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Apartment industry: making a difference across the country.

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Making A Difference

Apartment Industry professionals understand the unique privilege we have to serve those who consider our communities home. Our industry plays plays a vital role in helping to make a difference in the daily lives of our residents.

Making a Difference is the theme of this compilation of experiences, whether during times of crisis, celebration or everyday life. It underscores the impact and value our industry provides to the communities where we live and work. And we are proud to announce that, as an industry, more than $112.5 million has been contributed through the programs included in this publication.

One program from each region, chosen by their peers in that region, was selected as most outstanding.

These great stories and programs were celebrated in conjunction with the 2007 NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Las Vegas.

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REGION 1

KORMAN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES PARTICIPATES WITH KORMAN CARES

Korman Cares is a corporate charity program with approved charities that Korman Residential Properties volunteers for, donates to and participates in functions as a company.

Korman's mission is to provide aid to those in need through contributions of time, money and resources from associates and residents, and care for all by cleaning up and beautifying neighborhoods and helping neighbors who are experiencing difficult times. This program allows for:

* Associates to take one workday a year to volunteer with one of the designated charities without affecting their time off;

* Associates can volunteer on their own time as much as they choose;

* Group participation is allowed so associates can work together as a team for the common good of the surrounding community;

* Corporate donations (set and approved by ownership) and advertising;

* Positive reinforcement of values and willingness to give back to the community; and

* Its charities and the Korman Cares program to be included on its Web site for customer and resident awareness.

Among the charities under the Korman Cares Program are American Red Cross; Daisy Days (The Children's Hospital Foundation): Eagles Youth Partnership; Greater Philadelphia Cares; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: Philadelphia Komen Race for the Cure: and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Most recently, Korman worked with Bensalem township, where its Village Square community is located, to finance Child Traks, a program that provides for all children in an elementary school to get fingerprinted free of charge. Parents receive identification cards for each child, which helps to locate a child if he or she were lost.

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REGION 2

THE DOLBEN COMPANY'S RIDERS PEDAL FOR CANCER RESEARCH, PARTICIPATE IN TOYS FOR TOTS

The Dolben Company has always encouraged its employees to give back to their communities. Employees participate annually in the Toys for Tots program and last year donated 420 toys to needy children.

Dolben employees have participated in the Habitat for Humanity program, helping to build affordable housing for those who need it most.

Following are two examples of Dolben's commitment to give back to the community.

On the "community-at-large scale" the charity that senior management has focused on is the Pan Mass Challenge (PMC).

The PMC is a two-day, 192-mile bike marathon to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute's Jimmy Fund. Each spring the eight- to 10-member Team Dolben begins training for this event, which is held on the first weekend of August, rain or shine.

The team has ridden through blistering heat and torrential rains, always cognizant of those enduring much worse conditions while battling the disease.

During the past 16 years, Team Dolben has peddled its way to raising nearly $750,000 for this cause.

One thing the team is proud of is that 99 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to the research seeking a cure for the disease that affects so many.

On the property-specific scale, Dolben manages a 489-unit, 100 percent subsidized community in one of the most economically depressed cities in Massachusetts. The challenges in managing this type of property can be daunting.

Influences from outside the property only increase the challenge. Several years ago, Dolben, in an effort to build a sense of community within the property, and hopefully give the children an alternative to what the streets offer, began several after school programs.

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The community fields basketball and baseball teams in several age divisions. The company buys equipment and uniforms and the employees coach the various teams that participate in leagues around the city.

Dolben teams consistently vie for the top spots in their leagues and the children are proud to represent their Dolben community.

REGION 3

IAA 'CHALLENGE' RAISES FUNDS TO COMBAT BREAST CANCER

In 2003, members of the Indiana Apartment Association (IAA) established a community service program to involve management companies in a united effort to raise money for a worthwhile cause. To do this, a "Challenge for the Cure" was created in which management companies compete to see who could raise the most money, with proceeds benefiting the Indianapolis Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The target audience included IAA management company members, their communities and residents. IAA recognizes the need to give back to society, so it created a program that allows all to combine efforts toward this goal. IAA's fund raiser has been extremely successful. In its first year, IAA members raised $17,000 for the Indianapolis affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, making it the second largest fund raiser for the Indianapolis affiliate.

In 2004. the second year for the fund raiser, greater emphasis was placed on the "Corporate Challenge" component. To increase involvement, management company marketing directors were invited to a special kick-off event. Each marketing director was given a pink folder filled with creative ideas for raising money at the apartment community level and involving their residents in the challenge. Money raised for the breast cancer foundation has increased each year. IAA management companies' participation includes holding carnivals, bake-offs, bowling, resident swim parties and picnics, not to mention donation jars in community offices. The fund raiser culminates with a nine-hole golf outing. Almost half of the golfers are women, and management companies are encouraged to invite residents and friends.

