From S. Kim on August 25th, 2009 in General Remodel
This week at CalFinder, we’re spotlighting charitable remodelers that give and give and give. But most of us know that it doesn’t take a whole construction organization to make a difference. These beautiful families wouldn’t have brand-new homes without the help of thousands of volunteers – lovely people like you!
Today’s featured heroes: Rebuilding Together, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization working to give affordable housing and free home repair to families in need.
Liduvina Nieves, 66, is a disabled widow living on fixed income. She had been supporting her four grandchildren in a dilapidated house for years, unable to afford necessary repairs. There was no hot water; the house lacked electrical hookups to several crucial appliances like the hot water heater and stove. Meals were prepared using small electric pots. And the kitchen sink was not connected to the sewer system, so dishwater and food waste ran right onto the ground. The house badly needed structural repairs and weatherproofing.
When Rebuilding Together selected the Nieves home as part of Kickoff to Rebuild 2009, Liduvina could not believe her ears. Rebuilding Together’s sponsor, First Florida, decided the house was beyond repair, so the structure was torn down and a much-improved version built in its place. Thanks to Rebuilding Together, this family now has a safe and healthy place to live.
National Rebuilding Day, the nonprofit’s signature initiative, takes place every year on the last Saturday in April. All across the country, 200,000 volunteers rise to the challenge to give better housing to low-income families. It’s a day to celebrate the progress, call national attention to the ongoing problem of substandard housing, and keep up the spirit of giving to others.
Several other initiatives address veteran, green, and safe housing, to name a few. Sixty-one-year-old Barbara DeJournette, an employee at a local nursing home, was unable to afford critical home repairs. Volunteers built her outdoor side steps, installed new storm doors, and replaced the kitchen sink, faucets and cabinets. “I just never thought this would happen to me,” she said. “These volunteers are just wonderful people. It’s a dream come true.”
Since their founding in 1988, Rebuilding Together has averaged completion on nearly 10,000 homes and nonprofit facilities a year. Their focus is on elder home safety, energy efficiency, veterans’ housing, and gulf coast recovery. Special attention is paid to families with children, the elderly and the disabled.
Look out for tomorrow’s installment of Remodeling for Charity! We’ll be showcasing the hard work of Heroes at Home volunteers, who provide critical housing for American military families.