Above: Making Christmas great for Officer Omar Delgado and his family after he was terminated by the Eatonville Police Department in Florida for suffering from PTSD in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
By Amanda M. Socci, Photos courtesy M.E.G.
In mid-2018, Haymarket resident Meg Hawkins and her husband, Eric Provow, launched a non-profit organization, Making Everything Good (M.E.G.), to formalize the fundraisers and charitable projects they had worked on for several years. Hawkins recounted the humorous story of how it came together.
According to Hawkins, her friend Angela, who was experienced in building websites and creating designs for others, suggested that she consolidate her many fundraising efforts in a website. Angela came up with the brand, “Making Everything Good.” Hawkins was drawn to it, thinking it was a good idea to honor a person who was doing charitable work.
“But who was that person?” laughed Hawkins as she said she didn’t realize Angela had cleverly used her name (Meg) to be the acronym for her new nonprofit.
Before things became official, Hawkins and Provow worked tirelessly raising money on behalf of various local nonprofits, filling in the gaps by working on small projects wherever help was needed the most.
Hawkins’ full time job in law enforcement and Provow’s military service and employment as a firefighter and paramedic created a passion in them that resulted in what would become M.E.G.’s mission statement: to “assist and support the needs of individuals, families, and organizations associated with public safety, military, veterans, and the local community.”
The Driving Force
When asked what motivates her to help people, Hawkins recalls a frigntening time during which she almost lost her husband to suicide, nearly 2.5 years ago.
After living through that trying situation, Hawkins and Provow decided they wanted to make a difference in their community by helping others.
“Service to others is a huge and important thing to us. There’s nothing like the feeling of making somebody’s day and doing something for somebody who hasn’t asked for anything,” noted Hawkins.
One of Hawkins’ largest and most heartfelt projects she has worked on is Project FACT. For this project, Hawkins hosts annual donation drives to help the Inova Ewing Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) raise funds and collect new clothing for adults and children who experienced sexual abuse, assault, or violence. Another large project she works on is “Color Me Brave” which involves visiting children at the Inova Fairfax Hospital oncology center and giving them art supplies and games to help them pass the time more cheerfully.
Hawkins, her husband, and her small team of volunteers often hear of needs through the community and they pitch in to help as much as they can, whether through raising money or by purchasing and donating items in-kind.
Hawkins’ recent work with Chantilly-based nonprofit Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, which helps people with basic needs including food and shelter, made her aware that many of the families they served did not have enough money to wash their clothes. To help, Hawkins came up with a “Laundry Night” initiative and raised $300 to pay for laundry services for 12 families for one month.
The blog on the M.E.G. website lists some of the small charitable projects the non-profit assist ith. For example, Hawkins talks about helping a public safety family in need by securing a donor to purchase technology equipment and software to help their autistic son. There was also a project to raise funds for a police officer from New Jersey who lost everything in a fire.
While Hawkins eagerly shares information about many of her small charitable projects, she limits some details to protect the privacy of the individuals she helps. Some of the details Hawkins enjoys making public is the amount of money M.E.G.. has raised through various fundraisers, such as $250,000 for the Officer Down Memorial Page program, $5,800 for the first annual FACT project, and $3,000 for Omar Delgado and his family, who were affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida.
When asked how she and her husband became such successful fundraisers, Hawkins said it stemmed simply from ordinary networking and personal connections with people she has met over the years.
Clearly, Meg Hakins has the magic fundraising touch and because of it, she continues Making Everything Good in the Haymarket area and beyond.
For more information, visit makingeverythinggood.com.