At Caruso Homes, we operate every day with a “We Care” attitude. “We Care” about our homebuyers, our employees, our trade partners and “We Care” about our community. Through volunteering and charitable giving, we are committed to supporting and strengthening the areas where we build to improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.
This year has brought many new challenges to our communities. The team at Caruso Homes came together to give back and support those in need in various ways throughout the year. We couldn’t be more proud of our employees and trade partners who have donated money, supplies and countless hours to make the Caruso Cares initiative instrumental in assisting charitable organizations that desperately needed help this year.
Caruso Cares Food Drive
This summer we launched the Caruso Cares Food Drive to help support those in our Maryland communities that have been struggling to feed their families during the COVID-19 crisis. During the course of the campaign, we donated several thousand pounds of non-perishable food and 200lbs of fresh chicken, in addition to $4,000 in monetary donations to food banks and churches who serve Prince Georges and Anne Arundel counties.
We were honored to receive the Volunteer Company of the Year award from Happy Helpers for the Homeless organization in Anne Arundel County, but we are even more honored to support the amazing work that this organization does every day to help those in our community who are in need.
Virtual learning became the new norm for schooling in 2020 and many families struggled to identify workspaces for their children. In September, the Caruso Cares program partnered with Volun-Teen in Harford County Maryland to help build 120 desks and provide school supplies to kids in need across Harford county. The desk deliveries included a stop at Harford Family House, the largest provider of transitional housing for families with children experiencing homelessness.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation Home
Between now and the end of the year, Caruso Homes is going to donate a portion of our proceeds from the settlement of one of our homes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This foundation grants life-changing wishes for children going through serious healthcare battles. Their mission statement is: “Together, we create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.”
The Caruso Family, through Jeff and Lianne Caruso, play an active part in the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Lianne is the Chairperson for the Make-A-Wish Ball, which is typically their biggest fundraiser of the year. Unfortunately, the ball has been drastically cut back this year due to Covid-19 restrictions; having a deep impact on the organizations ability to grant wishes to the children they serve. We are going to help bridge the gap of this shortfall by providing three to four wishes to kids who need hope now more than ever.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Student of the Year Program
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is a charitable organization with the mission to “Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.” This foundation is close to our Caruso Homes Family as Ed Levendusky, our Maryland Division Manager, is on the Board of Directors for this organization. In previous years, a group of Caruso Employees participated in the Team in Training program through LLS, running various pieces of the Marine Corps Marathon and hosting a bull roast to raise funds.
This year, Sophia Somerville, an intern at Caruso Homes for the past two years, will be continuing our drive to help raise funds for LLS through the Student of the Year Program. This leadership development program for local high school student leaders helps raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) while also helping students foster professional skills such as entrepreneurship, marketing and project management. We are excited to support Sophia on this journey.
Charitable Donation Goals
Over the past few weeks, we have been working with our trade partners to fundraise monies for the two great charities mentioned above; Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our goal for the fundraiser was to raise $50,000 for these causes by working with our trade partners to provide direct donations or receive donations through programs offered by their suppliers.
As of December 22nd we are excited to announce that we have exceeded our goal and donations are still coming in! In addition to these pledges, Caruso Homes, Inc. will be donating a 20% match to any amount received by our trade partners.
Anne Arundel County Service Industry Assistance
As a homebuilder, we are lucky to be in an industry that is considered essential and has not been drastically affected by shutdowns due to Covid-19. Other industries have not been so lucky. In December, local governments implemented heightened restrictions for restaurants, causing many to shut down or drastically reduce their service and leaving many restaurant workers temporarily out of work.
Recognizing that losing income can be exceptionally difficult during the holiday season, Caruso Homes reached out to help those affected in our community by providing job opportunities to restaurant workers in need. Caruso Homes has provided temporary jobs for six workers so far who were affected by the shutdown. These employees are helping provide administrative/production support at our corporate office and on local job sites.
We are very proud of the work that Caruso Cares has done this year. We are also proud of having a Trade Partner Group that shares the same values and willingness to help others in the communities we serve in Maryland, North Carolina, Delaware and Pennsylvania. Caruso Homes and Caruso Cares will continue giving back to the communities where we build for years to come and we look forward to sharing our next project with you soon!