Rebuilding Together Montgomery County extends its congratulations to longtime partner Trunnell Electric for being honored by the Washington Business Journal with a 2016 Family Owned Business Award. On behalf of Trunnell Electric, WBJ event sponsors Cardinal Bank will be making a $500 grant to the Trunnell’s charity of choice: Rebuilding Together Montgomery County.
“We are ecstatic about Trunnell’s award and grateful for both Trunnell and Cardinal Bank for their investment in Rebuilding Together Montgomery County,” says executive director Christina Betancourt Johnson. “Trunnell’s long-standing engagement with RTMC is only one facet of their multi-dimensional commitment to our community and we’re proud to call them partners.”
Trunnell Electric is a family owned business that has been around for eighty years, opened in 1936, under the direction of brothers, W. K. Trunnell and Leroy B. “Dutch” Trunnell. They made a name for themselves providing services to Montgomery County and Washington DC. The company is now owned and run by the 2nd and 3rd generations of the Trunnell family. In 1946 they opened a showroom on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, becoming a part of the community. Over the years the company grew as Montgomery County expanded and through the mid-1960’s became responsible for the electrical wiring of over 65% the new homes built in Chevy Chase, Bethesda and the Upper Northwest in the District. During that time Trunnell Electric also added commercial clients to their extensive list of customers served, eventually this lead to a move to Rockville. Trunnell Electric has been a mainstay in the community ever since and the family looks forward to providing excellent service for many years to come.
Gaithersburg, MD (March 3, 2016) –– On March 24, 2016, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) will celebrate 25 years of Restoring the Feeling of Home for families and individual homeowners in need in the county.
For the 25 years Rebuilding Together has served Montgomery County, it has operated as a community revitalization partner. It has provided hope and help to our most vulnerable neighbors, who, although they have achieved the goal of home ownership, can no longer afford to keep their homes safe, secure, and accessible. Among the more than 2000 families and individuals served in 25 years are senior who wish to age in place, veterans with financial and physical challenges, the disabled, and families with children.
Robert King, president of the board of RTMC, points with pride to “The thousands of volunteers from corporations, faith-based organizations, small businesses, and the trades who have shared their time and resources to preserve existing housing stock and contribute to affordable housing in the county. This is a clear example of neighbors helping neighbors. Working together, we’ll bend the curve on affordable housing issues affecting our residents across Montgomery County.”
The RTMC 25th Anniversary Breakfast will be held on Thursday, March 24, 2016, at the Universities of Shady Grove in Rockville, Maryland from 8:00am – 10:00am. Speakers include County Executive Ike Leggett, former Representative Connie Morella, County Council President Nancy Floreen, and Kenneth Holt, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Kimberly Sorenson, a recent homeowner with whom RTMC worked, will share her story. And, the awards ceremony will honor two visionary leaders, co-founders Jay Treadwell and the late Gordon Hawk. RTMC also will honor partners including Choice Hotels, Adventist Healthcare, TW Perry, Novavax, and a variety of faith-based institutions and extraordinary individuals who are changing the homes and hopes of county residents, one home at a time .
Press is welcome to attend. For more information, contact Debbie Auerbach-Deutsch at 301-996-2060 or at email@example.com.
For more information on the projects and services of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, Maryland, visit us at www.rebuildingtogethermc>org or at www.facebook.com/rtMoCo.
Connie and County Council President Nancy Floreen are both presenting awards. Total Wine and More founder David Trone will introduce his employee, Kimberly Sorenson. I think both of these things are worth mentioning.
We’ve heard that County Council has received the FY17 Recommended Capital Budget and the FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) recommendations from the County Executive, which you can find at https://reports.data.montgomerycountymd.gov/cip.
The Council is scheduled to hold CIP hearings on Feb. 9 and Feb. 11, and Council Committees will begin their work on the CIP in February. Check the Council’s agenda for updates and staff reports on CIP issues.
Now we know that not everyone (and maybe hardly anyone) is a real budget wonk, but Rebuilding Together receives considerable support from the County, and we’ll be asking them for additional support for our newly reconceived Handyman Program. For that reason, it might be a good time to call your favorite Council member and let them know just how important our program is for both residents in the county and our communities at large.
Here are some things you might mention:
1) Tell a personal story about how Rebuilding Together has helped you or someone you know. Feel free to check out our website for quick facts and our most recent annual report.
2) Tell them about a project that you’ve worked on.
