Angie and her son have spent over a decade living in their home. While being a full-time mom, she works odd jobs to make ends meet. She’s become a staple in her community by being the first one her neighbors come to when they need a babysitter.
Her son has autism and suffers from a respiratory condition that makes it difficult for him to breathe. The home’s air vents had become so clogged that dust would blow out whenever air flowed. This outpouring of dust made Angie’s son’s condition even worse. The electricity in their kitchen didn’t work, so Angie had to plug her fridge into an extension cord that was plugged into another room.  Their door frames had rotted, preventing the locks on the doors from latching.
Volunteers from Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County spent two days making sure Angie’s home was safe and healthy for her and her son. They cleaned out the air vents and repaired the filters to prevent future dust build up, they replaced the rotted door frames, the front and back doors, their ceiling fans, and fixed her kitchen’s electrical circuit. They also repaired her cabinets and staircase railings.
While working on Angie’s home, Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County volunteers realized she didn’t own any living room furniture. They quickly brought Angie to a local store and bought her new furniture.
Barbara Cupp, the executive director of Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County, said that Angie was so excited about the renovations and new furniture that she took a picture with every single volunteer.

After the repairs were completed, Angie wrote a note to Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel saying, “Thank you for making my home a more comfortable place to live. My son and I are forever grateful. I never would have been able to afford the repairs. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and god bless you all.”

Angie and her son have spent over a decade living in their home. While being a full-time mom, she works odd jobs to make ends meet. She’s become a staple in her community by being the first one her neighbors come to when they need a babysitter.

Her son has autism and suffers from a respiratory condition that makes it difficult for him to breathe. The home’s air vents had become so clogged that dust would blow out whenever air flowed. This outpouring of dust made Angie’s son’s condition even worse. The electricity in their kitchen didn’t work, so Angie had to plug her fridge into an extension cord that was plugged into another room.  Their door frames had rotted, preventing the locks on the doors from latching.

Volunteers from Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County spent two days making sure Angie’s home was safe and healthy for her and her son. They cleaned out the air vents and repaired the filters to prevent future dust build up, they replaced the rotted door frames, the front and back doors, their ceiling fans, and fixed her kitchen’s electrical circuit. They also repaired her cabinets and staircase railings.

While working on Angie’s home, Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County volunteers realized she didn’t own any living room furniture. They quickly brought Angie to a local store and bought her new furniture.

Barbara Cupp, the executive director of Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel County, said that Angie was so excited about the renovations and new furniture that she took a picture with every single volunteer.

After the repairs were completed, Angie wrote a note to Rebuilding Together Anne Arundel saying, “Thank you for making my home a more comfortable place to live. My son and I are forever grateful. I never would have been able to afford the repairs. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and god bless you all.”

Mack is a 76-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran. He is on oxygen due to emphysema and uses a walker and motorized scooter to move around. He was completely housebound for three years until the VA installed a chairlift in his home three months ago.
Mack’s wife recently passed away, and his home still needed more repairs and safety modifications if he was going to continue living there alone. Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago volunteers built him an accessible back porch, including a new backdoor, ramps, and improved exterior lighting. 

Mack served 12 years during the conflicts in Vietnam and Korea. He was stationed in Germany, Japan, and Greenland. He said, “It was a wonderful time in my life and very important to me to serve my country.  I don’t regret a single moment of it.”

Mack is a 76-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran. He is on oxygen due to emphysema and uses a walker and motorized scooter to move around. He was completely housebound for three years until the VA installed a chairlift in his home three months ago.

Mack’s wife recently passed away, and his home still needed more repairs and safety modifications if he was going to continue living there alone. Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago volunteers built him an accessible back porch, including a new backdoor, ramps, and improved exterior lighting. 

Mack served 12 years during the conflicts in Vietnam and Korea. He was stationed in Germany, Japan, and Greenland. He said, “It was a wonderful time in my life and very important to me to serve my country.  I don’t regret a single moment of it.”

