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AmeriCorps Members Engage Youth on Lead4Life Renovation Project

Lead4LifeGaithersburg, 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.

Rebuilding Together Montgomery County Celebrates 25 Years of Community Engagement & Revitalization

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 djaddc@gmail.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.

 

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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.

 

REBUILDING TOGETHER NAMES CAROLINE BLAKELY AS NEW PRESIDENT & CEO

Caroline Blakely(WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2016) The national board of directors of Rebuilding Together today announced that Caroline Blakely has joined the organization as President and CEO.  Blakely will be responsible for the overall management of Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit that transforms the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes and revitalizes communities.

With affiliates across the country, local Rebuilding Together affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects each year. In 2014, Rebuilding Together delivered nearly $73 million in home improvements to more than 17,000 people.

“After an extensive national search, the board of directors unanimously agreed that Caroline’s expertise and successful 30-year career in both business and law make her an ideal choice to lead Rebuilding Together,” said Sherry Chris, incoming Rebuilding Together chairman of the board. “Her strong leadership skills, wide-ranging corporate and real estate connections, and engaging enthusiasm will help our organization energize impact and reach to serve more people and communities,”

Blakely joins Rebuilding Together from Cassin & Cassin LLP where she was a partner in the Real Estate Finance Group. She also served as vice president in Fannie Mae’s multifamily business, defining its strategic direction for growing asset management and counter party responsibilities. Earlier, Blakely practiced real estate, banking, and corporate law in the Washington, D.C., area, including co-founding a woman-owned firm specializing in Resolution Trust Corporation matters.

“Rebuilding Together is a strong organization now poised to go beyond transforming lives one house at a time to revitalizing entire neighborhoods. It is a privilege to join the affiliates, staff, and corporate and community partners of Rebuilding Together to make this vision a reality,” Blakely said.

Active in business and community service organizations, Blakely was a member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Board of Governors. She was recently elected to the board of the public mortgage real estate investment trust ARES Commercial Real Estate (ACRE). She is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Responsible Property Investment Council, and the steering committee of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She volunteers on the boards of trustees for Global Communities and subsidiary, Vitas, which specialize in international development and microfinance.

Blakely received her Juris Doctor cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia.

About Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together is a leading national nonprofit in safe and healthy housing with more than 40 years of experience. Together, with our corporate and community partners, we transform the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the safety and health of their homes and revitalizing their communities. Rebuilding Together’s local affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects nationwide each year. Learn more and get involved at rebuildingtogether.org.
Contact:

Gail Fuller

gfuller@rebuildingtogether.org

 

 

 

Congressional Bank Helps Celebrate Veteran’s Day by Rehabbing the Home of a World War II Veteran

Washington Grove, MD (November 12, 2015) – Congressional Bank, a local community bank and banking leader, joined forces with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) for its 3rd annual Veteran’s Day volunteer engagement project. Working side-by-side with RTMC staff on this special day of service, Congressional Bank volunteers spent the day repairing and revitalizing the home of a World War II Navy veteran.

“For the third consecutive year, working with Rebuilding Together to provide home improvements for a local veteran was a very rewarding experience for the Bank. Our team thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was very meaningful to assist Mr. Roberts and show our appreciation for his service to our country,” said Jeff Lipson, Congressional Bank President & Chief Executive Officer.

congressional picture

Congressional Bank CEO Jeff Lipson and COO James Peterson work to reform Mr. Roberts’ front steps

Twenty Congressional Bank employees honored those who have served, and those who continue to serve, our country by making much needed repairs to the home of Mr. Roberts, a 93 year-old disabled WWII veteran. The work the volunteers performed included reforming the front steps of Mr. Roberts’ home, clearing debris from the front and side areas of the lawn, and replanting shrubs and removing a wall that encroached on town council property. Congressional Bank’s support will also enable RTMC to repair portions of Mr. Roberts’ roof damaged during a fire at an adjacent property and install handrails on the home’s front steps. These repairs and upgrades have created a much safer and healthier living environment for Mr. Roberts.