3) Tell them about how your employer or community group has contributed to RTMC’s work.
4) Remind them that RTMC’s work ensures that vulnerable county residents – low income seniors, people with disabilities, special needs, and veterans –
receive critical help so that they can remain living in safe and healthy homes.
5) That when these individuals and families can remain in their own homes, it guarantees their housing costs are affordable, ensures that their housing is safer for them to live in, and keeps them independent.
6) Our work stabilizes communities and helps them to thrive.
Please contact your councilmembers today!
Roger Berliner, District 1 240-777-7828
Marc Elrich, At Large 240-777-7966
Nancy Floreen, Councilmember at Large 240-777-7959
Tom Hucker District 5 240-777-7960
Sidney Katz District 3 240-777-7906
George Leventhal, Councilmember At Large 240-777-7811
Nancy Navarro, District 4 240-777-7968
Craig Rice, District 2 240-777-7955
Hans Riemer, Councilmember At Large 240-777-7964
December was the new September–it seemed like it, at least. Now that January is starting to get a little serious, it’s probably a good idea to make sure the house is ready for the wind and snow.
Plumbing: Did you drain water from the outdoor faucets and from any pipes that might be exposed to the cold? If you’ve ever had pipe burst, you know about this…
Gutters: Take one last look and make sure you’ve gotten all the leaves out. Remember these two words: Ice dams.
Heating system: Did you clean and replace the filters, vacuum the vents, and make sure the ducts were properly sealed? It takes more than just switching from AC to Heat. It’s best to have a service contract–they’ll inspect and change everything over, and if there’s a problem, they can fix it.
Doors and Windows: Don’t forget to remove the screens and install the storm windows and doors! If the weather stripping is loose or worn, replace it (install it if you haven’t got it already). Make sure the gaps around windows, doors, pipes and vents are caulked, and check to make sure the seals are still sound. And check for broken and cracked glass.
Essential Items: Get the de-icer. Make sure you’ve got a good snow shovel…and a scraper and brush for the car windows (and it wouldn’t hurt to have one of those little shovels tucked away in the trunk).
If and when the next snow days come, don’t go crazy shoveling. People rarely freeze, but health safety is a concern. Pace yourself and be safe on the ice!
[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Few people realize that homes can be one of the most dangerous places for U.S. families. But with the right information and repairs, homes can be safe and healthy for homeowners and their families to enjoy. And that’s just what Sharon Boyd found out when she reached out to Rebuilding Together Montgomery County this winter!
A mutual friend suggested to Sharon that she call us. She’s owned a home in Montgomery County for quite a few years. Like a lot of us, the natural wear and tear was starting to catch up with her. She didn’t have the kind of money that home repairs cost these days.
The thing is, she’d had to take early retirement from her job as an American Sign Language interpreter because she gradually lost her eyesight.
Did we mention that her son, lives with her? He’s disabled as well–he has some cognitive impairments, and has had to give up driving. They’re pretty resourceful, though, and between the two of them, they manage to cover all the bases. He takes care of the cooking because she’s no longer comfortable around a hot stove. She helps manage the household chores. And together, they’re able to do to their shopping by using the bus or occasionally MetroAccess.
Despite their combined efforts to manage the household, it was getting to be a bit difficult to get around in the house.
When Sharon reached out to us, Tom Kollecas took the call. If you know Tom, you know that he’s been our project manager for five years, with fifteen years general contracting experience before that. If anyone knows how to scope a project and find immediate solutions for our homeowners, it’s Tom!
Tom stopped by the house and Sharon took him on the tour, pointing out the areas of need throughout.
First stop was the kitchen. Here’s the initial list he made:
- Repair and reinstall base cabinet drawer front
- Repair/secure side splash on countertop
- Install new range hood
- Repair kitchen chair
- Repair dining room chair
- Modify dryer exhaust duct and reposition stack unit closer to back wall
- Secure wall cabinets to ceiling
- Reinstall laundry closet door
Next, Sharon led him through the front entry way and into the powder room. The storm door needed to be removed, the door frame needed repair, there had to be weather stripping installed, and the toilet had to be replaced. Lastly, the foyer ceiling needed paint.
When he headed upstairs, Sharon showed him where she wanted handrails and a safety gate. The railing at the landing needed to be secured. The stair treads were squeaky and so was the subfloor in the master bedroom. The balcony needed a new sliding door, the deck needed a lot of work, including new plywood, railings, and, of course, more paint.
