In dozens of communities around the country, Rebuilding Together affiliates celebrated this important event with home repair and rehabilitation projects of all sizes on Saturday, April 28, 2012. In Denver, Rebuilding Together Metro Denver collaborated with five sponsors to rebuild the homes and lives of homeowners in the Barnum and Westwood neighborhoods.
Inez, Rudy, Katherine, Donna and Tessie have lived in these historic Denver areas for most of their lives. In some cases, they are of the second and third generations in these homes, having been raised, schooled and married in those communities. All of them have raised their children in these homes, and in some cases, have helped raise their grandchildren as well.
Booz Allen Hamilton, Dakota Consulting, Enerplus, Swinerton Builders and Travelers brought sponsorship dollars and employee volunteers to RTMD to ensure that these folks have the opportunity to continue to live safely in their homes. Rudy told the volunteers gathered around him on Saturday morning how grateful he was for the chance to meet them and share the day. He wept as he spoke of the illness that has limited his strength and ability to care for his home the way he did through the years. “Having you here with me and my wife today means all the world to me,” he said, wiping his eyes. His wife took over for a few moments, adding her gratitude. “We can all have hope that the world is a generous place after all.”
The Travelers team has been rallying in Denver on Rebuilding Day since 2008. Their efforts have contributed to the lives of five homeowners and their families over the years, making their homes more secure and healthy. Team leader, Lynda Stecher, reminded her team of 20 that they were at Rudy’s house not only to fix gutters, floors, ceilings, walls, light fixtures, and provide ADA compliant toilets, but to have a great time together. “Use this opportunity to get to know folks you may not have worked with in the past. Seeing each other on a day like this helps us all to appreciate how interesting and generous we all are.” At day’s end, team members gathered once more to give hugs and high fives on a day well spent. Rudy walked around his house in awe. “I just cannot believe something like this has happened to me,” he beamed. “I will sure miss you tomorrow, but remember you all my life.”
The generous Swinerton Builders team under the leadership of SVP, David White, has supported RTMD since 2009. This team brings not only the usual enthusiasm of volunteers who sign up to be part of this extraordinary work, but each of the volunteers on Saturday also brought construction skills. They rebuilt a second story deck for Donna who, “in the day,” would take rest on that deck with her husband after the busy days of running several businesses. “We would take our sleeping bags out there on weekend nights to enjoy the peace of living so close to the trees. I have not been on that deck since my husband died a number of years ago. It brings me so many wonderful memories.” Donna’s kitchen got a makeover, too. The guys also took care of rebuilding a retaining wall that was collapsing, blocking passage from the garage into the house. “That was just an accident waiting to happen,” noted Brendan Summers, the appointed house captain of the team.
While not every business can bring the technical expertise of Swinerton Builders or the longevity of Travelers, there are always unique contributions and interesting opportunities throughout a Rebuilding Day experience. For example, Kayleen McCabe, host of the DIY Network show, Rescue Renovation, volunteered to be a skilled captain for one of the homes to supplement construction needs. Her team members mugged for shots to share with friends throughout the day. See more of the day’s highlights on Facebook.
This year, Rebuilding Together affiliates across the country reached out to their elected officials to join in recognizing the important work of the organization. Locally, Carlie Armstrong, Consumer Advocate for housing from the office of Senator Bennet, toured the homes in Denver, met homeowners, listened to concerns of volunteers and voters, and even tried her hand at a few repairs during the day. “I have learned so much about the work of Rebuilding Together. It is so great to have another important resource to share with our constituents who are in need of housing options and services.”
Visit RTMD to learn more about how your company can get involved on a Rebuilding Day project or provide other support for homeowners like Rudy and Donna who are in need. Becoming a partner brings big rewards! Check out our new Partners section and see how many metro businesses step up to help. RTMD offers sponsor/volunteer and other rebuilding opportunities throughout the year. We are signing up teams for work now.