January 25, 2011

MLK Work Week in Louisiana

Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps members from all over the country convened in Lafayette Louisiana for a week of rebuilding. Work was completed on 5 homes, including: total demolition, two wheelchair ramps, energy efficiency repairs, roof repair, and gutting/rehab of bathroom and kitchen.

Both Erin and Laura spent the week in Louisiana, connecting with AmeriCorps friends, learning new rehab techniques, and reflecting on the life of MLK.

Check out some of the local news coverage from The Advertiser

Laura's take:
It was an intense, inspiring, and challenging week... physically, mentally, and emotionally... and definitely one of my most satisfying rebuilds. Our homeowners were so sweet, and I learned a ton working on different parts of the house, flipping a bathroom, installing a floor.... The best part of the week was reconnecting with my AmeriCorps class and getting to spend time with these fantastic people who truly care about what they are doing, who are well spoken about their opinions, and who fight for their ideals every day.

Erin's take:
MLK work week helped me to remember how important it is to volunteer. It allowed me to step back and interact with homeowners that reminded me of the importance of community building. With being in construction for the last several years, I have been in so many homes where we couldn’t help due to lack of money and insurance only willing to cover barely anything. It was such a great experience to be able to go back to home owners like that and be able to help this time.

Getting things done for America!

More photos can be seen here: Laura's album
Learn more about AmeriCorps here.
Read more about the work we do, and apply for CapacityCorps here.


Erin Carlisle, the newest addition to our full time staff, has started on as the AmeriCorps Project Coordinator. She will be serving 11 months by organizing the nitty-gritty details for our large scale projects, focusing on improving the quality of services we provide to the community.

Erin recently graduated from Brigham Young University in Idaho with a B.S. in Psychology. She's worked in construction/construction management for over 5 years throughout Utah, and plans on attending grad school for an MPA degree after her term of service. She's loyal to the Chi Bears (sorry Wisconsinites!) and loves photography.

January 14, 2011

Volunteer Shout Out

A big hearty Thank You to Gideon Haynes, Monarch Landing's house captain from last year's April Rebuilding Event.

"Not only has Gideon been a long-time supporter of our organization," says Executive Director Emily Stern, "he's an amazing house captain. He managed to do an "extreme home make-over" with just $3,000!"

Gideon went above and beyond in his house captain duties by finding additional local sponsors to support his team's work and provide very needed updates for a deserving homeowner. Without additional help from RTA staff, he received: kitchen cabinets from Skyline Restoration, a new bath enclosure from Bathcrest, a range from ABT electronics, and all new appliances from Monarch Landing.

In addition, he will be donating all proceeds raised from the sale of his artwork at the upcoming exhibit of his work at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, February 1- March 31.
Check it out on facebook or the Paramount's website!

January 12, 2011

Rebuilding Together's PSA Campaign Launch Featuring Morgan Freeman

x-posted from the National office

January 05, 2011

On the twelfth day...

... Last, but certainly not least, we must give a big thanks to the 12 dedicated board of directors members. They are the wheels that keep our organization running year in and out. They are several of the hardest working board members in the entire Rebuilding Together national network.

Mark Anderson
James Angelotti
Bill Beck
Dave Bellis
Suely Cabral
Liz Coronado
Job Delgado
Lucy Fonseca
Bill Perry
Rod Randall
Jeff Ruge
Patrick Rogers

January 04, 2011

On the eleventh day...

...eleven of our longest-standing volunteer leaders:

Ken Holland
David McChristian
Norm Ellsworth
Ben Stammis
Jim McHale
Thatch Irwin
Mark Camp
Mike Doll
Paul Veach
Joe Wehr
Frank Martin

These guys make it happen. They are the faces of Rebuilding Together's mission. They bring the skill, the know-how, and the tireless dedication to make every project successful. Thank you for all you've done for our organization over the years. We can't do it without you!

January 03, 2011

On the tenth day...

...We are are proud to highlight ten new groups that partnered with us for the 2010 April Rebuilding Event

Evening Lions Club
Community 4:12
Orchard Valley
Geneva United Methodist Church
Fox Valley Presbyterian
New World Restorations
Monarch Landing
American Society for Interior Designers

Thank you to all our sponsors and partner groups, and welcome to the family!

January 02, 2011

On the ninth day...

...Although there are definitely more, here are nine ways in which the home rehab work RTA provides impacts the lives of homeowners, either directly or by preserving homeownership:

* The repairs provide immediate financial stability by reducing the direct cost of home maintenance, like energy bills.
* The repairs provide an increasing a sense of safety by reducing or eliminating hazardous conditions, from electrical, plumbing, heating, or structural.
* The repairs can increase a sense of independence by providing modifications that allow individuals with disabilities or mobility issues to access their whole home.
* Home owners do not move as frequently as renters, providing more neighborhood stability. In turn, this stability helps reduce crime and supports neighborhood upkeep.
* Children of home owners do better in school, stay in school longer, are more likely to participate in organized activities and spend less time in front of the television.
* People who own homes vote more, volunteer more and contribute more to their neighborhoods.
* People who own homes report a much higher level of life satisfaction than continual renters…
* … but buyers who reported having difficulty paying for needed repairs report significantly lower levels of life satisfaction than those that don’t!
* Owning a home is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. Historically, a home owner’s net worth has ranged from 31 to 46 times that of a renter.

Some stats sourced from the National Association of Realtors

January 01, 2011

On the eighth day...

...Did you know we work in 8 wards in Aurora? Write or call your alderman and tell them about the great work we've done for their community, and say thanks for all their support!

Ward 1 - Abby Schuler
Ward 2 - Juany Garza
Ward 3 - Sephanie Kifowit
Ward 4 - Rick Lawrence
Ward 5 - John "Whitey" Peters
Ward 6 - Mike Saville
Ward 7 - Scheketa Hart-Burks
Ward 8 - Richard Mervine

Happy New Year!