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. Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is a member affiliate of this network and provides services to residents throughout Montgomery County.

“Our work is critical to preventing homelessness among our most vulnerable neighbors and to revitalizing at-risk neighborhoods throughout Montgomery County,” said Aaron Gonzales, Director of Development for Rebuilding Together Montgomery County. “This work is only possible because of the efforts of businesses like Congressional Bank that are dedicated to giving back to the communities in which their employees live and work. We can’t thank Congressional Bank enough for their support and for what it means to those we serve.”

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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 46,000 volunteers to help our neighbors in need. To learn more, visit us at www.rebuildingtogethermc.org.

 

About Congressional Bank

Congressional Bank has been an integral member of the community for over a decade. We are a local community bank serving Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, with the expertise and capacity to serve institutional clients across the country. We assist local and national businesses in meeting all of their financial needs by providing creative and flexible solutions. We strive to shift the traditional paradigms of banking by creating meaningful relationships with our customers and letting them know that we are with them every step of the way. We go above and beyond the norm to help our clients attain their desired result. Visit us at www.congressionalbank.com.

County Offers Balance and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults

County residents are invited to register for the Stepping On program, a free balance and fall prevention program that meets on seven consecutive Mondays, beginning August 3 in Gaithersburg. The two hour class meets from 10 a.m. to noon at the Benjamin Gaither Center, located at 80A Bureau Drive in Gaithersburg. Class will not meet on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day).

The evidence-based program will cover topics such as medications, home safety, vision, footwear and much more. Working in a small group, participants will build strength and increase knowledge of ways to reduce and/or eliminate falls through presentations by guest experts, discussion and exercise. Participants will practice balance and strength exercises for 10-15 minutes in each session.

The program is recommended for older adults who walk unassisted, use a cane indoors and out, or use a walker outside only; who have fallen one or more times; who limit their activities because of a fear of falling; who are cognitively intact; who speak English; who live in their own home or other independent living facility; or who are known to be at risk of falling. Participants must commit to attending all seven classes and, if possible, the final booster session in December.

The class is sponsored by Montgomery County Health and Human Services, Aging & Disability Services.

For more information or to register, call Phyllis Elperin at 240-773-8268.

Rebuilding Together and Choice Hotels International Partner for Annual Headquarters Project

Silver Spring, MD [September 15, 2015] – Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, is working with longtime charitable partner, Rebuilding Together, a leading national nonprofit in safe and healthy housing, to engage employees in an annual volunteer project. This Friday, September 18, volunteers from Choice Hotels will join Rebuilding Together Montgomery County, to provide critical repairs and renovations at Dring’s Reach, an affordable housing complex owned and operated by the Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), located in Silver Spring, MD.

Rebuilding Together Montgomery County and Choice Hotels will work side by side to provide Dring’s Reach residents with a safer and more vibrant space for community gatherings and activities. Volunteers will engage in a variety of tasks throughout the day, including rebuilding and installing picnic tables and grills, constructing a perimeter fence, building of bike racks, landscaping and securing foundations in the picnic areas.

“Our employees look forward to the chance to support the communities where we live and work, especially here in Montgomery County the home of our corporate headquarters,” said Steve Joyce, president and CEO, Choice Hotels International. “We’re honored to support the residents of Dring’s Reach and help revitalize their community.”

Since 2009, Choice Hotels and Rebuilding Together have partnered on more than 75 projects, engaged more than 2,000 employees and franchisees in volunteering, and impacted the lives of more than 86,000 people across the country.

“Rebuilding Together is thrilled to continue our partnership with Choice Hotels International,” said Sandra Henriquez, interim president and CEO, Rebuilding Together. “We appreciate the support of Choice Hotels International and its employee volunteers in furthering our vision of a safe and healthy home for every person.”

About Rebuilding Together Montgomery County
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes community starts at home. We provide 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 across the country. Since its founding, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County has provided more than 1,900 families with over $17.4 million in home repair services, mobilizing 45,000 volunteers to help our neighbors in need. To learn more, visit us at www.rebuildingtogethermc.org.

