“I knew everything was going to get better, I just had to believe it. Kelley and Lance were great to work with, they did a really good job.” -Mrs. P
National Rebuilding Day was a major success this year with over 15 sponsors working on the homes of 13 Montgomery County homeowners. Volunteers are the lifeblood of National Rebuilding Day, and this year the 400+ participants spent the month of April completing safe and healthy home repairs on our client’s homes. Repairs ranged from accessibility modifications to full bathroom remodels.
Donohoe Construction Company, a long time supporter of RTMC, worked on the home of Mr. and Mrs. P in Silver Spring for their NRD project. Mr. and Mrs. P both suffer from serious medical complications and have found navigating their home to become a challenge over the past few years. Upon meeting the homeowners, the team members from Donohoe knew that they could leverage their relationships with business partners in order to address more of the P’s needs and make their lives safer and healthier. The generous contributions of time and materials allowed Donohoe to tackle a large scope of work and complete the necessary repairs for this aging Silver Spring couple.
RTMC interviewed Kelley Darling from Donohoe’s Corporate Communications department in order to get an insiders view on what National Rebuilding Day means to their organization, their employees, and business partners.
What keeps Donohoe involved with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County and as a sponsor for National Rebuilding Day?
“RTMC serves as a niche where we happen to have some expertise, so our home sponsorship is a natural fit. We appreciate that RTMC does an excellent job of vetting and assigning homes, providing project guidance and facilitating project support like dumpsters and Montgomery County dump trucks so that we can concentrate on our goal — to restore/improve the access, health and safety of our assigned project for the homeowner.”
As the coordinator for Donohoe, how do you explain National Rebuilding Day to prospective volunteers?
“Donohoe has been involved with RTMC for many years, dating back to when you were called Christmas in April. So, many of our employees are very familiar with NRD and are looking to sign up every April. To the newcomers, we simply explain that it’s the most fun you’ll ever have on the weekend!”
What is your favorite memory of this year’s National Rebuilding Day?
“I’m really touched by all of the people who have contributed to this year’s project. Our subcontractors, who showed up to work many days throughout the month were amazing! Rover from Owl Pest did a thorough job, ultimately ridding the home of mouse and carpenter ant infestations, and he was incredibly kind to our homeowners in the process. Daniel from RV Carey fixed toilets and manned the grill to make everyone had lunch (he washed his hands first!). The ladies from Palm Cleaners were angels who graciously cleaned the home from top to bottom, twice. Lisbeth and her paint crew from Precision Wall painted the entire home and guided our volunteers to get it done correctly. And to top it all off, Donohoe volunteers showed up ready to work on April 28th and 29th – everyone was in full force, willing and proactively painting, digging and scrubbing – they went above and beyond to put the finishing touches on the house. It is just so inspiring to witness so many of our friends and colleagues motivated to come together and help out.”
How does National Rebuilding Day compare to other volunteer events that Donohoe participates in?
“Since we are a commercial real estate company, we are capable of taking on some of the heavier projects vetted by RTMC, and for that reason, NRD tends to be the most intense volunteer event that Donohoe participates in annually. We make the greatest effort to do as much as we can to improve our assigned project and support the family. The value of the scope of work we complete typically comes in the $30,000 range and involves coordinating at least 50 Donohoe employee volunteers in addition to engaging subcontractors to assist with donations and skilled work over a four week period culminating on NRD.”
What do you think your volunteers gained from this experience?
“Our volunteers gain an opportunity to team-build while giving back to the community – and to take ownership and pride in the project they choose to contribute to onsite. During this year’s rebuild, Mrs. P took a moment to let everyone know how much our work is helping she and her husband. It is satisfying to know you’ve made a difference – and that it’s appreciated. At project completion, Donohoe volunteers have shared that they feel they’ve made a positive impact for Mr. and Mrs. P’s family, they’ve made connections with colleagues and that they are motivated to continue to volunteer.”
To view more photo’s from Donohoe’s National Rebuilding Day project, or to check out other groups project’s, please visit our Facebook Page. We hope you will join us for 2019’s National Rebuilding Day!
Mark McCaffrey named Rebuilding Together Montgomery County’s Executive Director
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County’s (RTMC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark McCaffrey as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective April 30, 2018.
