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.
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.
When Michele Pulaski gave birth to twins Josh and Sarah, she and her husband Jordan could only see a bright future for their family. A few weeks later, the clouds began to gather when Sarah was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. Sarah’s meningitis caused massive brain damage and as a result she is now left a quadriplegic. She also suffers from epilepsy, hypothermia and is vision impaired. Sarah’s mother was told that she would never have cognitive functions beyond that of an infant. But against all odds, Sarah has defied her diagnosis and 8 years later she is learning to sing songs, play games, and brings a smile to everyone she meets!
Just when the family had begun to adjust to life with a disabled child, tragedy struck again. At the young age of 39, Jordan Pulaski was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease that affects only 200,000 people worldwide. As Jordans condition progressed he began to lose mobility and today, like his daughter Sarah, is quadriplegic and confined to a wheel chair.
Sarah and Jordan worked hard their entire lives and excelled in both their educations and careers. Unfortunately, because Jordan and Sarah require a lifetime of costly medical care, the family is saddled with debt and with both parents only able to work part time, the family was unable to afford essential home repairs.
After watching the NBC program “Helping Hands” the Pulaski’s reached out to the Michael & Son Cares Program for help with a broken water heater and alterations to make their bathrooms handicap accessible. Michael & Son Services stepped in and provide the family with the all the home repairs at no charge.
Along with providing families with free home repairs,The Michael & Son Cares Program also surprised the family with special gifts like floor seats to Wizards games, organizing special events and even hospital visits from celebrities. The Pulaski family surprised everyone when they requested that in lieu of a gift, the Cares Program make a donation to their favorite charity, The National Epilepsy Foundation. Needless to say, everyone involved with the program was deeply touched by the families generosity and concern for others.
Helping Hands documents the work of the Michael & Son Cares Program and their community service program which provides free home repairs to those in need, local showtimes listed below.
Washington DC WRC NBC4
2/28 9:30 – 10:00 AM
2/28 9:00 AM
2/29 11:30 PM
2/28 6:30 PM
2/28 9:30 – 10:00 AM
Michael & Son Services continues to give back to the community through its “Michael & Son Cares Program”. In the last few months we have received hundred of applications from people all over VA, MD and DC who are in need of assistance with essential home repairs they can not afford. The popularity of the TV show “Helping Hands”, coupled with the harsh economic climate, has applications pouring in every week. While Michael & Son would like to assist each and every family who reaches out to us, we cannot. Instead we can try to influence and inspire other businesses to do the same. At Michael & Son, we believe it is the responsibility of businesses to help people in the community during their time of need. Much like a politician must serve the constituents in his/her community, a business is obligated to do the same for those that keep their doors open.
While nearly all businesses, small and large, make some sort of contributions to charitable organizations, Michael & Son prefers to be more hands on. Being able to meet the families, see their homes and hear their stories makes for a very rewarding experience. While Michael & Son makes many contributions to charitable organizations, the one on one experience of the Cares Program has proven to be the most rewarding. The smiles on the faces of our Cares Recipientsare far more valuable than any award or citation we could receive.
The Cares Program is an extension of the Michael & Son philosophy. Community service is simply part of our culture as a company. While in the early days of Michael & Son there was no Program designated for community service, the company was always willing to lend a Helping Hand. The beginning of the Cares Program may have dated back to the early 1990’s when a young Basim Mansour (Proud Son and Owner of Michael & Son) was on a call to a home with no power. When Basim arrived he found a small, cramped one level home inhabited by young children and the elderly. It was the dead of winter and the family sat huddled around a rickety space heater. One look at the panel box and Basim knew he was dealing with a very involved and costly job. He also knew that the cost would be well beyond the families means. After speaking with the homeowner, Basim’s instincts proved to be accurate. The family would not be able to afford the work, let alone the small, nominal dispatch fee.
Basim knew he could not leave the family without power and heat but he also knew Michael & Son (at the time) was in no position to be working pro-bono. Basim decided to seek advice from the one man he could always turn to for advice, his late father, Mike. After explaining the situation to his father, he received the advice that he had been waiting to hear. “There is no question about it, make sure the family has heat and power before you leave tonight. It’s our obligation to give back to the community, where would we be without them?” said Basim’s father. Following the phone call, Basim would proceed to work through the night repairing the family’s electrical problem. “When I flipped the switch and the heat kicked on, the faces of the children lit up with joy and their mother began to cry” said Mansour. “That moment was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life; ever since then I’ve been chasing that feeling”.
At Michael & Son, service goes beyond turning a wrench or snaking a drain. It means being woven into the fabric of the community and making a difference every chance we get. We hope that through the work we do, others will be inspired to reach out to those in need. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact us through our Facebook page or just give us a call. You can see the Cares Program in action by watching Helping Hands on NBC4. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us onTwitter and subscribe to our YouTube page and find out about special events, great savings and much more!
When a Richmond special needs educator and single mother Debra Greene discovered she had sewer and septic issues, she did not know where to turn. With three children and a constantly rising cost of living, Debra had to choose between a costly home repair and providing essentials for her family. As time went on, the problem continued to worsen. After seeing the Michael & Son Services program “Helping Hands” Debra sent a letter directly to Basim Manour, Proud Son of Michael & Son Services and hoped for the best.
“When I received Debra’s letter it immediately struck a chord with me” said Basim Manour. “Following the death of my father, my mother raised us as a single mother. I know the struggles and hardships single mothers faces; I was happy to help take part of the burden off her shoulders” continued Mansour.
Michael & Son Services stepped in and provided all repairs to the Greene family free of charge. The repairs, which totaled over $7,000, used heavy machinery and a crew of workers to compete the work over the course of two days. Following the repairs, an elated Mrs. Greene had a working sewer system and a large burden off her shoulders.
Michael & Son Services established their not for profit “Cares” charitable program in October of 2010 which assists community members during their time of need. To date the project has helped over 15 local families and in the process won them the Washington Business Journal’s regional Jefferson Award recognizing philanthropic efforts. In addition to their community based program, Michael & Son actively sponsors Dreams for Kids, Salt Water Soldiers and the Police Unity Tour chapter IV.