Homeowner Thanks GCAAR Team for Their Work on NRD 2015
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.