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.
June 2017 (Gaithersburg)-One of the things that we love about Citrin Cooperman, a national accounting and tax services firm, is that they always take the “team effort approach”. And on June 5th, their team effort was obvious as they worked in dreary weather to repair and beautify the home of Ms. Wade.
“I can’t thank Rebuilding Together and these volunteers enough. I’ve managed to live with multiple disabilities and in all my years I’ve never had anyone do so much for me. It really is a blessing and I am grateful that you’ve been able to fix up my ‘forever home’,” said Ms. Wade.
Because of Citrin’s investments of money and employees’ time, we were able to make significant improvements to the home of Ms. Wade – installing new perimeter fencing,* resurfacing the wrap-around deck, installing the new dishwasher, re-wiring of the well pump to restore pluming and water to the home, updating landscaping and installing new light fixtures for safe entry into and out of the home. Thanks to the firms commitment to the community, Ms. Wade now will be able to reside in a safer, healthier, and happier home for years to come.
*A special thanks also goes to Commercial Restorations of Germantown who donated in-kind power washing services to prep Ms. Wade’s deck for refinishing.
July 2017 (Gaithersburg, MD)- Thanks to the generous financial support and volunteer service of a group of Wells Fargo employees, RTMC clients, Ed and Diane, have a safer and healthier home they can depend on for years to come.
When Ed and Diane first came to Rebuilding Together, they had experienced significant water damage in their home, caused by both a roof leak and a lingering plumbing leak on their main level. These leaks presented not only an eyesore in cracked ceilings and water stains, but they also caused health hazards with mold having grown behind their drywall and across their basement carpeting.
The Wells Fargo funding enabled us to hire subcontractors to address the roof leaks and chimney repair. They also cleared their plumbing drain lines and replaced their electrical panel, GFCI’s in the kitchen and bathroom, and drywall replacement throughout the basement.
Committed Wells Fargo volunteers, representing their Maryland business units, completed the painting work throughout the first level and basement, cleared their overgrown patio area, removed carpet throughout the basement, and re-painted their entire fence.
Homeowners Ed and Diane were engaged throughout the project, assisting where they could, getting to know the volunteers and humbly thanking everyone at every turn.
It was a beautiful day of service and we cannot thank Wells Fargo enough for supporting RTMC and those we serve.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill.
WHO/WHAT: For National Rebuilding Month, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) will be participating in 18 home rehabilitation projects across the county thanks to the help of 27 generous volunteer groups and more than 700 volunteers.
WHEN: Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, 2017 (Media invited from 9 am to 2 pm)
WHERE: Rebuild projects are taking place across the county.
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County focuses on providing home repair services to low-income homeowners throughout the county in an effort to preserve the affordable housing stock. The repairs that we provide are designed to make homes safer and healthier for homeowners allowing them to remain in their homes and reducing the risk of homeowner displacement. At RTMC, we know that displacement destabilizes entire communities and it is far more cost effective to simply preserve the current supply of affordable housing.
That’s where we come in. Our largest volunteer event of the year, National Rebuilding Day, deploys groups of volunteers to homes throughout the county to provide revitalization services that allow our most vulnerable neighbors including senior citizens, veterans, children and families, and individuals with disabilities to remain in homes they can depend on for years to come. This year, we are participating in 18 home rehabilitation projects across the county and engaging 27 volunteer groups from all walks of life. We hope you will join us for this life-changing event.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church ∙ GCAAR ∙ Donohoe ∙ St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church ∙ Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church ∙ St. Mark Presbyterian Church ∙ Bethesda United Church of Christ ∙ Holy Cross Catholic Church ∙ Faith United Methodist Church ∙ Ecobeco ∙ DeVere Insulation ∙ Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing ∙ United Rentals ∙ Grace United Methodist Church ∙ Sandy Spring Bank ∙ D.G. Liu Contractor ∙ Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church ∙ Ashton United Methodist Church ∙ RBC Wealth Management ∙ Temple Beth Ami ∙ Shaare Torah ∙ Christ Church Parish Kensington ∙ Revere Bank ∙ NCCoE ∙ B’nai Israel ∙ Helping Hands Poolesville ∙ Neelsville Presbyterian Church
(Gaithersburg, MD – April 24, 2017) – Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC), in partnership with The Friedson Group of Long & Foster Real Estate, is launching the Safe Homes, Happy Residents Program aimed at reducing the risk of home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning amongst Montgomery County’s low-income residents. Through this partnership, The Friedson Group will donate a portion of its commission (for each transaction in which it acts as an agent) to RTMC to be used to purchase smoke detectors, CO detectors, and fire extinguishers for installation in the homes of RTMC’s clients.
To kick-off the launch of this program, volunteers from The Friedson Group, together with a crew from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, will install smoke/CO detectors and fire extinguishers in the home of one of RTMC’s clients during National Rebuilding Day.