Shirley, 59, is the primary caregiver for her 16-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. They sought help from Rebuilding Together Sacramento because their home lacked the proper safety modifications that could allow Alyssa to move around freely.
Rebuilding Together Sacramento volunteers installed several grab bars in their bathroom’s shower area. They also built a new ramp that leads from the backdoor to the backyard. Alyssa can now safely leave her home and enjoy her family’s backyard. Volunteers installed parallel bars in the backyard so Alyssa could safely walk up and down the entire length of the yard. Another ramp was installed from the family’s garage to their car.
Shirley told the volunteers, “The ramps are the greatest gifts.” She was also very pleased that her daughter can now exercise outside thanks to the parallel bars.

Shirley, 59, is the primary caregiver for her 16-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. They sought help from Rebuilding Together Sacramento because their home lacked the proper safety modifications that could allow Alyssa to move around freely.

Rebuilding Together Sacramento volunteers installed several grab bars in their bathroom’s shower area. They also built a new ramp that leads from the backdoor to the backyard. Alyssa can now safely leave her home and enjoy her family’s backyard. Volunteers installed parallel bars in the backyard so Alyssa could safely walk up and down the entire length of the yard. Another ramp was installed from the family’s garage to their car.

Shirley told the volunteers, “The ramps are the greatest gifts.” She was also very pleased that her daughter can now exercise outside thanks to the parallel bars.

Rebuilding Together New York City, Lowe’s, and Meredith Corporation are renovating close to a dozen homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn’s Gerritsen Beach neighborhood this Thursday. Here are some of the homeowners they’ll be helping.
Mr. and Mrs. Monel
Mr. Monel, 73, and Mrs. Monel, 76, live at their home along with their son, who is hearing impaired. The’ve lived there for 45 years. Mr. Monel has recalled that some of his favorite memories are going to the beach where he would fish and go crabbing with his friends. Before retiring, Mr. Monel used to work as a machinist repairing surgical instruments at a local hospital, and in his spare time would renovate homes in downtown Brooklyn. The Monel family has done much of the repairs in their home on their own when they can little by little.
Ms. Russo 

Ms. Russo, 79, has been staying with family in New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy. The storm flooded her first floor with nine feet of water. Ms. Russo has lived in Gerritsen Beach all her life and lived in her home since she was 12 years old. Her home was passed down from her mother, who purchased the home along with her father in 1945 from an English family.
Mr. and Mrs. McCauley

Mr. McCauley, 47,  had the home passed down to him from his parents, and lives there with his wife, 43, and their 9-year-old daughter. For two months after the storm, he and his family stayed in a shelter until they could find space with their relatives. Since then, they have been doing what they can with the repairs they need, but Mr. McCauley had to retire from the NYCTA in 2009 when he discovered he had eye cancer. His wife has been ill and out of work as an MTA bus driver since March 2012, but says she’ll return to work in a few weeks.  
Ms. Dowd 
Ms. Dowd, 48, lives at her home with her 13-year-old son. She has lived in her home for more than 16 years, but her family has been in Gerritsen Beach over 100 years. Ms. Dowd  said she could never see herself living anywhere else. Ms. Dowd and her son are currently staying with family and still have yet to move back into their home since the storm.

Rebuilding Together New York City, Lowe’s, and Meredith Corporation are renovating close to a dozen homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn’s Gerritsen Beach neighborhood this Thursday. Here are some of the homeowners they’ll be helping.

Mr. and Mrs. Monel

Mr. Monel, 73, and Mrs. Monel, 76, live at their home along with their son, who is hearing impaired. The’ve lived there for 45 years. Mr. Monel has recalled that some of his favorite memories are going to the beach where he would fish and go crabbing with his friends. Before retiring, Mr. Monel used to work as a machinist repairing surgical instruments at a local hospital, and in his spare time would renovate homes in downtown Brooklyn. The Monel family has done much of the repairs in their home on their own when they can little by little.

