Anthony and Michelle Hinton paced the ER as they waited for an update from the doctor on call. Although nights in the hospital were becoming a regular occurrence, the Hinton family dreaded every second; but no one likes having their child in the hospital, especially for breathing difficulties. The main culprit behind their child’s frequent asthma attacks was a faulty HVAC unit and filthy ducts. While it would seem that the problem would be easily remedied with a simple replacement unit and duct cleaning, for some families it’s just not that simple.
It’s been said time and time again, the goal of the Michael & Son Cares Program is not only to help families with essential home repairs they can’t afford, but to also inspire other businesses to do the same. To date, The Michael & Son Cares Program can proudly say our goals are being met. The type of support we receive from businesses in the community range from services that are beyond the scope of our expertise, products, and sometimes financial contributions.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Michael & Son Cares Program or the Helping Hands TV show that documents our work, here is a quick run down of how it works: Families who are in need of assistance with home repairs because of financial issues due to illness or disability send us an application detailing their situations. Every month we select a family and not only provide the services free of charge but also a special surprise for the family.
Because most of the families that we meet have children, their needs go beyond home repairs; after all, a new water heater or furnace is not exactly at the top of every kids wish list. With that in mind, we have always paid close attention to the interest and wants of the families children during the time we spend together. It’s because of the generosity of our supporters in the business community that we are able to bring a little happiness into the lives of children who face such difficult circumstances. Here are some examples of how they help us make a difference:
Charlie Crohare suffers from an extremely rare brain disorder similar to Miller Dieker syndrome. At 6 years old Charlie is a quadriplegic and has the brain development of a 2 year old. He suffers from daily seizures that can last up to 45 excruciating minutes and has been air lifted from his home, to the hospital dozens of times. Because of his condition, when he is not confined to his medical crib or wheelchair, Charlie can safely relax in bean bag chairs to play with his toys, games and watch movies. When we heard about Charlie’s love for bean bags, we reached out to local custom bean bag maker, Ahh! Bean Bags, who was more than happy to make Charlie an oversized, custom bean bag.
Monet and Greg Caldwell reached out to the Care’s Program when their home heating system broke down during one of the coldest winters on record. Their youngest of two children, Skyler, had just been born 10 weeks earlier with a thyroid cyst that required surgery. Because the cyst was located in her throat and any infection could cause a complete blockage of her tiny airway, the Caldwell’s could not risk bringing Skyler home to a cold home following the surgery. After resolving their heating issues, the Cares Program granted the Caldwell’s wish for a couples night out and a family day out. After sending Monet and Greg to a night out in Old Town, the Baltimore Aquarium invited the family for an all access afternoon, including a dolphin show, feeding demonstrations and a meet and greet with the turtles.
As a teenager, Brandon Donaghy was involved in a near fatal car accident that left him in a coma for nearly a month. The subsequent brain injuries that resulted from the coma left Brandon with memory and anxiety issues that made it impossible for him to hold a job. When Brandon woke up one cold morning to a broken heating system and no way to pay for a replacement, he began to panic. He sent his four children to stay with his grandmother while he searched for a solution. The Michael & Son Cares Program stepped in and along with restoring heat to the home, our friends at the Verizon Center gave the Donaghy family a night they will never forget. Along with a fully catered suite, the Donaghy’s sat court side during the Wizards warm up, met players and received bags of autographed merchandise.
One common theme throughout the stories above and many others is HVAC (heating and cooling) systems needing to be replaced. Most homeowners know that replacing them can cost thousands and repairs are usually band aids. Carrier is one of the worlds most well known and trusted names when it comes to HVAC, both residential and commercial. As top sponsor of the Michael & Son Cares Program, they are also one of the most generous. Today, over a dozen families have heat and A/C in their homes thanks to the community conscious people at Carrier.
You can see these stories and many more by visiting our website for a complete collection of past episodes of Helping Hands. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out about the upcoming season of Helping Hands, special events and much more!
Over the past 5 years, I’ve had the privilege of working with families in our community as the head of the Michael & Son Cares Program. If you have not already heard of us, we are a local home improvement company that helps disadvantaged families with essential home repairs they cannot afford. From restoring heat to cold homes to surprise visits from celebrities; the Michael & Son Cares Program has brought smiles, tears and hope to dozens of recipients in the D.C., M.D., and V.A area. Not unlike Michael & Son Services, The Cares program has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 5 years. One of our proudest achievements regarding the Cares Program is the creation of the Helping Hands T.V. show, which documents the charitable work of the Cares Program.