Mark brings more than 15 years of working with local and national nonprofits and extensive experience in Montgomery County. He has represented the Town of Glen Echo as a council member, has served on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue and is a graduate of the Montgomery County Police Citizens Academy.
“We engaged in an extensive search and transition process, spending several months identifying the qualities and talents RTMC needs in its next Executive Director,” said Jeffrey Drichta, RTMC’s Transition Committee Chair. “Of the more than 100 talented candidates who applied, Mark stood apart with his lifelong commitment to public service, building organizations and obvious passion for the work of RTMC and the Montgomery County citizens we serve and call our neighbors. We appreciate all the hard work of the RTMC Board, Staff, supporters, as well as Raffa, P.C. who guided the search process that led to our promising hiring of Mark.”
Previously, Mark was the Chief Operating Officer of Capital Area Food Bank, where he helped lead a $40 million dollar rebuilding and relocation project, taking the organization from its 60-year-old building to a brand new state of the art distribution center, allowing the organization to reach hundreds of people with fresh, healthy food. He has also served as the Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Financial Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and as a Regional Director with the American Red Cross National Capital Region. In addition to his nonprofit experience, Mark brings renovation expertise, having run a home-renovations business the past few years.
Brian Pettit, RTMC’s Board President stated, “Mark has demonstrated strong leadership in the past and the qualities that embody RTMC in the future. We’re excited about him joining the organization and look forward to welcoming him at his first official outing: National Rebuilding Day, which takes place on Saturday, April 28th.”
“It’s a great honor to be selected for the position, and I am following someone [Christina Johnson] who did great work in this role for the past five years,” said Mark McCaffrey. “My hope is that, through our work, we can reach more and more people, whether it’s working with returning vets or individuals aging in place, to help make their homes safe and healthy, and contributing to healthier environments in Montgomery County.”
RTMC has helped hundreds of vulnerable and low-income people in Montgomery County by providing critical home repairs, energy efficiency upgrades and accessibility modifications. To learn more about RTMC and National Rebuilding Day, visit: https://rebuildingtogethermc.org/.
During the month of April, Rebuilding Together affiliates across the country come together to celebrate National Rebuilding Month. Throughout the month affiliates make safe and healthy home repairs and modifications for low-income homeowners in need of support. National Rebuilding Month culminates over the last weekend in April as sponsoring faith-based organizations, businesses, and groups come together to complete repairs and modifications over National Rebuilding Day. This is our largest event of the year, allowing Rebuilding Together Montgomery County to mobilize over 300 volunteers to work on more than 12 project sites throughout the County.
If you are not volunteering during National Rebuilding Day this year, but still want to be involved, we invite you to examine these safe and healthy home principles in your own home. Checking over these items will ensure your home is a safer and healthier space for your family.
IS YOUR HOUSE:
Dry: Damp houses provide a nurturing environment for mites, roaches, rodents, and molds, all of which are associated with asthma.
Clean: Clean homes help reduce pest infestations and exposure to contaminants.
Pest-Free: Recent studies show a causal relationship between exposure to mice and cockroaches and asthma episodes in children, yet inappropriate treatment for pest infestations can exacerbate health problems since pesticide residues in homes pose risks for neurological damage and cancer.
Safe: The majority of injuries among children occur in the home. Falls are the most frequent cause of residential injuries to children, followed by injuries from objects in the home, burns, and poisonings.
Contaminant-Free: Chemical exposures include lead, radon, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, and environmental tobacco smoke. Exposures to asbestos particles, radon gas, carbon monoxide, and secondhand tobacco smoke are far higher indoors than outside.
Ventilated: Studies show that increasing the fresh air supply in a home improves respiratory health
Maintained: Poorly maintained homes are at risk for moisture and pest problems. Deteriorated lead-based paint in older housing is the primary cause of lead poisoning, which affects some 535,000 U.S. children.
Thermally Controlled: Tenants and homeowners are at risk for various health problems related to prolonged exposure to excessive heat or cold when their homes do not maintain adequate temperatures.