WHAT: Safe Homes, Happy Residents Volunteer Event & New Program Launch
WHEN: Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 10:30 AM –11:30 AM
WHERE: 8103 Fallow Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
INVITED GUESTS: Chief Scott Goldstein, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue and Councilmember Sydney Katz, Montgomery County Council
The Friedson Group’s partnership with RTMC is rooted in their organizational commitment to community and the safety and health of those living throughout Montgomery County.
(Gaithersburg, MD–May 2016) Life-sized playhouses that incorporate ecologically sound, sustainable, and accessible design elements will be on display on The Plaza at The Shops at Wisconsin Place in Chevy Chase, MD from May 28 to June 24, 2016. The playhouses will be displayed throughout The Plaza and can be seen from the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and Western Avenue N.W.
The Playhouse Project is a fun and unique fundraiser. It involves the displaying of and auctioning of seven elaborate children’s playhouses. All funds from the auction and from associated fundraising will go to Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, a nonprofit organization that provides free critical repairs, energy efficiency upgrades, and accessibility modifications for low-income homeowners in Montgomery County.
All seven of the playhouses for sale were visualized and built by local builders and craftspeople that donate their time throughout the year on rebuilding and renovation projects (through RTMC). Each playhouse has been skillfully constructed to withstand the elements and rigors of children at play while at the same time, maintain the sense of wonder that is implicit in public art installations. This year’s playhouses and builders include:
Sandy Springs Station, built by Sandy Springs Builders
Mother Earth’s Cabin, built by Sustainable Design Group
Hobbit House, built by Harkins Builders
MiNi-Shed, built by Pepco Holdings, Maryland Custom Builders, Inc., and Grid Architects
Accessible Sandcastle, built by Pro Home Contractor, Levine Design Studio, Fann, and Accessible Home Associates
Wendy’s Shoreline House, built by DG Liu Contractor Inc.
Mountain Chalet, built by CM Conlan Contractors & Builders, Inc.
Rebuilding Hope: The RTMC Playhouse Project will culminate in a ticketed cocktail reception and live auction from 7:00-9:00 PM on Saturday, June 18, 2016 on The Plaza at The Shops at Wisconsin Place. A limited number of tickets have been for sale since the beginning of April 2016. Attendees of this event must be over the age of 21. Advanced purchases of the elaborate playhouses will be available through the website listed above beginning on May 30. In addition, proxy bidding will be accepted on the evening of the live auction. Call 301-947-9400 x101 for more information on how to arrange for a proxy bidder.
ABOUT REBUILDING TOGETHER MONTGOMERY COUNTY
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that provides free critical home repairs, accessibility modifications, and energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners and community centers. Our impact extends beyond the individuals we serve by revitalizing and stabilizing vulnerable neighborhoods and communities throughout the county. Since its founding, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County has provided more than 2,000 families with $18.4 million in home repair services, mobilizing more than 47,000 volunteers to help our neighbors in need. For more information, visit www.rebuilding-hope.org or contact Aaron Gonzales by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone, 301-947-9400 x101.
Gaithersburg, MD (May 19, 2016) – Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC), a nonprofit housing organization based in Gaithersburg, announced today that it has entered into a new partnership with Whole Foods Market. The two organizations will work together to provide support to low-income residents in need of home repair assistance and promote childhood education on sustainability and healthy eating practices. To kick off the partnership, Whole Foods will sponsor a 5% day on Wednesday, May 25th to support Rebuilding Hope: The RTMC Playhouse Project. Whole Foods will donate 5% of all sales at all five Montgomery County locations to RTMC to purchase sustainable playhouses being built by Pepco Holdings and Sustainable Design Group.
“This project was especially appealing to us because it so closely aligns with our core values around supporting local communities,” said Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic Regional President Scott Allshouse. “We like to say that our stores are like snowflakes – no two are exactly alike. These one-of-a-kind play spaces reflect that same concept. Each child in Montgomery County deserves to have a place to play that ignites their imaginations for what is possible.”
Rebuilding Together is a nationwide home rehabilitation organization serving the most vulnerable low-income members of our population – the elderly, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and families with young children. RTMC is a member affiliate of this network and provides services to Montgomery County residents. Every two years, RTMC hosts Rebuilding Hope: The RTMC Playhouse Project, a fun and unique fundraiser that engages local teams of builders, architects, remodelers, and designers to design, build, and donate unique playhouses that are then auctioned to support RTMC. One of the playhouses being purchased by Whole Foods Market will be donated to CentroNia, a local education nonprofit, to support their early childhood programs in Takoma Park. The other will be donated to Wheaton Woods Elementary and incorporated into the school’s STEM program after its grand re-opening in the fall of 2017.