About Choice

Hotels Choice Hotels International, Inc.® (NYSE: CHH) is one of the world’s largest lodging companies. With more than 6,300 hotels franchised in more than 35 countries and territories, we represent more than 500,000 rooms around the globe. As of June 30, 2015, 613 hotels were in our development pipeline. Our company’s Ascend Hotel Collection®, Cambria® hotels & suites, Comfort Inn®, Comfort Suites®, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge® and Rodeway Inn® brands provide a spectrum of lodging choices to meet guests’ needs. With more than 23 million members and counting, check out our Choice Privileges® rewards program to see how you can reap the benefits of being a member of the Choice Hotels® family. All hotels are individually owned and operated. Visit us at www.choicehotels.com for more information.

Media Contacts:
Aaron Gonzales
301-947-9400 x101
agonzales@rebuildingtogethermc.org

Scott Carman
Choice Hotels International
301-592-6361
Scott_carman@choicehotels.com

Erie Insurance Joins Forces with Rebuilding Together to Rehab Woodbourne-McCabe Home

Baltimore, MD (September 11, 2015) – On September 10 and 11, volunteers from Erie Insurance, one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the U.S., partnered with Rebuilding Together Baltimore (RTB) and Rebuilding Together Montgomery County (RTMC) to repair and rehabilitate the home of Ms. Byrd, a long-time Baltimore resident. Rebuilding Together Baltimore and Rebuilding Together Montgomery County are part of a nationwide network of home rehabilitation organizations serving the most vulnerable members of our population – seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, and low-income individuals and families.

“The work we do prevents homelessness, preserves affordable housing, and allows our elderly neighbors to age in place,” said Bonnie Bessor, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Baltimore. “Our work is critical to the communities we serve and is made possible through the help and support of civic-minded businesses like Erie Insurance,” added Aaron Gonzales, Director of Development of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County.

Ms. Byrd is an 81 year-old mother of nine, proud grandmother and great-grand mother, and long-time resident of the Woodbourne-McCabe Neighborhood of Baltimore City. Twenty-six Erie Insurance employees and agents worked side by side with RTB and RTMC staff to help make her home a safer and healthier place to live for her and her two grandchildren who live with her. Erie volunteers spent their two days of service replacing the cabinets and counters in the kitchen, completing an unfinished wall in the basement, installing new flooring, painting the interior of the home, and performing energy efficiency repairs that will help reduce Ms. Byrd’s utility costs.

“Working with Rebuilding Together was a natural fit for us. They support the restoration and well-being of their neighborhoods with compassion and exceptional service. It mirrors our own philosophy of ‘Above All in Service,’ and is something we easily stand behind.” said Sandra Dorsey, vice president and branch manager of Erie Insurance’s Silver Spring office. “We live here. Our agents are local small business owners. We’re actively involved in and committed to the communities we do business in.”

 

About Erie Insurance
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 11th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has more than 5 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company, a Barron’s 500 company and has been recognized by Forbes as one of America’s 50 Most Trustworthy Financial Companies.
News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at www.erieinsurance.com.

About Rebuilding Together Baltimore
Rebuilding Together Baltimore is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing critical home repairs to low-income homeowners at no cost to the homeowners. We serve low-income seniors, families, and people with disabilities who live in the Baltimore area. Our goal is to make homes warmer, safer, and drier. Since 1989 we have mobilized over 20,000 volunteers to repair more than 1,300 homes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Our work represents a cumulative value of over $7 million for the Baltimore area. To learn more, visit us at www.rtbaltimore.org.

About Rebuilding Together Montgomery County
Rebuilding Together Montgomery County is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes community starts at home. We provide 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 across the country. Since its founding, Rebuilding Together Montgomery County has provided more than 1,900 families with over $17.4 million in home repair services, mobilizing 45,000 volunteers to help our neighbors in need. To learn more, visit us at www.rebuildingtogethermc.org.

