Building Hope by Building Communities

04 Mar 2024

Wilmington nonprofit quietly helps other organizations aiding children and their families

By Jen Reed

Hagood Homes of Wilmington is well known for building homes throughout the Lower Cape Fear for nearly three decades. But it's what they have done behind the scenes that is truly representative of building communities.

The company established a nonprofit organization, Hagood Hope for Children, which is now in its 20th year, and has been quietly helping several other nonprofits in the Wilmington area and beyond whose mission is to aid causes focused on the health and well-being of youngsters and their families.

Among the organizations that have benefitted from this mission include:

• The Carousel Center

• Changing Hearts Ministries

• Families by Design

• Father's House Ministries at River Life Fellowship

• Methodist Home for Children

• Ronald McDonald House of Durham & Wake

• Special Olympics of New Hanover County

With the sale of each new home built by Hagood Homes, a donation is made in the homeowner's name to Hagood Hope for Children. Since its inception, more than $1.6 million has been raised and has had a far-reaching impact, not only in Wilmington but for organizations located throughout the state of North Carolina.

According to Laurie Taylor, Development Manager of the Carousel Child Advocacy Center (a recipient of a sustained monthly donation by Hagood Hope for Children), the funds have been used to aid some 500 children who are survivors of neglect and abuse and their families. She says the continued support has made an incredible difference for the Carousel Center and notes the Hagood team also plays an active role in supporting events run by the nonprofit, demonstrating a continued commitment to the community.

The Hagood team is ever present during events supporting the Carousel Center mission and will be among those "competing" this year in a lip-sync challenge during the annual Gala slated for April 27. 

According to Taylor, that involvement has served to establish and strengthen a bond that shows "they really care," and the children benefit from that kindness and compassion.

The Methodist Home for Children also assists children of neglect and abuse and their families throughout the state of North Carolina. The program not only focuses on the health and well-being of children through foster care and adoption programs, but extends its mission to early childhood education, family preservation, and juvenile justice. Headquartered in the greater Raleigh area, they also have a presence in the Lower Cape Fear.

According to Regina Hawes, Development Officer for the Wilmington area, the monthly contributions have enabled the organization to continue offering advocacy programs in the area, for all of those in care – whether they are children or families – assisting them in developing the skills they need to build healthy, self-sufficient, and productive lives.

The Hagood team has also been a constant fixture at fundraising events supporting the Methodist Home for Children, further reinforcing how important ties to the community are to the organization.

In addition to financial contributions, numerous volunteers – homeowners, employees, and trade partners – have given their time and resources over the years to various causes supported through Hagood Hope for Children. For instance, the Special Olympics of North Carolina remains a long-time recipient of funds making such events as the Polar Plunge possible. Each year the team is invited to take part in the plunge. And while running into the freezing waters of the Atlantic isn't necessarily the first choice for folks in February, volunteering to work during the event as well as others during the year is something that is always encouraged.

For Hagood Homes President Patrick Kennedy, philanthropy has been at the heart of the business since its founding and an aspect of the company for which he cares a great deal. According to Kennedy, Hagood Hope for Children was a natural progression, established in 2004 shortly after the company was founded by Jim and Troy Kenny in 1996.

The nonprofit leg of the organization is also run on a completely volunteer basis. The true reward is found in knowing that hard work is paying off in ways that move beyond the confines of the work week. And taking quiet satisfaction in knowing there is a bigger team on the field making a difference in the lives of the children of North Carolina, Kennedy says, is well worth the effort.

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