“We are thrilled to be launching a long-term partnership with Whole Foods Market, a company whose civic-minded corporate citizenship benefits millions each year,” said Christina B. Johnson, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County. “Their focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship is a natural fit for our organization given our focus on reducing our clients’ energy costs and carbon footprint, and our mission to preserve affordable and sustainable housing throughout Montgomery County.”
The playhouses will be on display on the plaza at The Shops at Wisconsin Place beginning Saturday, May 28. The event will culminate with a reception and auction on Saturday, June 18 beginning at 7 PM.
About Rebuilding Together Montgomery County
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that provides free critical home repairs, accessibility modifications, and energy efficiency upgrades to low-income homeowners and community centers. Our impact extends beyond the individuals we serve by revitalizing and stabilizing vulnerable neighborhoods and communities throughout the county. Since its founding, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County has provided more than 2,000 families with $18.4 million in home repair services, mobilizing more than 47,000 volunteers to help our neighbors in need. To learn more, visit us at www.rebuildingtogethermc.org.
RTMC client and keynote speaker Ms. Kimberly Sorenson addresses the audience
On March 24th, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County celebrated more than two decades of investing in families, homes, and communities across Montgomery County with nearly 300 guests at RTMC’s 25th Anniversary Breakfast.
Sandra Hernandez, National COO of Rebuilding Together, and Dr. Robert King, RTMC board chairman, took to the podium as emcees at the event and guided us though an unforgettable collection of home repair, volunteer engagement and homeowner success stories. The guided tour down memory lane helped us all to see just how important the last 25 years of RTMC’s work have been to the county, to the community, and to the volunteers and sponsors who have made it all happen.
While attendees enjoyed a french toast breakfast, fresh fruit and sausage, several special guest spoke to RTMC’s strong merits and strategic partnerships. County Council President Nancy Floreen and Councilmembers Sidney Katz, Craig Rice, and Roger Berliner presented RTMC executive director Christina Betancourt Johnson with a proclamation that outlined RTMC’s significance and contributions to the County. “the work that Rebuilding Together does is critical. Your efforts help people maintain a safe, healthy and affordable place to live,” said Floreen.
Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development Kenneth Hope spoke to the great need across the county and the dire situations that vulnerable families face in their homes.
David Trone, CEO of Bethesda-based Total Wine & More, followed up with the importance of RTMC’s collaborative approach to engaging businesses, churches and nonprofits across the County. He then introduced the keynote speaker Kimberly Sorenson, an RTMC homeowner/client. When Sorenson took the stage and told her story, you could have heard a pin drop. She patiently recounted the challenges her family had to confront in dealing with her daughter’s battle with cancer and carefully told how RTMC made repairs to their home. According to Sorenson, “When I applied to RTMC for assistance…in addition to mold being a major factor, the heating and electrical systems were in various stages of disrepair. Smoke detectors were needed, as well as missing stair banisters and floor boards. RTMC came into my home and fixed it up – addressing more than 20 issues,” said Sorenson. “I am forever grateful for the assistance that Rebuilding Together provided and because of you, I am here today.”
There was special tribute to our much-loved co-founder Gordon Hawk by The Honorable Connie Morella, who shared a few memories and reminded us of poet Edwin Markham’s famous admonition that none goes his way alone. Morella presented the Visionary Award to his wife, Page Browning Hawk and announced the new Hawk Handyman Program which was named in Gordon’s honor.
Last but not least, awards were given to 14 faith-based organizations 4 business partners and 5 individuals whose commitment to RTMC’s mission and our communities have been outstanding. The complete list of awardees is here.
The event closed with co-founder Jay Treadwell speaking to Mother Teresa’s quote: “I alone cannot change the world but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”. He reminded us that creating ripples is what Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is all about. Each RTMC supporter is a stone thrower. When we volunteer we encourage others to volunteer. When we invest money to the organization we multiply our money with RTMC’s ability to leverage our investment. When we help a client, we rebuild our community…one home at a time.
Many thanks to all of the event sponsors, event attendees, volunteers, donors and partner organizations who make our work possible. Our 25th Anniversary Breakfast raised a total of $50,000 to support RTMC’s mission. Fourteen thousand of that total came from individual donations–$5000 from a matching grant, with an amazing $9000 that our friends and supporters left in the miniature tool boxes in the centerpiece of each of the tables.
Thank you to all for your commitment and here’s to the promise of another successful 25 years!
More than twenty home repair and renovation projects to be completed by more than six hundred volunteers across Montgomery County, Maryland
National Rebuilding Month is an annual month-long call to service during April, culminating with National Rebuilding Day, the last Saturday of the month. Nearly 20,000 volunteers across the nation are in service on over 700 affiliate-led rebuild projects during National Rebuilding Month.