Ms. Russo 

Ms. Russo, 79, has been staying with family in New Jersey since Hurricane Sandy. The storm flooded her first floor with nine feet of water. Ms. Russo has lived in Gerritsen Beach all her life and lived in her home since she was 12 years old. Her home was passed down from her mother, who purchased the home along with her father in 1945 from an English family.

Mr. and Mrs. McCauley

Mr. McCauley, 47,  had the home passed down to him from his parents, and lives there with his wife, 43, and their 9-year-old daughter. For two months after the storm, he and his family stayed in a shelter until they could find space with their relatives. Since then, they have been doing what they can with the repairs they need, but Mr. McCauley had to retire from the NYCTA in 2009 when he discovered he had eye cancer. His wife has been ill and out of work as an MTA bus driver since March 2012, but says she’ll return to work in a few weeks.  

Ms. Dowd 

Ms. Dowd, 48, lives at her home with her 13-year-old son. She has lived in her home for more than 16 years, but her family has been in Gerritsen Beach over 100 years. Ms. Dowd  said she could never see herself living anywhere else. Ms. Dowd and her son are currently staying with family and still have yet to move back into their home since the storm.

Rebuilding Together Alexandria helped Derrick and his family renovate their home in honor of National Rebuilding Day.
Derrick, a father of six kids, has lived in his home for 10 years. His youngest is 8 months and his oldest is 18. 
Derrick’s mobility is limited due to both his knees being operated on. The knee operations made it impossible for Derrick to continue working as a landscaper. When money started getting tight, Derrick began investing everything he could into what he saw as the most important thing in his life. His children.
Derrick’s love for his kids can be seen all around the house. His fridge is adorned with photos of his children, of their great grades, and their schedules. He said it’s important that his children feel like they have the best quality of life they can have. Sports equipment fills the house. Derrick saves it all just in case a little brother or sister has the urge to pick up a basketball.
If Derrick instills one thing in his children, it’ll be a love for learning. The family went 7 years without a TV, and the kids spent their free time reading. One of their living room walls is full of flyers from various colleges and universities. Derrick hopes it will inspire his kids to go to college. It’s apparently worked. His oldest is now studying architecture in Virginia. While volunteers were working on the family home, Derrick was quizzing one of his daughters on Roman history. He spent the night before helping one of his younger sons with a school report. 
While the kids were growing to be readers, athletes, and college students, their home was beginning to fall apart. Their roof would leak when it rained or the snow melted. The front storm door had no screen or glass, so the heat and cool air would escape the home. The water heater leaked constantly, forcing Derrick to mop the basement for hours a day. 
Derrick said it was hard for him to ask for help.”I had to swallow my pride. I’ve been working hard all my life.”
Rebuilding Together Alexandria volunteers replaced the broken water heater first. In fact, they did it within days of seeing the condition of Derrick’s old one. On National Rebuilding Day, volunteers repaired Derrick’s front and back porches, replaced the broken storm door, installed handrails, painted the interior walls, and patched the leaky roof.
Watching over a dozen volunteers repair his home, Derrick said, “It’s the best thing to happen. It’s a blessing.” 

Rebuilding Together Alexandria helped Derrick and his family renovate their home in honor of National Rebuilding Day.

Derrick, a father of six kids, has lived in his home for 10 years. His youngest is 8 months and his oldest is 18. 

Derrick’s mobility is limited due to both his knees being operated on. The knee operations made it impossible for Derrick to continue working as a landscaper. When money started getting tight, Derrick began investing everything he could into what he saw as the most important thing in his life. His children.

Derrick’s love for his kids can be seen all around the house. His fridge is adorned with photos of his children, of their great grades, and their schedules. He said it’s important that his children feel like they have the best quality of life they can have. Sports equipment fills the house. Derrick saves it all just in case a little brother or sister has the urge to pick up a basketball.