The housing market in Montgomery County, Maryland, is characterized by soaring rents, low rental vacancy, and a real estate market that incredibly unaffordable. The average annual income for our clients is $16,000, an amount that is never enough to cover all of life’s expenses. When it comes to basic needs such as food, transportation, medical care, and housing, our clients must regularly make difficult choices that result in covering some, but not all of these necessities. Home repair needs often go unaddressed because they’re either too expensive overall, or items like healthcare and food take precedence, leaving our clients without enough left in the bank to finance the often life-saving safe and healthy home repairs they need. By addressing their home repair needs, we reduce housing costs and prevent our clients from losing what is typically the only affordable housing option available to them. Our work not only prevents homelessness, it preserves affordable housing, revitalizes entire communities, and allows our ever-growing elderly population to age-in-place.
Summary of Position
The AmeriCorps Client Coordinator oversees many aspects of the client experience with a heavy focus on intake and closing-out of clients’ files. They strive to build trust within the community and awareness among targeted populations most in need of our services. The AmeriCorps Client Coordinator is an important point of contact for clients, ensuring a high level of client communication and support throughout the application, intake, project, and close-out stages. The AmeriCorps Client Coordinator meets with clients after project wrap-up to complete project evaluations and make referrals to other organizations and agencies as appropriate.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Serve as an important point of contact for clients before, during, and after services are completed in their homes.
Receive and review applications from potential clients, talk with clients over the phone if additional information is necessary, and schedule initial site visits to be conducted with Program Manager.
Identify and meet with organizations and neighborhood associations to ensure accurate referral information.
Ensure clients sign all necessary paperwork and agreements when opening and closing projects.
Survey homeowners in person after project completion to capture their experiences with Rebuilding Together. Report findings to Program Team and participate in the conversation about improving our delivery, ensuring the highest quality services to homeowners.
As a grassroots nonprofit, all team members will have an active role in implementing larger rebuilding projects throughout the year. They will assist with project logistics several times throughout the year, including checking in with clients throughout the project day, assisting with setup/tear down, and other behind the scenes project logistics.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
As this role will be interacting with clients and community members regularly, familiarity with the community is preferred
Experience with managing or working alongside volunteers and contractors
General knowledge of construction skills and housing needs
Bachelor’s degree or relevant work/life experience
Client-centered attitude and approach to work
Attention to detail including excellent recordkeeping skills
Comfortable directing teams of volunteers
Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and internet
Ability to work professionally and compassionately with diverse individuals with a wide variety of home needs
Ability to work independently to achieve established goals
Ability to communicate in clear and encouraging language with a diverse community and staff
Comfortable with speaking, directing, and presenting to large and small groups or willingness to learn
Description of Physical Demands
Must be able to navigate an active construction site, including: climbing stairs and ladders, standing, lifting, and carrying for extended periods of time over difficult terrain.
The majority of time will be spent in the office; they must be able to use a computer and phone for extended periods of time.
They must be able to travel independently to meetings in the community and in client homes
They will assist with several rebuilding days during the term—as such they must be able to walk, climb stairs, stand, lift, and carry for extended periods of time.
Access to reliable transportation for daily commute
Access to reliable transportation for regular travel during the work day as part of core responsibilities
Use of a personal vehicle is recommended due to inadequate public transportation
Valid driver’s license and driving record to allow use of affiliate-owned or –rented vehicles or trucks
Comfort backing up a vehicle with a trailer (or willingness to learn)
CapacityCorps members are required to pass an FBI criminal background check with fingerprints, applicable state background checks, and an NSOPW check. For more information about disqualifying findings, visit our FAQ’s on our website, www.rebuildingtogether.org/capacitycorps.
AmeriCorps members may not engage in any of the AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities (see below) directly or indirectly by recruiting, training, or managing others for the primary purpose of engaging in one of the activities listed below. AmeriCorps members will not recruit or coordinate volunteers for the purposes of raising funds for his/her living allowance, Rebuilding Together’s general operating expenses, or write grant applications for funding provided by CNCS or other federal agencies. Any volunteer recruitment, training, management, or coordination listed above as completed by the AmeriCorps member pertains to volunteers engaged in work directly related to rebuilding project implementation only.
AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities
Prohibited Activities. While charging time to the AmeriCorps program, accumulating service or training hours, or otherwise performing activities supported by the AmeriCorps program or CNCS, staff and members may not engage in the following activities (see 45 CFR § 2520.65):
a) Attempting to influence legislation;
b) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes;
c) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing;
d) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements;
e) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office;
f) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials;
g) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization;
h) Providing a direct benefit to—
i) A business organized for profit;
ii) A labor union;
iii) A partisan political organization;
iv) A nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 related to engaging in political activities or substantial amount of lobbying except that nothing in these provisions shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
v) An organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph 3.g. above, unless CNCS assistance is not used to support those religious activities;
i) Conducting a voter registration drive or using CNCS funds to conduct a voter registration drive;
j) Providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services; and
k) Such other activities as CNCS may prohibit.