National Rebuilding Day 2016 – For this monumental community service engagement, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) will join Rebuilding Together affiliates nationwide, bringing together more than 600 community volunteers, to provide critical home repairs and modifications for low-income homeowners – senior citizens, persons with disabilities, military veterans and families – across Montgomery County.
RTMC will manage logistics for 16 sites and engage volunteers on small and large-scale repair and renovation projects that include replacement of siding and roofing, installation of wheel chair access ramps, interior and exterior painting, remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms, safety improvements and landscaping and yard work.
WHO: 16 low-income families, 600+ volunteers with 18 volunteer groups, 6 RTMC board members and 7 elected officials on scattered sites.
Congressman John Delaney [6th District] (NCCoE/B’nai Tzedek)
(State) Senator Cheryl Kagan [17th District] (NCCoE/B’nai Tzedek)
(State) Delegate Andrew Platt [17th District] (NCCoE/B’nai Tzedek)
Council President Nancy Floreen (NCCoE/B’nai Tzedek)
(State) Delegate Charles Barkley [39th District] (St. Francis)
WHEN: Saturday & Sunday 9:00A – 4:00P
Sixteen project sites are scattered throughout the County. The press is welcomed to join RTMC staff and volunteers for action shots and interviews at the Toliver residence on Sunday, May 1 from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
The Toliver Residence
1092 West Side Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
The following elected officials will be visiting this location between 11:00 AM – 12 PM.
Congressman John Delaney (6th District)
(State) Senator Cheryl Kagan (17th District)
(State) Delegate Andrew Platt (17th District)
County Council President Nancy Floreen
VISUALS: Homeowner shots, before & after shots, volunteers in action
National Rebuilding Day, celebrated on the last Saturday in April, is the culmination of a year of planning, training, and mobilizing thousands of community volunteers. It is embraced by community leaders and corporate and community partners as a way of bringing immediate, large-scale impact to communities across America in a single day.
Below are a few statistics for this year’s NRD.
16 homes total
9 homes with elderly homeowners
6 homes with homeowners with disabilities
4 homes will be renovated on Sunday
12 homes will be renovated Saturday
RTMC will be renovating 3 houses on the same street (Hawling River Road, Gaithersburg, MD)
RTMC will be renovating 2 houses for The Jewish Foundation for Group Homes, in the same neighborhood.
500 + volunteers
More than 20 RTMC National Rebuilding Day project teams will engage with us.
Ashton United Methodist Church
Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
Christ Church of Kensington
G. Liu Contractor
Faith United Methodist
Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church
Gemini Title & Escrow
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
Grace United Methodist Church
National Cyber Security Center of Excellence
Neelsville Presbyterian Church
Sandy Spring Bank
Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
Mark Presbyterian Church
Temple Beth Ami
Temple View Capital
The Donohoe Companies, Inc.
About Rebuilding Together Montgomery County:
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) is a safe and healthy housing organization that works in partnership with local government, nonprofits, and corporate partners to provide safety repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficiency upgrades to the homes of low-income residents throughout Montgomery County.
The repairs and links to community resources offered by RTMC prevent homelessness, preserve affordable housing, and provide safe and independent living for our community’s most vulnerable residents. Additionally, our work revitalizes and stabilizes vulnerable neighborhoods and communities across the county.
Gaithersburg, MD [April 20, 2016] – Last Saturday, April 16th, students from Good Counsel High School joined RTMC’s AmeriCorps members Claire Durst and Lianna Harbeson in performing a facility renovation project on the Lead4Life nonprofit in Rockville. Lead4Life is an organization that works with youth currently in the juvenile justice system, to ensure they have a place to develop necessary skills and enable them to become positive and productive members of society.
The students all arrived bright and early and got to work painting the facility. Every single room got a brand new coat of white paint and one wall on the second floor got two coats of magnetic paint and chalk paint which will provide staff and students with two tools for improved communications and creative projects. Outside, students used bags of mulch, gardening tools, and various flowers to improve the front yard. To round-out the project, the staircase got a new coat of varnish and the front door was painted.
Overall, the students and their project leads provided an improved space in which students can learn and grow into mature and productive young adults.
This AmeriCorps project was created with express intention of giving local high school students the opportunity to become more engaged in community service, beyond the hours they are required to complete for graduation.
For some of the students, this was the first time they had ever done a service project of this magnitude and were thrilled with the opportunity to help their community in such a tangible way. As a bonus, students noted that the project provided them with an opportunity to learn new and useful home and facility improvement skills. At the end of the project, students followed up by asking about the next available opportunities to serve with RTMC.
“It’s great to see what kind of good we can do so quickly. More students should do stuff like this,” said Sarah Vellanikaren as she marveled at the completed kitchen.
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County AmeriCorps members Claire and Lianna hope that this project inspires all members of the Montgomery County community, but in particular young adults, to volunteer their talent and time on meaningful service projects in the community.