Tom quickly realized that there was quite a lot of work to be done.
After completing his scope of work, Tom worked to identify an appropriate volunteer team for the project. Before long, it was easy to see that based on skill, volunteer team size and overall project scope, Sharon’s house was a perfect match for the volunteer team from Wells Fargo Bank who has engaged with RTMC as a part of the nationwide Healthy Housing Challenge.
The Healthy Housing Challenge takes its inspiration from a recent federal government report – Healthy Homes Strategy for Action – that estimated more than 30 million homes have potential health threats that contribute to asthma and other respiratory diseases, carbon-monoxide poisoning, lung cancer, falls and burns. The Wells Fargo Healthy Housing Challenge seeks to awaken homeowners, health care providers, and policymakers to the many low-cost ways to make homes healthier.
“This funding and volunteers from Wells Fargo will help us reach 1,500 families with life-saving upgrades to their homes,” said Rebecca Morley, National Center for Healthy Housing’s executive director. “Millions of families across the country have both obvious and hidden hazards in their homes and homeowners often are unaware these problems can be solved through relatively simple fixes. This initiative will help us make repairs and raise awareness about the important connection between our homes and our health.”
With approximately 15 volunteers, 4 skilled supervisors, and a significant investment from Wells Fargo, the once dilapidated townhome was repaired and restored to a healthier and safer living environment for Sharon and her son.
“Thanks to the generous and hardworking team from Wells Fargo, we’re reminded that people do care about us and that a company’s size doesn’t prohibit them from getting involved with individuals and communities in need,” says Ms. Boyd. Ms. Boyd went on to say “that’s what this is about…giving and sharing and being part of a community! Thank you Wells Fargo for your generosity and support.”[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type=”normal” position=”center” icon_pack=”font_awesome”][vc_video link=”http://youtu.be/ftzmvYTb0zw”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row row_type=”row” type=”grid” icon_pack=”font_awesome” text_align=”left” background_color=”#ffffff”][vc_column][vc_column_text]The people at the Donaldson Group (TDG) in Rockville spend their workweek managing properties. (They currently manage over 25,000 housing units) They also identify distressed properties for major rehabilitation and re-positioning, advise clients on real estate acquisitions, and execute construction and renovation work. . They’re pretty good at it, community leaders, in fact.
Now when you’re in the business of managing and rehabilitating housing units, most of us would save our days off for movies, shopping, or a trip to the ballpark. Maybe we’d have friends over and, weather permitting, grill steaks, or tofu. Or maybe we’d just kick back with a Cappuccino or a Mojito. Not the folks at TDG, though. They’re really committed to keeping our community livable and attractive, and they don’t mind getting their hands dirty and doing a bit of heavy lifting.
On October 22nd and 27th, they left the comforts of home behind, abandoned shopping plans, tossed the Entertainment Guide under the coffee table, and got their hands dirty rebuilding a home in Silver Spring.
And it wasn’t just any home. This particular home was owned by the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes. And if you don’t know them, they are a nonprofit that’s “dedicated to enhancing the independence, dignity, choice, and community inclusion of individuals with disabilities, regardless of faith or creed.” That’s a fancy way of saying that they spend their time providing affordable, independent living space for people who need a little help keeping up with the rest of us. And JFGH supports more than 200 individuals in over 70 sites throughout the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, so they are community leaders, too.
You may know, or have figured out, that homes that provide support to individuals with disabilities need to be staffed around the clock to provide residents with help taking care of personal needs, household chores, food shopping and preparation, transportation, recreational activities, and health and medical monitoring. This particular home has been around for a while, and had gotten a bit rough around the edges. The Donaldson Group wanted to make it healthier and safer for the four current residents.
Bright and (kind of) early Thursday morning, TDG volunteers literally tore into their work, meaning that they began by ripping out wallpaper in the common areas and hallways to prepare for fresh coats of paint. Then they replaced vent covers and cleaned the walls in the kitchen. (And you never realize just how dirty those kitchen walls are until you start cleaning them!)
After that, the volunteers got out the step-ladders and replaced several ceiling lights and light fixtures in the living room. Next, the front railings were sanded, refinished and painted, and the front and back entryways got a thorough cleaning. And it wasn’t just to make it look nicer—clean entry ways, equipped with the proper railings, are critical to accessibility, and they make it safer for the residents.