AmeriCorps members may not engage in the above activities directly or indirectly by recruiting, training, or managing others for the primary purpose of engaging in one of the activities listed above. Individuals may exercise their rights as private citizens and may participate in the activities listed above on their initiative, on non-AmeriCorps time, and using non-CNCS funds. Individuals should not wear the AmeriCorps logo while doing so.
Did you know that household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide? The average household leak can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year and ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more a day! Typically, these leaks are easy to fix and will not cost you an arm and a leg. A quick trip to the hardware store can help you save money by fixing those minor leaks in your home.
To check for leaks in your home, you first need to determine whether you’re wasting water and then identify the source of the leak. Here are some tips for finding leaks:
Take a look at your water usage during a colder month. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank!)
Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fitting for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
Here are a few video links that you might find helpful in finding and fixing leaks
Old or worn-out toilet flappers can cause leaks. Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix in your home. To fix this leak, consult your local hardware store, home improvement retailer, or licensed plumber. Tip: Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that fits your toilet model.
Old and worn faucet washers and gaskets frequently cause leaks in faucets. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year! That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers! Many tutorials are available online for how to fix a wide variety of faucets. Tips: Don’t forget to turn off the water line before you start taking apart pipes!
A showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water it takes to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher! Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help control leaks. For more complicated valve leaks in the showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handyperson or licensed plumber. Tip: It’s also a good idea to check and, if needed, replace the washer or “o” ring inside the showerhead while making this repair.
If you have an in-ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn’t damaged by frost or freezing. You may need to hire a professional to assit with these repairs. Tip: Don’t forget garden hoses! Check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.
“I didn’t know I could get help from anyone until Rebuilding Together helped me with the ramp” – Ms. Waller
Ms. Waller’s second set of front steps
Ms. Waller’s first set of front steps
Through a partnership with Adventist Healthcare, RTMC was introduced to Ms. Waller, a resident of Gaithersburg and a retired postal service employee of 25 years. During her years of service with the post office, Ms. Waller began to experience hip and knee issues which ultimately led to her retirement and slow health decline. After multiple surgeries and visits to the hospital, the doctors at Adventist realized that Ms. Waller would need help navigating her home, and reached out to RTMC for assistance.
Unfortunately, the front entrance to Ms. Waller’s condo had two flights of steps, making it extremely difficult and dangerous for her to navigate with a walker or cane. She suffered multiple falls and injuries as a result of her mobility restrictions, causing her to repeatedly return to the doctors for additional care. When RTMC did an evaluation of Ms. Waller’s home and discovered that she would benefit from accessibility modifications, they discovered that a ramp to Ms. Waller’s back door would make her home a safer and healthier space for her to reside.
With funding support from Adventist Healthcare and Mobility Solutions, RTMC was able to install a ramp from the back porch of Ms. Waller’s condo to her backyard. The ramp allows Ms. Waller to safely enter and leave her home and make it to the Metro Access bus stop. Navigating her way through the grass and around the building is still difficult with her walker, but it is a much safer alternative than risking the two flights of steps in the front of the building. Ms. Waller is extremely grateful for the team that helped her with this accessibility modification, saying “Mark and Mobility Solutions did a great job, they were out there for hours in the cold putting the ramp together“.
Ramp installation complete!
RTMC completed additional safe and healthy home repairs at Ms. Waller’s condo, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home and supplying her with a fire extinguisher for the kitchen. Ms. Waller is now able to enjoy a safer and healthier home thanks to RTMC, Adventist Healthcare, and Mobility Solutions, but could still benefit from the use of a scooter. If anyone has a scooter they would be willing to donate or knows of someone who would be able to help Ms. Waller obtain one, please contact us.
Christina Betancourt Johnson will be leaving in mid-March to advance her family’s real estate business and continue her investment in the community with board positions in both Washington, DC and Montgomery County. Christina has led RTMC for 4 ½ years during which RTMC was recognized as “One of the Best” by the Catalogue for Philanthropy.