In the past four years, IAA has contributed $179,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Indianapolis affiliate, and 95 percent of this total donation has come from the residents that live in member apartment communities.

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REGION 4

MID-AMERICA COMMUNITIES' OPEN ARMS PROGRAM EMBRACES FAMILIES

Mid-America Apartment Communities earned the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) first-ever "Good Neighbor Award for Outstanding Community Service" in 2007. The award, which honors apartment firms that have excelled in community service and philanthropic activities, includes a $10,000 donation to the winner's charity of choice.

Mid-America was selected for its "Open Arms" program, which offers free, furnished apartments to families who must travel to receive treatment for serious medical illness.

Since the program began 12 years ago, Mid-America has offered more than 70,000 free nights of housing to more than 1,200 families who otherwise could not have afforded to be close to their ailing relatives. Importantly, by accepting people of all ages, Open Arms fills a critical gap left by other high-profile housing programs, such as the Ronald McDonald House, that accept only families of children undergoing medical treatment.

"Mid-America's Open Arms program is a terrific example of an apartment firm using its housing expertise and resources to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people and to improve the quality of life in the communities in which it operates," said Mary Ann King, NMHC Chairman and President of Moran & Co. "The stories of the people they have helped over the years are truly inspiring."

NMHC President Doug Bibby said, "The Open Arms program stood out to the judges for several reasons. First and foremost, of course, was the compassionate service it offers people in need. But the judges were also impressed with the widespread support the program enjoys among the firm's employees, many of whom voluntarily organize their own fund-raising efforts to support it.

"Finally, they were persuaded by the ease with which the program could be replicated across the country by other firms."

King said, "In addition to the honor of it being selected as our first Good Neighbor, we will also be donating $10,000 to Mid-America's Open Arms program so it can continue its good work."

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REGION 5 AAGW SUPPORTS RED CROSS

For the past three years, the Apartment Association of Greater Wichita (AAGW) and the Midway-Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross have come together to benefit the community of Wichita.

The AAGW sees first-hand the importance of the Red Cross and its programs, specifically the local disaster programs.

AAGW members take part in the "Round for the Red" Greater Golf Scramble to support the Red Cross disaster program. In 2005, AAGW was able to give the Red Cross $10,000 as a result of the tournament.

In 2006, AAGW contributed $10,500 and AAGW donated an additional $10,000 in 2005 from the Star of Excellence program.

"We know that the Red Cross reaches out to families who live in apartments, especially when disasters such as fires strike," said Jennifer Goetzinger, AAGW Board member and Public Relations Chair.

"The money we raise is used to take care of the same people the apartment association serves every day."

In 2006, there were seven apartment fires that affected the residents of AAGW local members. On July 21, 2006, one week to the day after the tournament, a fire broke out at a community. The Red Cross was already helping resident victims when management arrived.

"With the number of apartment fires increasing each year, it is great to see the apartment association taking the initiative to partner with an organization that directly benefits their members and their residents," said Noel Anderson, Financial Development Director for the Red Cross.

AAGW also supports the Red Cross Project Comfort program, which benefits family service clients who need help with rent and utilities because they have experienced an emergency, such as layoff or a medical problem that has left their budget too short to pay bills.

AAGW collects items such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, baby wipes and personal hygiene items for clients.

"Last year they brought in more suppliers for our families than any other participating organization," said Bev Morlan, Executive Director.

"We are proud to have such a strong partnership with the apartment association and its members who continuously invest in our community by helping others."

The 2007 "Round for the Red" was June 15 and AAGW's goal was to top last year's contribution to the Red Cross.

REGION 6 HAA HURRICANE HOUSING PROGRAM RECOGNIZED

Because of its efforts to provide housing to Hurricane Katrina victims, the Houston Apartment Association (HAA) received the Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

The Summit Award is ASAE's highest honor for associations that implement new and innovative community-based programs. HAA was recognized for its Hurricane Katrina housing program, which quickly and efficiently provided housing to more than 150,000 people displaced by Katrina in 2005.

In the days following the hurricane, HAA members rushed to secure apartments for hurricane evacuees, waiving credit checks and security deposits and working around the clock to process evacuated families. HAA also donated more than 400 units free of charge. HAA worked closely with many governmental entities to establish the program, which provided more than 34,000 apartments for up to one year for evacuees.