When they came back on Tuesday, the majority of the day was dedicated to pulling up old and damaged carpeting and building a new stronger set of stairs for the side entrance to the house. You may know that carpets tends to be fastened into place with staples. This carpeting was no exception, and it ran throughout the entire house. It took most of the day to pry it up.
Sometimes, if you can get a hold on an edge of carpet, you can give a good pull and a big piece comes up, staples and all. Other times, it comes up in bits and pieces, and you have to pull the staples out one at a time. And there is padding underneath, and it is full of years’ worth of dirt and shampoo. If you thought the kitchen was dirty… After the dirty work was done, and the new paint was dry, the fun began, installing new window treatments, new lighting fixtures for the kitchen, new stairs, and preparation for new floor coverings.
After two days of very hard work, the volunteers remarked on how different the house looked at the end of Tuesday from the way it had looked at the beginning of Thursday.
The TDG folks love rebuilding, and throughout both days spirits were high. Many volunteers remarked on how much they enjoyed themselves. One volunteer commented on how easy it was to give back to the community in such a tangible way. The residents of the home won’t forget the good Donaldson people for a long time. Their work made the house more livable, more accessible, and a nicer place to be. And it looks great!R
Rebuilding Together thanks the Donaldson Group for their hard work. They believe, as we do, that good housing makes a good community.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”22159,22160,22161,22162,22163,22164″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” column_number=”2″ type=”qode_gallery” grayscale=”no” title=”The Donaldson Group Fall 2015 Project”][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Gaithersburg, MD (October 2015) –The 23rd annual RTMC Golf Classic kicked off with abundant sunlight, stunning greens, and enthusiastic golfers. Participants were again welcomed by the Redskinettes to the beautiful Whiskey Creek clubhouse to register, collect a gift bag, and mingle with other local professionals. Despite a dramatic weekend, courtesy of Hurricane Joaquin, the sun came out in force to make for a wonderfully crisp autumn day of golf.
Golfers tried their hands at sinking a hole-in-one for a Ford pickup truck, played alongside Re/Max long-driving champion and former Pittsburgh Pirate Bob Bradley, and competed for course glory with best putt, straightest drive, and closest to the pin contests. Lunch, provided by Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge, fueled the players with an exquisite buffet, and a delicious dinner menu provided by Whiskey Creek’s excellent chefs helped closeout the event.
For 17 years the Annual Golf Classic has helped raise critical funds to ensure that RTMC, a nonprofit housing organization, can continue to serve Montgomery County’s most vulnerable residents. This year the tournament generated more than $49,000 to help us help those most in need!
Congratulations to our top three teams!
1st – Jones Lang LaSalle (Chris Coccaro, Danny Sheridan, David Anderson, & Art Lafionatis) 2nd – McGladrey LLP (Bob Billig, Kevin McGovern, Joe Salisbury, & George Magas) 3rd – ARC Document Solutions (Dennis Dillon, Jeff Phifen, Mike Price, & Kevin Price)
RTMC would like to thank all of our sponsors who helped make this year’s tournament a great success:
Lerch, Early & Brewer
Main Street Homes
Petitt Family Charitable Foundation
Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge
Hole In One Sponsor
Hole And Tee Sponsors
Mister, Burton, & French
Meridian Construction Co.
The Grille At Flower Hill
Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen And Bath
Drink More Water, Inc
The George L. Shields Family Foundation
Whiskey Creek Golf Course
Charity Golf International
Whitetail Ski Resort
Stone Manor Inn
RTMC Volunteers and Staff
Ms. Harper, a single mother with three adult children, had lived alone in her home for several years. As a result of several unexpected events, Ms. Harper’s home went from a household of one to a household of 6-10 family members at various times throughout the last several years. Despite her steady job, she has struggled financially to maintain a healthy and safe home for her family.
Normal wear and tear and the inability to invest in adequate home repairs caused her house to deteriorate quickly.
In addition to several HVAC problems and critical plumbing issues, the home had loose faulty handrails, unsafe doors and latches, and cracked walls. New paint also was badly needed for the and heavily soiled walls and ceilings.
With very few places to turn, Ms. Harper reached out and to RTMC was able to answer her call for help. Help came from a few great student volunteers and their dads, along with a sizeable donation of in-kind labor (skilled and unskilled) and materials from CM Conlan Contractors & Builders, RTMC was able to answer her call!