RTMC has helped hundreds of vulnerable and low income people in Montgomery County by providing critical home repairs, energy efficiency upgrades and accessibility modifications. Christina has strengthened the Safe and Healthy home approach for clients countywide and increased the visibility of the organization’s services as recognized by multiple awards. She’s also built a stronger IT infrastructure, streamlined operations, enhanced reporting processes, improved fund development activities and mobilized a highly competent staff to carry out RTMC’s crucial work. RTMC serves 100 homeowners on a yearly basis and last year, 700 volunteers showed up on National Rebuilding Day to ensure safe and healthy homes for local residents in Montgomery County.
“Christina has been an inspirational and motivational leader for the RTMC organization. She has brought forth a strong mission-driven commitment and key relationships to grow the organization’s impact and make a difference for individuals, families, and communities across Montgomery County. Her successor will inherit an innovative, thriving organization with an adaptive leadership team and staff that is willing and dedicated to the success of the organization and to those in the county in need,” says Brian Pettit, Board President.
“It has truly been a team effort with amazing team members, a passionate Board of Directors, and a community of supporters, friends and partners who believe in our mission and vision for our future,” remarks Christina, who adds, “I will forever remain a friend and champion of RTMC and the mission.”
The RTMC Board of Directors has appointed a transition committee and has also engaged Raffa, a locally-based consulting firm that specializes in nonprofit executive search and transition, to conduct a national search for a successor. The search launched the fourth week of January and you can find the position description here.
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.
Gaithersburg, October 9, 2017 – Consider this scenario: It’s 2 o’clock in the morning. you and your family are fast asleep when you awaken to the smoke alarm sounding and the smell of smoke. What do you to? If you and your family don’t have a plan in place, it could jeopardize your safety, or even prove deadly.
In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. That’s why home escape planning is so critical in a fire situation. It ensures that everyone in the household knows how to use that small window of time wisely.
“Developing and practicing a home escape plan is like building muscle memory,” said Christina B. Johnson, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County. “That pre-planning is what everyone will draw upon to snap into action and escape as quickly as possible in the event of a fire.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” works to better educate the public about the critical importance of developing a home escape plan and practicing it. Rebuilding Together Montgomery COunty relies on it’s strong partnerships with community partners such as The Friedson Group and The Montgomery County Fire Department to educate and protect the homes of our county’s most vulnerable residents. RTMC also is working in coordination with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the official sponsor of the Fire Prevention Week for more than 90 years, to reinforce those potentially life-saving messages.
“Home escape planning is one of the most basic but fundamental elements of home fire safety, and can truly make the difference between life and death in a fire situation,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy.
In support of Fire Prevention Week, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County encourages all households to develop a plan together and practice it. A home escape plan includes working smoke alarms on every level of the home, in every bedroom, and near all sleeping areas. It also includes two ways out of every room, usually a door and a window, with a clear path to an outside meeting place (like a tree, light pole, or mailbox) that’s a safe distance from the home.
NFPA, RTMC and it’s local partners The Friedson Group and The Montgomery County Fire Department, offer these additional tips and recommendations for developing and practicing a home escape plan:
Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
Close doors behind you as you leave — this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week activities in Montgomery County, visit . To learn more about this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out” and home escape planning, visit firepreventionweek.org.
As we plan for the recovery for Hurricane Nate, we wanted to share with you all the current status of our affiliates impacted by the last round of hurricanes.
Affiliate Status and Response
Rebuilding Together Houston is back up and running. They are fully engaged with the recovery efforts in Houston working with City staff, the United Way, VOAD, LISC and other organizations. With support from Rebuilding Together New Orleans they have taken on some early-phase recovery work mucking and gutting, but know that the majority of their work will be over the next few years in long-term recovery.
This month, they celebrated the planned retirement of CEO, Jim Soller and welcomed their new CEO, Christine Holland. She has jumped in with both feet and we look forward to sharing the official press release, including her bio, in the next LINE (eNews).
As always, the network has responded with care and concern and questions about how they can support their fellow affiliates. Rebuilding Together Houston has shared their initial calendar of work days and welcome individuals and teams of skilled volunteers. They anticipate work ramping up in the spring and summer of 2018 through at least 2020. As they refine their plan, they seek to balance the needs of flood victims with their current waitlist of clients, stretching their current capacity and resources.