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"The members of HAA exhibited Herculean strength and stamina during the days following Hurricane Katrina by opening their properties and helping evacuees get settled into housing quickly and efficiently," HAA President Jerry Winograd, Judwin Properties, said. "I am proud to be associated with such caring and giving people, and am pleased that our membership has been honored with the Summit Award. It is very deserving."

Jeff Hall, CAE, Executive Vice President of HAA, said, "In a time of crisis, our HAA membership exemplified Houston's 'can do' attitude by working together to help those in need. It is a privilege to work with such dedicated and charitable folks who were so focused on helping the evacuees and their families find housing."

HAA and five other groups received the award in September 2006 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The six Summit Award winners were selected from more than 250 entries in the Associations Advance America Awards. HAA is honored to be the only local association selected; the other five award winners are national or international organizations.

ASAE is an individual membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing nearly 11,000 organizations.

HAA received the 2006 NAA PARAGON Award for Community Service. Presented at the 2006 NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Denver, the community service award recognized the outstanding efforts of HAA members, who provided housing for evacuee families in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

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REGION 7 AMA HAS BIG HEARTS FOR LITTLE HANDS

Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA) and its members have a tradition of being involved in Arizona-based charitable community outreach programs and projects. The association seeks to improve both the quality of life for Arizonans and the image of the AMA and rental housing.

Since 2005, the AMA has helped two nonprofit shelters in the face of a growing homeless population in Arizona. United Methodist Outreach Ministries (UMOM) New Day Centers in Phoenix, the state's largest facility, and New Beginnings for Women & Children in Tucson provide hundreds of homeless children and their mothers with emergency and transitional housing plus life-skill services and training. AMA's campaign, Big Hearts for Little Hands, runs from late September to early November.

The approximately 50-member AMA Family Transitional Housing Committee does not set a financial goal for the campaign--other than suggesting a donation of $1 or more per participating apartment home.

Each year, 350 to 375 member apartment communities in the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas participate along with AMA member management companies and suppliers and offer unsolicited donations of money, goods and services.

Onsite teams used social event planning skills to produce marketing tools that inform their residents about the plight of the homeless in Arizona and raise money for the shelters.

Additionally, AMA produces what is believed to be the largest, one-day charity yard sale in Arizona. It also coordinates a pre-drive industry VIP awareness-raising reception.

AMA members volunteer at the shelters to read to the children, help prepare meals, offer parents life-skill training, provide job-seeking advice, inform parents of employment opportunities and assist in the thrift shops.

Others donate household and personal care items, furniture, computers, clothing and maintenance and construction items. One supplier provided approximately $20,000 worth of flooring products and installation services, with a pledge to do more.

The first year the campaign raised $63,500; the second year's total from all sources was $105,600.

In addition to the fund-raising, the project strengthens the favorable image of AMA and the rental-housing industry among residents and other audiences, including lawmakers, by helping address the significant societal problem of homelessness.

Both UMOM and New Beginnings enthusiastically inform their peers in the homeless advocacy community, donors and volunteers, plus government officials and news media of the AMA's assistance. Apartment teams routinely mention Big Hearts for Little Hands to friends, business associates and customers. It helps with resident marketing while making them feel good about themselves and their apartment community.

REGION 8 ARCHSTONE-SMITH BUILDS FELLOWSHIP WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Archstone-Smith's commitment to Habitat for Humanity is the company's way of being a good neighbor in the cities where it operates--and in turn, building fellowship and goodwill among associates while working to make a difference in America. Archstone-Smith chose to partner with Habitat for Humanity because the homebuilding process seemed to be a natural extension of the business--providing homes to families across the country. Plus, it was of great interest to associates and customers.

In 2006, Archstone-Smith planned two volunteer days for mid-September. Once establishing volunteer dates with the local Habitat affiliates, Archstone-Smith associates were identified in each of those markets to serve as "ambassadors." These associates were responsible for managing details with their local Habitat affiliate, signing up volunteers, generating excitement and coordinating logistics, such as special transportation needs and lunch on the build sites.

Volunteer sign-ups took place in early August. Ambassadors coordinated signups in the way that made the most sense for their markets. In some cities, sign-ups were on a first-come, first-served basis.

In other markets, especially where the demand to participate was extremely high, associates submitted their names mid were selected through a blind drawing.

On the morning of the home builds, volunteers put on their "Team Archstone-Smith" T-shirts (a gift from the company) and headed to their build sites helping with tasks ranging from framing houses to hanging drywall to painting. For the two days, associates from every level of the organization worked together on equal terms--operators with investors, leasing agents with corporate associates, service technicians with vice presidents.

