Rebuilding Together – Changing Lives One Home at a Time
A few years ago, sawing and hammering was heard in hundreds of neighborhoods – from border to border and coast to coast – as more than 200,000 caring volunteers pitched in to repair, update and revitalize over 4,000 homes belonging to the elderly, disabled and thousands of low-income families and individuals who simply need a helping hand.
Thanks to Rebuilding Together ®, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization working to preserve affordable homeownership and revitalizing neighborhoods, this year, more than 10,000 homes of those in need will receive critical home repairs, modifications for the disabled and energy efficient upgrades – and all at no cost to the homeowners. As of last year alone, nearly 600,000 such homeowners – with an average annual income of less than $16,000 and in serious need – now live in a better and safer environment.
Everyone Pulling Together
Today need is at an all time high, as low-income homeowners fight to keep and maintain homes in neighborhoods devastated by a weak economy and pervasive housing crisis. Over 44 million homes in the U.S. will experience property devaluation as a result of foreclosures in their neighborhoods (source: Center for Responsible Lending). Rebuilding Together works to stabilize such neighborhoods by focusing its efforts on communities where foreclosures are highest. And where for health, age or economic reasons, homeowners must to put aside basic home maintenance for life necessities, such as food, medicine and healthcare, Rebuilding Together is often a last resort.
In addition to recruiting hundreds of thousand s of volunteer workers for hands-on participation, Rebuilding Together also turns every $1 donated into $4 in equivalent value with the added donation of goods from corporate sponsor partners – such as Sears, Lowe’s and Cricket Communications – and with services and the participation of various skilled trade associations.
Our National Rebuilding Day
On Saturday, April 25th, our nationally syndicated home improvement radio program, On The House with the Carey Bros. & Rebecca Cole, was broadcast live from the backyard of the William Donnelly home, located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Oakland, California. This house was one of the many selected to be worked on for National Rebuilding Day by Rebuilding Together’s Oakland Affiliate organization. Throughout the day, volunteers from as far away as San Diego and from all walks of life toiled inside with interior upgrades and repairs while others outside worked on landscaping and planting trees. In all, 2,000 volunteers worked on 25 area homes and eight facilities spread throughout Oakland.
Thousands of miles away in Chicago, our listeners also heard the thankful appreciation of the Durr sisters, one of which is enlisted and headed for Iraq, soon leaving her two young daughters with an aging grandmother in a home that is now better and safer than ever.
It was a story repeated thousands of times that day in thousands of ways. And It is a story that will be repeated thousands of more times in the days, weeks and months ahead – thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 200 affiliate chapters nationwide – working year-round wherever deteriorating neighborhoods need to be stabilized and aging communities need to be revitalized.
While groups like Habitat for Humanity are dedicated to constructing or finding “new” homes for families, Rebuilding Together focuses on updating and repairing existing homes of homeowners in need. It is about adding bathroom grab bars for an elderly retiree, replacing a broken water heater or simply repairing a porch light. It’s about painting, cleaning, mowing and planting… and it is about safety and quality of life.
Day after day, homes in need will be repaired, made safer and more efficient and countless lives will be made infinitely better… one home at a time. It is a story that calls out to each and every one of us – to pitch in and to make a difference.
Let’s all rebuild together. To volunteer, make a donation or learn more about Rebuilding Together visit www.RebuildingTogether.org.