FALL VHRP Mucking & Gutting
FALL VHRP Mucking & Gutting
FALL VHRP Mucking & Gutting
BHGRE Exterior & Possible Interior
Super Impact 2018 Exterior & Possible Interior
1/30 – 2/3/2018
Rebuilding Northside Exteriors
Volunteer For Long-term Recovery
RTH is currently evaluating resources, coordinating with partners, and organizing a multi-layered volunteer effort to serve their neighbors most in need. Grab your boots and join the recovery effort! Register your team or yourself to help.
In the “Notes” section of the form please include the type of volunteer work you prefer: (i.e. Hurricane Harvey relief, rebuilding homes, carpentry, warehouse inventory, office work, etc.)
If you know someone in the Houston are who needs help:
If you need help clearing-out your flooded home:
Crisis Cleanup Hotline
For FEMA Disaster Assistance Program Funding:
Register for assistance at disasterassistance.gov or
State Bar of Texas Hotline
Rebuilding Together San Antonio has decided to temporarily expand their service territory to include the gulf region of Texas where Hurricane Harvey touched town. They are supported in this work with an initial grant from national partner, Charter Communications. Executive Director, Kent Gerstner, has begun outreach in the hardest hit communities connecting with government officials and community partners. We anticipate Rebuilding Together’s recovery work to be up and running by the end of the year. Rebuilding Together San Antonio also welcomes support from skilled volunteers once they have their program established.
While the effects of Hurricane Harvey were somewhat diminished by the time it reached Louisiana, it did worsen the effects of last years’ historic flooding. Rebuilding Together Acadiana and Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge are still in active recovery mode rebuilding the homes of nearly 900 flood victims.
Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade, Broward County, Of the Palm Beaches, Tampa Bay, Orlando and North Central Florida were all impacted by Hurricane Irma. While they were fortunate not to have the catastrophic damage of Hurricane Harvey, several of the affiliates experienced power outages and damage to their offices. All of the Florida affiliates are actively engaging volunteers in recovery-related work and all of them anticipate increased requests for roof repair and replacement.
While we do not have an affiliate currently serving Puerto Rico, we are exploring where we may be able to partner with NGOs active in the region to leverage opportunities for in-kind donations and other support.
National Office Response
The national office has been in close communication with all of our affiliates and our corporate partners as response and recovery plans have been evolving. We’ve been thrilled with the generosity of our current partners, particularly Charter Communications and Sears, and the interest of new partners in supporting the long-term recovery efforts of our affiliates.
The national office has created a PSA to highlight the long-term recovery efforts of the organization, which is featured above. The PSA will started running last week on Charter Communications’ stations, on HGTV and 300 local television stations throughout the country. The national office will use the PSA to launch the Rebuild2Recover campaign that will live on rebuildingtogether.org. The campaign will include educational graphics and a booklet to provide information to the people we serve around how to prepare their home prior to a disaster and what to do following a disaster. The purpose of the campaign is to raise money year-round and build assets that can be deployed whenever a disaster happens.
RTMC will not organization a recovery team but is encouraging all interested volunteers and supporters to contact the affected region’s affiliate to find out how you can play a role in the rebuilding efforts in that community. RTMC and our national network has and will continue to provide support to the effected affiliates, sharing lessons learned from past disasters, fundraising and helping highlight the importance of sustained support for recovery efforts.
The article titled “Home, Sweet Home” on pages 70-74 describes the story of a grandmother, Karen, unexpectedly jumping back into parenting and the housing difficulties she faced in making her home conducive to a growing four-year-old. She needed a reliable, safe deck and an updated water filtration system. Rebuilding Together Long Island also provided the home with paneling, hardware, lighting fixtures and additional storage to deter clutter.
Local designer Jen O’Brien took the lead on redesigning the home for Karen and her grandson, Liam. Through Jen’s room concept and Rebuilding Together Long Island’s repairs, the home has reduced fall risks and ensures a safe and healthy environment for Liam to play, learn and grow. The materials for this project were provided by donors including national sponsors Lowe’s and Sherwin Williams.
Meredith Corporation, parent company of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, has partnered with Rebuilding Together for over 15 years to help us make homes safer and healthier for people in need. Take a look at the story reflecting this long-standing partnership in the October issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine on newsstands now.