Bringing with them an energetic team of skilled workers and committed father-and-daughter volunteers, Caroline Conlon and her father, Chris, helped to make critical repairs and upgrades for this deserving mother in Germantown, Maryland. (Caroline Conlon is a junior at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. Chris Conlan, Caroline’s dad, is President and CEO of CM Conlan Contractors & Builders.)
Below is a short excerpt from a story written by two of the Stone Ridge volunteers, Lexi Catalano and Caroline Conlan, documenting their experience as RTMC volunteers.
“Volunteering for Rebuilding Together Montgomery County was such a rewarding experience and it will last in all of our hearts forever. With the help of the student volunteers and our fathers, we were able to spend a full day, laughing, working and learning the importance of service…
Our volunteer day mainly consisted of repainting stained walls, removing carpeting, landscaping, and painting baseboards and doors, all of which were memorable events that incorporated the work of the whole volunteer team.
We arrived at the build site early in the morning, a team of thirteen girls and seven dads, all ready and willing to help out. Although many of us had little prior experience in home renovation, we quickly organized into teams, received our instructions, picked up our paintbrushes and rollers, and began to work. The project seemed daunting at first… However, with the determination of our volunteers, the cooperation of everyone involved, and even help from the house’s residents, we discovered that a small number of people really can make a big difference…
Often times, at the end of a build, the resident of the home will express his or her gratitude by saying “thank you” to the volunteers, but it is the volunteers who should be thanking the residents. They provide us with a unique opportunity to come together and serve the homes and the hearts of others… In the midst of our hectic lives, we often take for granted our greatest blessings, such as the place in which we live…
When we take time to give back to those in need, we give of ourselves to others, creating lasting memories that help us grow as individuals and as a community. In the end, as we packed our tools and looked over our work one last time, the most gratifying aspect of the entire build was knowing that our efforts changed a family’s life by transforming a house into a home.”
Below is a note from Ms. Harper to RTMC and the volunteers who worked on her home.
“I am grateful and thankful for the Rebuilding Together program.
When my children fell on difficult times , they had to return home as a result. They did not return home alone, but rather with their children. My household went from one to 6-10 people at any given time throughout the year. The past three to four years have been very challenging and overwhelming for us all and it’s been hard to keep things together in my home.
Because of your (RTMC’s) program, I am able to re-establish my home with a new-found sense of pride and ownership. CM Conlan Contractors & Builders and the girls from Stone Ridge did an amazing renovation job! They were all very kind, caring and thoughtful individuals.
Mr. Conlan and his daughter Caroline, and the entire crew, did some very special things in my home, including but not limited to replacing broken and outdated hardware in my kitchen and baths, replacing light fixtures, updating faulty showerheads, mounting multi-hook racks in the bathroom to accommodate my homes new residents, and installing new smoke detectors to protect my family from dangerous fires. They also replaced my entire back patio area for safer play and did beautiful landscaping work which makes me happy to come home!
I just want to say that the entire team of skilled professionals and volunteers were amazing and I thank you very much for allowing my family to be blessed in such an amazing way!”
While all volunteering provides a great and valuable experience for all, family volunteering provides very specific benefits, including:
• Teaching teens the importance of caring for others,
• Giving adults the opportunity to be positive role models,
• Providing your family with new skills,
• Introducing your family to new people in the community,
• Building a stronger family unit by developing shared memories, and
• Addressing the needs of our community’s less fortunate in a safe, friendly, and collaborative work environment.
If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with us, please contact Emma Byrnes at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying for RTMC’s home repair services, please complete our Homeowner Application or contact Emma Byrnes at email@example.com for more information.
[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]For anyone who has never volunteered on a build project, the Stone Ridge Rebuilding Together Club would highly recommend it. The condominium renovation project that our team of twelve girls and three dads took on this past April was not our first experience in volunteer home renovation; we began working with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County this past fall, remodeling a town house for a single mother in Germantown. Having thoroughly enjoyed the experience, our group was ready to take on another challenge and help transform another family’s house into a home.
As we walked up to the front door of the complex, we were not sure what to expect. The living space was smaller than that of our last project, but from the pictures we had received from the inspection, the repairs were going to be far more extensive. The condo needed its walls and ceilings to be scrubbed and repainted, a new kitchen table, and newly upholstered kitchen chairs, as well as its doors, carpet, tile flooring, and appliances replaced.