 

County Offers Balance and Fall Prevention Program for Older Adults

Rockville, MD [ July 14, 2015]  – County residents are invited to register for the Stepping On program, a free balance and fall prevention program that meets on seven consecutive Mondays, beginning August 3 in Gaithersburg. The two hour class meets from 10 a.m. to noon at the Benjamin Gaither Center, located at 80A Bureau Drive in Gaithersburg. Class will not meet on Monday, September 7 (Labor Day).

The evidence-based program will cover topics such as medications, home safety, vision, footwear and much more. Working in a small group, participants will build strength and increase knowledge of ways to reduce and/or eliminate falls through presentations by guest experts, discussion and exercise. Participants will practice balance and strength exercises for 10-15 minutes in each session.

The program is recommended for older adults who walk unassisted, use a cane indoors and out, or use a walker outside only; who have fallen one or more times; who limit their activities because of a fear of falling; who are cognitively intact; who speak English; who live in their own home or other independent living facility; or who are known to be at risk of falling. Participants must commit to attending all seven classes and, if possible, the final booster session in December.

The class is sponsored by Montgomery County Health and Human Services, Aging & Disability Services.

For more information or to register, call Phyllis Elperin at 240-773-8268.

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Media Contact: Mary Anderson, 240-777-6534

Montgomery County Warns Property Owners About Deceptive Letter Soliciting Payment to Reduce Property Tax Bill

Rockville, MD [ June 12, 2015] – Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is warning property owners not to be fooled by a deceptive letter which encourages consumers to pay $99 to petition to have their property tax assessment reviewed.

This direct mail solicitation gives the false appearance that it is from a state or local government agency, provides a return address that is, in reality, a mail-drop location, and fails to disclose that there is actually no cost for property owners in Montgomery County to personally petition for a tax assessment review.

Information regarding this matter has been reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Consumers who have provided credit card information or sent checks to this merchant may file a complaint with Montgomery County’s Office of Consumer Protection.

The Maryland State Department of Assessment and Taxation provides information on its website regarding how to file a petition to have a property tax assessment reviewed.

OCP, the County’s consumer protection agency, investigates thousands of complaints each year involving automotive sales and repairs, new home purchases, home improvements, credit issues, retail sales, internet services and most other consumer transactions.  OCP provides pre-purchase information to consumers, as well as speakers to the community on consumer issues.

For more information, call 240-777-3636 or visit OCP’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/consumer.

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Media contact:  Sue Tucker, 240-777-6507

Fannie Mae and Rebuilding Together Montgomery County Partner to Make Improvements to Local Community Center

Fannie Garden 1Gaithersburg, MD [April 29, 2015] – On April 28th, more than 20 Fannie Mae employees joined forces with Rebuilding Together Montgomery County staff to make repairs to and beatify the Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACGSW) community center in Takoma Park, Maryland. The collaboration was part of a broader Fannie Mae volunteer engagement effort across the U.S. where thousands of Fannie Mae employees lent a hand in their communities as part of their “7 Days to SERVE” volunteering event which took place from April 26 to May 2, 2015.

“Collaborating with Fannie Mae on their third 7 Days to SERVE allows RTMC to be part of an important, nationwide effort to engage Fannie Mae employees in community service and community reinvestment” said Christina B. Johnson, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Montgomery County. “We’re proud to have been selected as a local partner through which Fannie employees can make meaningful and useful contributions to the communities in which they live and work.”

At the Adventist community center, volunteers assisted with the refurbishment of the building’s exterior.  They resurfaced outdoor railings, primed and painted the exterior of the building, removed an aging and unused wrap-around deck, and landscaped the front lawn.

Locals and frequent visitors to the center noted that the improvements made them feel good about their community center. “It makes the whole place look better and it makes me feel like someone cares what happens here,” said David Malcom, a long-time volunteer at the center.

ACSGW was established in 1983 as the collective health and social welfare arm of several local church congregations. Today, ACSGW is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to help those less fortunate in our community. ACSGW’s community center is the hub of its client services. There, ACSGW staff provide case management, food, clothing, emergency financial assistance, health and fitness programs, technology education, and job-training to those in need. ACSGW serves more than 6000 low-income families each year.