For associates who were unable to volunteer or who lived in a market where a build wasn't taking place, the company wanted to offer involvement in another way.

So the company sold "Team Archstone-Smith" T-shirts in advance of the September volunteer days. All proceeds were donated to Habitat, and then associates wore their T-shirts and their best pair of jeans to their community or office on the self-declared "Habitat Day," Sept. 14.

Since 1999, Archstone-Smith, its business partners and associates have donated $1.12 million to Habitat, and associates have helped build 57 Habitat homes for families in need of decent, affordable housing across the country.

REGION 9 LINCOLN PROPERTY IS 'DOING GOOD' FOR CHILDREN'S FOUNDATION

Lincoln Property Co. wanted to help the victims of the September 11 attacks, but wasn't sure where to start. Vicki Daniels, Vice President of the Southeast Region for Lincoln, heard from her 8-year-old niece, in her involvement with her Brownie troop, the incredible story of Stephen Siller.

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Siller, a firefighter from Brooklyn, was 34 years old with a wife and five children. The youngest child, 1, was due to have surgery to repair a tiny hole in his heart.

Siller had just finished his night shift and was driving home to meet his brothers when news of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center was broadcast on the radio. He turned around and headed back toward the twin towers. Encountering a traffic jam, Siller abandoned his car at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and, with 60 pounds of gear on his back, raced on foot to Manhattan through the tunnel. Siller gave his life that day.

Siller's story was so compelling that without hesitation or contact with the Siller family, Daniels immediately initiated a statewide fund-raising effort at Lincoln's communities across Florida to help the Siller family. Communities hosted carnivals, parades, car washes, garage sales, pool parties, pie-eating contests, dog grooming, face painting and had participation from fire stations across the state. Within two months after September 11, and with the holidays approaching, Lincoln proudly sent a check to Stephen's wife, Sally Siller, in the amount of $30,142.85 along with homemade cards and letters and a videotape showing participation of more than 32 communities, 150 employees, 50 vendors and countless residents.

Inspired by the outpouring of love and the generosity of spirit, the Siller family decided to honor Stephen's legacy of love by forming the Stephen Siller, FDNY, "Let Us Do Good" Children's Foundation. The foundation serves the needs of children who have lost one or more parents or who have special needs. It sponsors educational scholarships, counseling, financial support and other related activities.

In September 2002, Lincoln was asked to become the Founding Sponsor for the First Annual Firefighter Stephen Siller, Tunnel to Towers Run, retracing Siller's footsteps and honoring all who perished that day. Lincoln took fund-raising efforts nationally, raising $135,000 that first year. Lincoln has returned each year as Founding Sponsor and Run Presenter.

Lincoln employees, residents and vendors from across the country have proudly come together, and since 2002 have raised more than $500,000 for the "Let Us Do Good" Children's Foundation. Fund-raising efforts and activities for 2007 have already begun at Lincoln's communities across the nation.

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REGION 10 SARES-REGIS VOLUNTEERS REHABILITATE TRANSITIONAL FACILITY

SARES-REGIS Group (SRG) enthusiastically got involved with the 2006 Jubilee House Project in Pasadena, Calif., because of its dilapidated, almost unlivable condition. The Jubilee House, a nonprofit residential transitional facility for women, provides 10 beds for women who are recovering from addiction, facing the challenges of staying sober, finding employment and re-establishing their lives after many years of dependency. A deteriorating, circa-1925 duplex property, the Jubilee House, had a plastic tent covering its leaking roof; damaged core plumbing and hazardous flooring; and broken windows, doors and walls.

With SRG's expertise in construction, the company organized a six-week renovation of the dilapidated home and began in April.

Work began with a new roof, plumbing, electrical, flooring, cabinets, concrete, window coverings, landscaping and irrigation. The renovation effort culminated with a volunteer day, held June 3, 2006, when more than 100 SRG employee volunteers and their families joined additional volunteers from Rebuilding Together Pasadena to complete the project.

That day, the volunteers painted the home inside and out, installed new light fixtures and appliances, rewired switches and electrical outlets, completed the landscaping and cleaned the home for the residents. The working budget created by SRG was $135,000 with a broad variety of vendors contributing approximately $90,000 in donations and materials.

With efforts coordinated by SRG, the residents of the Pasadena Jubilee Home moved to a hotel one week before the end of the renovation project. Following the volunteer day, they returned to their newly renovated home with new furniture and beds.

With more than 2,000 volunteer hours and months of organization and preparation, SRG is honored to have participated in The Jubilee House with Rebuilding Together and in making a difference in the lives of those in need.
COPYRIGHT 2007 National Apartment Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 1, 2007
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