We wasted no time in carrying our supplies to the second floor. However, once we had gathered inside the condo, we suddenly realized that the key difference between this build and the last was the fact that for the most part, all the responsibility was on us Stone Ridge girls, none of us older than seventeen. Our leaders had spent months planning the project with the helpful staff at Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, and our group had met regularly to discuss the details of the build and even practice our painting technique. But on the day of the build, we had fewer than half the adults helping us as we did last time and no project manager to meet us upon our arrival; for the first time, we began to feel the weight of the task at hand.
Our leaders quickly arranged a team meeting. We reminded our group that even though the workload was large, we had done this before, and we could do it again. We organized the girls into teams of three, which were then subdivided based on task, and assigned each team to a wing of the condo. We prepared our paint and semi-gloss and distributed brushes, rollers, and cleaning supplies. Last of all, we turned up our radio loud enough for all of us to hear. And then we got to work.
By 2:00 in the afternoon, no one would have recognized the condo as the same one we had walked into that morning. The clean countertops and tile flooring sparkled as nicely as the brand new kitchen appliances. The new light fixtures proudly illuminated the freshly painted walls and ceilings. The dining room table and upholstered chairs were ready to welcome the family for their first meal in their remodeled home. As our hard working team stepped back to admire our work, we were amazed to find that we had even managed to finish two hours early.
In the words of Catherine Cook, a group member of the class of 2017, “The builds are incredibly rewarding experiences. They really embody service and community together, and the club as a whole was amazing.” The students in the Stone Ridge Rebuilding Together Club have learned that donating a few hours of their time can make a radical difference in the life of someone in need. By getting to know the families we are working with and contributing to the process of repairing a home from start to finish, volunteers are able to see the effect they are making in their community on a personal and profound level, which is exactly what makes our service with Rebuilding Together so unique.
Through our experiences with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, the girls at Stone Ridge have become more aware of housing needs and how we can lend a hand, even at a young age. In an area such as Washington, D.C., we sometimes forget how much those who are marginalized need our support. However, our work with Rebuilding Together has helped us gain perspective on the issues surrounding D.C. housing, inspiring us to work together and make a true change. We have become empowered to work for equality by fighting poverty and homelessness, and we will continue to spread what we have learned during our builds throughout the rest of our lives.
Written by Caroline Conlan, Lexi Catalano, and Kathryn Paravano[/vc_column_text][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”22038,22037,22036,22035,22034″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” column_number=”2″ type=”qode_gallery” grayscale=”no” title=”2015 Stone Ridge Rebuilding Together Club”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Dear Rebuilding Together Montgomery County,
On behalf of my children and my wife, I would like to thank you for making it possible to have an air conditioner and heating unit installed at my home on September 14, 2015. Prior to the installation, we lived without air conditioning or heat for two years. The extreme heat of those summers and bitter cold of those winters created lasting, unforgettable memories for my family.
During those sweltering hot nights, we had to keep the door open to let the cool air in. Although the house became cooler, mosquitoes found solace there as well. We were bitten and attacked throughout the summer. On many hot nights, my children gathered together in one room around one fan. They naturally found comfort within themselves and did not complain. I remember the nights as the temperature was cooling down my wife and I would quietly tell each other, “Let’s have the children sleep in their rooms tonight.”
The freezing winter nights were just as memorable. There were numerous nights I witnessed my children gather close to a portable heater to keep warm. Although uncomfortable, they still managed to do their homework. For this I am very proud of my children. I am thankful for their good nature.
Most importantly, I am thankful to Rebuilding Together Montgomery County for allowing me and my family the opportunity to get our lives back on track. I feel as though now we have a chance to have a normal and basic standard of living. The help from Rebuilding Together has been very important to me because it has brought comfort to my home. I now have more confidence in providing love for my children and know that each day is happier and more joyful for them.
I am from Vietnam and I grew up during the Vietnam War. I journeyed to America long ago. I did not know what to expect; however, along the way I have gathered knowledge and experience. Now I can say I have learned enough to understand the meaning of life, to appreciate the value of goodness, and to know where and why it comes. I am very thankful for the blessings that my children have experienced within this country. I want them to be certain of themselves and proud to be Americans. I consistently encourage them to learn as much as they can, to appreciate the beauty of nature, and to acknowledge the goodness in life. I want them to especially recognize good people.
Thank you Rebuilding Together for bringing hope to our family and simply being good people.