The Cares Program, like Michael & Son Services, has modest beginnings. Today you can hardly drive a mile without seeing a signature blue Michael & Son truck. It was not always that way; in fact it all began with one van and a two man team. In 1968, Mousa “Mike” Mansour came to this country with a vision, to build a family business that his children could one day inherit. An electrician from an early age, Mousa’s natural inclination towards the trade was apparent in his work and he landed a Union Electrician job. On weekends and nights Mousa worked side jobs with his 6 year old son, Basim, tagging along as his pint sized apprentice. It was during those impressionable years of watching his father work that Basim Mansour learned the meaning of hard work, dedication and punctuality. He also learned the importance of giving back to the community that kept him in business. Mousa was not a wealthy man but a generous man nonetheless. He would never leave a family without power on a cold night because they couldn’t afford cost. To him, the smiles on the faces of those families he helped was worth far more than any amount of money. These instances that were witnessed by Basim left an indelible impression on him that would influence the way he would one day run his own business.
On June 1st 1990 Mousa “Mike” Mansour suffered a fatal heart attack, leaving his family and community devastated. At the young age of 19, Basim picked up where his father left off and began his own business, Michael & Son Services. Today the company has over 200 employees, offers comprehensive home services and spans four states and our nations capitol. As the business has grown, so has the number of Cares Program recipients. The CaresProgram reaches thousands of people each week through the local TV program “Helping Hands”, however, we hope to inspire more businesses and individuals to give back to their communities in any way they can. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please visit michaelandsonhelpinghands.com for more information.
On a rainy night in Madonna Maryland, Delano Draine was making his way home to his wife. Delano was full of optimism, he was six months into his retirement, and ready for some long overdue relaxation.
A hard working man from a young age, Delano spent years in the military, eventually settling into a job as a corrections officer. The hours were long, the work was dangerous and the stress was tolling; Delano was glad to be done with it. As Delano weaved down the wet and winding road, he had no idea is life was about to change forever. Out of nowhere, a deer appeared in the middle of the road, Delano swerved to avoid it, but it was too late – everything went black.
When Delano opened his eyes, he was upside down strapped inside his car. “I felt a tremendous amount of pain, but was still able to fish my phone out of my pocket”. His first call was to 911, with the second being the hardest he’s ever had to make. Forty minutes away from where Delano lay suspended in his car, Shelley, his wife, was preparing a late dinner for two. Around 9:15 Shelley received a phone call that left her pale and trembling. The voice on the other end was her husband, he was badly hurt and being rushed to the hospital. Shelley grabbed her bag and raced out her door; she knew it was serious, but she had no idea Delano would never walk again.
Delano had nearly severed his spine and there was no hope for recovery, he would require a lifetime of around the clock care. Because the VA and other government agencies could not or would not provide him with the care he needed, Shelley was forced into early retirement and began the painful vocation of caring for a suffering loved one. Because of the ever mounting medical bills, the Draine’s were unable to afford home repairs that were essential to Delano’s well being. One of those repairs was to the homes furnace, and as the winter grew colder, it became critical that the family had a reliable heating system. That’s where The Michael & Son Cares Program stepped in. You can see the whole story this weekend, check the list below for show times in your area.
Washington DC WRC NBC4
3/14 10:00 – 10:30 AM
3/14 9:00 AM
3/15 11:30 PM
3/14 6:30 PM
3/14 10:00 – 10:30 AM
Haymarket Food Pantry
One of the last places most people would expect to find is food pantry is in Haymarket, Virginia. Situated between our nation’s capitol and the Shenandoah Mountains, Haymarket is a quiet and affluential suburban community and is more known for its rural quaintness and country clubs rather than families dealing with food insecurity.
However, show up to the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry on any given Saturday morning and you’ll see a different side of the community. Before the doors are open, the lines have already formed. Families from every walk of life wait patiently to receive everything from locally grown organic produce to farm raised beef and poultry. Quality, nutritious food is what sets the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry apart from the organizations in the area and that’s all made possible by generous local business and farmers.
None of the services provided by the food pantry would be possible without the help of the volunteers who take time out of their busy schedules to lend a hand in their community. A testament to their dedication was the fact that the food pantry had no running water, working toilets or the electrical capacity to handle the many freezers and appliances needed to run the operation. Earlier in the year,
Home Depot had pledged to donate all the supplies for the electrical and plumbing work but needed a company to volunteer instillation services. Enter the Michael & Son Cares Program.
The Michael & Son Cares Program got its start in 2011 helping families and not for profit organizations with essential home repairs they can’t afford. After a few phone calls and meetings, Michael & Son Services was onsite restoring water services, installing toilets and upgrading the electrical panel. Within a matter of days, the volunteers had the relative comforts of home and an increased capacity for storing perishables, something the food pantry desperately needed.
All of the work done by the Michael & Son Cares Program is documented and shown on NBC’s “Helping Hands”.
Washington DC NBC 4
Saturday, December 6th – 10am
Charlottesville NBC 29
Sunday December 7th – 10am
Richmond NBC 12
Sunday December 7th – 7:30pm
Norfolk ABC 13
Sunday December 7th – 9:30am