Saturday, June 4, 2011

My Man and His BIG Heart!

Mardis presenting the new fuse ball table!
My husband got the opportunity through his job, BB&T, to write a proposal for a grant to support a cause he was passionate about. He got his grant approved for $1,800 and went to work on behalf of the Hannah More Women's Shelter!

The Hannah More House is a 24 hour emergency shelter, meals and counseling for single women and families with children. Admitted by referral only through Baltimore County Department of Social Services, the women housed here very much needed encouragement and just an overall boost. So proud of my hubby who was able to do that today!

Mardis began by touring the shelter a month earlier to see what was needed. He was overwhelmed with the fact that the shelter housed 75 women and children but they were low on food and not even expecting any donations. The television that the residents watched had a broken tube that cause the picture to be distorted. At that point, he knew that $1,800 would not even be enough and he began to seek not only necessary, but fun donations...

My husband diligently worked to find:

  • 13 totes of clothing and shoes (provided by Security & Owings Mills Branches of BB&T)
  • 500 free games of AMF Bowling
  • Packages of sanitary products and lotions
  • $1,200 worth of food!
  • Stainless Steel kitchen cutlery and cooking utensils
  • A brand new, large grill
  • A brand new water cooler
  • A brand new foos ball table
  • A brand, new flat screen televsion, donated by Best Buy and to be mounted by the Geek Squad 
  • Free truck rental and $100 in gift cards from Home Depot (Owings Mills & Randallstown stores)
  • $100 gift card from Target
  • $300 in cash donated by his BB&T clients
  • Subway (Pratik's on Security Blvd.) provided lunch the day before the main event
 Mardis discusses how he obtained the new foos ball table to Demetra, the director of the shelter, and some of the children and volunteers
 Unloading the foos ball table... 
Shannon Orange, the Security BB&T Branch Manager, prepares to unload the Home Depot truck!

 Mardis with Mena DeSousa, a BB&T coworker, and a client who came out to volunteer.
 Mardis carries 1 of 10 clothing/shoe totes inside...
 Shannon, Robbie and volunteers set up the foos ball table in the play room.

 Mardis with Maurice, his assistance from Home Depot!
 The only time you will see my husband pushing a cart of sanitary items... lol! :)

Robbie Marsh, the Owings Mills BB&T Branch Manager, helps unload sanitary products and more food...
 Mardis chats with Home Depot personnel about his project and soliciting more help!

 Mardis and I dropping off the Home Depot rental van!
 Mena, Robbie and Shannon unloading...

 Mardis presents much needed kitchen utensils to 1 of the 2 chefs. She was in tears to see cutlery! It truly is the small things that make a difference... 
 The new foos ball table!

500 Free AMF Bowling Games from a professional bowler! LOL... :)
Presenting the grand gift--the flat screen television, which generated applause and cheers from the crowd! :) What an accomplishment!

After getting all of the donations and items inside and presenting the grand gift, the television, Mardis hosted a cookout behind the shelter for all of the residents. Many of his coworkers attended--he even had a client come out to help! After the cookout, Mardis played the children and an adult on the new foos ball table--beating everybody! LOL... 

"Da Cook", who is one of two chefs at the shelter told Mardis that in her 10 years of working at the Hannah More House, "this was the best thing that anyone has ever done!" Children played games and laughed. The director of the shelter, Demetra, said that some of the kids who smiled today have not smiled or laughed in a long time...

My heart was overwhelmed to see how much hard work he put into this project. Even though I only helped in what I consider a small way by volunteering (he claims he is so thankful for me--what did I do??), I was so touched, honored and thankful to be at his side, as his wife. Not only as his wife, but also as his volunteer! He is always at my side for my philanthropic work, always supporting me (and taking the photos). I was so happy to return the favor for him... and take all of his photos! He is truly a good man--a good man with a BIG heart. 

I love you, "Mardy"... 

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