to be at his step- brother’s graduation from Marine Corp boot camp in October. We say that both boys were at boot camp – Lee at St. Jude and our other son in the Marines. They are both fighters,
but in two very different ways. Leon talks of wanting to be in the military, but sadly we know that may never come to fruition. However, Leon and our family will never stop the fight!” – By Shelly, Open Arms Guest Leon, his father, and step mother have been our guests at the Kirby Station community in Memphis, TN since his arrival in Memphis. The team at Kirby Station and the Memphis home office have been very attentive to the needs of the family and even delivered several huge gift baskets full of household necessities, snacks and activity materials to the family, and the other Memphis area Open Arms families, in October. Recently Leon’s story made its way to the President of the United States through the Make a Wish Foundation. Leon and his family were able to take a break from treatments and travel to Washington, D.C. to make Leon’s wish to meet the President come true! 7
Welcoming Back old Friends
“After the unexpected news of a third time cancer diagnosis for my 13 year old daughter, Alana, we arrived in Memphis, TN, from Puerto Rico and checked into St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to start treatment. Worrying about our housing situation, we reached out again to Open Arms. Open Arms opened their doors and provided us housing for a second time, so that we can be comfortable without worrying about not having a place to live and to be able to be close and support each other during this very difficult situation. Open Arms has provided us a home FAR
away from home.” – By Jorge, Open Arms Guest
within the 2 year program maximum stay. With these return guests especially, the families become more like friends to our MAA associates who help them through the program.
Jorge and Alana are spending their second time with Open Arms at The Reserve at Dexter Lake community in Memphis, TN. For their first home in 2017, Jorge’s family also stayed briefly at our Park Estate community in Memphis. As Jorge and his wife continue to seek treatment for their beautiful daughter Alana, the team at The Reserve at Dexter Lake has made them feel as comfortable as possible. We often see families return for treatment and additional stays with Open Arms
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