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Spotlight on a [Re]Builder: Pazit Aviv

RTMC is fortunate to have Pazit Aviv (pictured above with her family) as a member of our Board of Directors. As the Village Coordinator at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Aging and Disability Services, Pazit has brought her deep knowledge and expertise to our mission and has become an invaluable resource.
 
Pazit is a true collaborator in the community and helps to bring people and groups together in service to the most vulnerable members of our community. Using a neighbor to neighbor approach, Pazit is a driving force in helping vulnerable neighbors age in place within Montgomery County.

When did you become involved with RTMC and why? 
I am originally from Israel but I moved to MoCo in 2008 with my husband. I first became involved with RTMC through my work as a member of the City of Gaithersburg Hoarding Task Force. In my role as Village Coordinator for Montgomery County, I help to build coalitions that enhance capacities of nonprofit and government organization to facilitate aging in community. The work I do now with our community aligns directly with RTMC’s mission, which is to protect vulnerable residents and help them to remain safely in their homes.

How does our mission resonate with you?
Aging in place is a human right. Montgomery County specifically has an increasing aging population and I am happy to play a part to keep vulnerable neighbors safe

In what ways would you want to see RTMC develop in the future? 
I think we should figure out a way increase who is eligible for repairs. We could arrange contractors with homeowners who may pay a reduced amount for the repair, but it would guarantee good and trustworthy service.

How has your experience been as a board member for RTMC?
We have been through some difficulties together and that has helped shape us into a cohesive team. 

Is there a favorite event or day-of-service with RTMC that you have been involved with?
A few years ago, there was an RTMC community day of service where everyone came together to help a struggling homeowner fix a barn. The social aspect of community gathering was impactful, and it was a multigenerational event. It was inspiring to see our community show up for each other and work together to help someone in need. 


RTMC’s MLK Day On with Ms. S

The RTMC team with our neighbor, Ms. S!

Martin Luther King Day is known as a day of service (a day on, not a day off) to encourage volunteerism. This past Monday the team at Rebuilding Together Montgomery County took on the task of serving Ms. S, a neighbor in need of home clutter removal—recycling, trash and donations. We loaded up two trucks worth of items Ms. S had long intended to clear out. She now has much more space to move around her home, and a significantly reduced risk of tripping on these items or hurting herself trying to move them.

While helping, the team learned about Ms. Smith’s 35 years of working for the Treasury Department and her experience crafting two 11-tier wedding cakes right from her own home! Client outreach coordinator, Joni Keaton, stated “Ms. Smith is an incredibly sweet woman. One of the first things she emphasized needing help with was clearing out boxes and clutter that had piled up, and we stepped in to make sure this got done. Even with masks on, you could tell everyone was smiling the entire time!” Thanks to their help, Ms. Smith’s home is safer.

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spotlight on a [Re]Builder: Bob King

RTMC is grateful to the long-time support of Bob King, former RTMC Board President and longtime volunteer, donor and golf committee chair. Bob has been instrumental to RTMC’s success in so many ways. We asked Bob why our mission is important to him.

Here’s what he had to say:

Tell us about your general professional background, what do you do for a living and how long have you been doing it?
I worked for 30 years at the World Bank.  By training, I am an economist (PhD, GWU) and did global econometric forecasting for about 20 years.  I then managed the World Bank’s communications team (External Affairs) and later was a senior advisor to the Chief Information Officer.  I retired from the Bank in 2012.  Since that time, I have been involved in many areas of volunteer work as well as with non-profit boards.  I provide pro bono support to both boards and Executive Directors in helping them to grow their organizations.

2. How long have you been involved with RTMC? 
I became involved with RTMC in late 2013.

3. How did you get started with RTMC and what have your different roles been with the organization throughout the years? 
Part of my team in External Affairs at the World Bank was the Community Outreach team, which was run by the mother of the then RTMC Executive Director.  When I retired and was looking for boards to serve on, the connection was made. 

I served as Board President for about 2.5 years, have chaired various committees (communications, golf and finance come to mind), and managed the process of developing a board strategy for the organization. After finishing my second term in 2019, I remained on the Finance Committee, served as chair of the Golf Committee in 2020, and volunteered as an advisor to both the board and the ED.

4. Why is our mission important to you and why are you so motivated to be involved with, and support, the organization?
Safe and healthy housing is at the center of so much of what impacts peoples’ everyday lives.  It is not only an important health factor (not having mold in a house, for example), but can be essential to mental wellbeing, as unhealthy living space can cause undue stress and family strife.  In addition, much of our work has been to make homes more accessible to the owners’ and their families and it is such a joy to be able to see someone be able to leave their house easily for the first time in a long time.

For me, the motivation started with students. I do a lot of nonprofit work with organizations that work with kids and youth and it moved me to see that some students couldn’t get to school because of health reasons caused by their living conditions.  The work RTMC does with veterans and the disabled is also highly motivating.

During the time of COVID, when state and local officials have been telling us to stay home where it is safer, the response must be “you can’t be safer at home if you aren’t safe at home”.  Our work is needed more than ever.

5. Is there a favorite event or day-of-service with RTMC that you have been involved with?
Any day that I can be working in a house or visiting a home being worked on by others, is a special day for me.  I especially like being able to take people – friends, politicians, reporters – out to see the work being done and to meet the homeowners and volunteers.