CMD, one of the leading providers of construction information in North America, American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Hanley Wood Media joined forces with volunteers from across the country on May 13 to revitalize Covenant House Georgia (CHGA), an inner-city Atlanta shelter for youths in crisis during AEC Cares’ fifth annual “blitz build.”
AEC Cares is an annual event that takes place the day before the AIA National Convention and offers construction professionals the chance to give back by using their skills on a one-day project to improve a local charity. CHGA, a crisis shelter for homeless and trafficked youth, opened its doors in 2000. Since that time, more than 15,000 young people have received support from the non-profit organization.
“We had an unbelievable turnout for the blitz build from our partner organizations and construction professionals from across the country,” said Graeme McCracken, CEO of CMD, and board president, AEC Cares. “The work completed will allow Covenant House Georgia to continue to provide support under the guiding principle of unconditional love and 24-hour care.”
During the blitz build, AEC Cares volunteers tackled projects across the seven-acre campus of CHGA to make it more welcoming, comfortable and safe. This included painting 13,000 square feet of wall space and installing $23,000 worth of blinds in resident rooms and 600 square feet of new carpet throughout the facility. Additional efforts included installing $7,000 worth of new art work, extensive outdoor landscape work, renovation of closets and storage units and other upgrades to the community center that will help CHGA provide support services such as job training, healthcare services and life skills development.
“We are so thankful that AEC Cares chose to renovate Covenant House Georgia for its fifth annual blitz build,” said Allison Ashe, executive director of Covenant House Georgia. “After countless hours from more than 150 volunteers, our closets, dining room and hallways are unrecognizable. Their dedication to this project and their meticulous attention to detail was really impressive.”
The event attracted many honorable dignitaries, which included Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Atlanta Police Chief George Turner, Atlanta City Council President Caesar Mitchell, AIA CEO Robert Ivy and AIA 2016 AIA President-elect Russ Davidson. CNN correspondent Holly Firfer emceed the event. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office and the Children’s Restoration Network also partnered with AEC Cares to make the renovation a reality.
CMD, AIA and Hanley Wood Media have joined forces the past five years, during AEC Cares’ annual build, to raise awareness and provide community support for worthwhile projects across the United States. In 2011, these groups collaborated to rebuild five homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Subsequent projects included revitalizing houses for homeless teens in Washington D.C. and renovating facilities for homeless, disabled veterans and adults in Denver. Last year’s project involved transforming a 30-year-old former school building into a cheerful, up-to-date daycare and early learning center for impoverished children in Chicago’s Southwest Side.
For more information about AEC Cares, visit aeccares.com.
CMD, the Inaugural Strategic Partner of the AIA, is a leading North American provider of construction information. CMD’s diverse portfolio of innovative products and technologies includes national, regional and local project leads, marketing solutions and market intelligence to provide insight to construction industry professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Visit the CMD website at cmdgroup.com.
About AEC Cares
AEC Cares is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation actively supported by CMD with the AIA and Hanley Wood, generous sponsors, donors and volunteers. Bringing together architects, contractors, manufacturers and industry professionals from across the United States and Canada, AEC Cares works to create positive change through meaningful projects that benefit a new community every year. To learn more about AEC Cares, visit aeccares.com.
About Covenant House
Founded in 1972 with the simple, profound mission to help homeless kids escape the streets, Covenant House today is the largest privately-funded charity in the Americas. Covenant House is dedicated to serving to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked and exploited youth with absolute respect and unconditional love—helping homeless children, and protecting and safeguarding all children in need. Covenant House Georgia is a full partner of Covenant House International. Visit the Covenant House Georgia website at covenanthousega.org to learn more about it.