If Derrick instills one thing in his children, it’ll be a love for learning. The family went 7 years without a TV, and the kids spent their free time reading. One of their living room walls is full of flyers from various colleges and universities. Derrick hopes it will inspire his kids to go to college. It’s apparently worked. His oldest is now studying architecture in Virginia. While volunteers were working on the family home, Derrick was quizzing one of his daughters on Roman history. He spent the night before helping one of his younger sons with a school report. 

While the kids were growing to be readers, athletes, and college students, their home was beginning to fall apart. Their roof would leak when it rained or the snow melted. The front storm door had no screen or glass, so the heat and cool air would escape the home. The water heater leaked constantly, forcing Derrick to mop the basement for hours a day. 

Derrick said it was hard for him to ask for help.”I had to swallow my pride. I’ve been working hard all my life.”

Rebuilding Together Alexandria volunteers replaced the broken water heater first. In fact, they did it within days of seeing the condition of Derrick’s old one. On National Rebuilding Day, volunteers repaired Derrick’s front and back porches, replaced the broken storm door, installed handrails, painted the interior walls, and patched the leaky roof.

Watching over a dozen volunteers repair his home, Derrick said, “It’s the best thing to happen. It’s a blessing.” 

Mary Anne, 50, is a mother of two. She is also the proud grandmother of two children. She has lived in her family’s home for over 25 years.
Mary Anne has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. This Gig Harbor homeowner, who lives alone, would struggle to make it up and down the stairs every day due to her condition. Muscular dystrophy even made it difficult for Mary Anne to use her shower and bathroom. 
Rebuilding Together South Sound helped Mary Anne by making her home more accessible. An occupational therapist volunteered to help turn Mary Anne’s house into a safe and healthy home. They installed a transfer pole and a hand rail to help her with climbing steps. A grab bar was put in place by her toilet and shower so she could easily move around her bathroom. 
Rachel Lehr, Rebuilding Together’s South Sound’s AmeriCorps Year Round Coordinator, said Mary Anne was thrilled with her renovations, especially the transfer pole. “She said it was so beautiful. She was really excited about it because it made her safe at home.”
Mary Anne got along extremely well with her occupational therapist volunteer. “It was such a good match,” said Rachel. “It made sense to put them together. He was very respectful and he works with clients like this all the time. He knows the right questions and understands her situation. He could create solutions for her.”

Mary Anne, 50, is a mother of two. She is also the proud grandmother of two children. She has lived in her family’s home for over 25 years.

Mary Anne has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. This Gig Harbor homeowner, who lives alone, would struggle to make it up and down the stairs every day due to her condition. Muscular dystrophy even made it difficult for Mary Anne to use her shower and bathroom. 

Rebuilding Together South Sound helped Mary Anne by making her home more accessible. An occupational therapist volunteered to help turn Mary Anne’s house into a safe and healthy home. They installed a transfer pole and a hand rail to help her with climbing steps. A grab bar was put in place by her toilet and shower so she could easily move around her bathroom. 

Rachel Lehr, Rebuilding Together’s South Sound’s AmeriCorps Year Round Coordinator, said Mary Anne was thrilled with her renovations, especially the transfer pole. “She said it was so beautiful. She was really excited about it because it made her safe at home.”

Mary Anne got along extremely well with her occupational therapist volunteer. “It was such a good match,” said Rachel. “It made sense to put them together. He was very respectful and he works with clients like this all the time. He knows the right questions and understands her situation. He could create solutions for her.”

Kim is a single mother raising 3 kids and works full time in hospital administration. Her son Robert, 17, plays basketball and football at the same high school Kim and her father graduated from. Tyree, 17, is a friend of Robert who Kim took in. Omari, 8, is Kim’s nephew and he was adopted by Kim when he was only 2 days old. 
Kim and her family live in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. Columbia City is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Northwest in terms of income and ethnicity. The majority of the neighborhood is made up of single-family homes and some low-income apartments. The views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains have prompted the building of expensive new homes. Despite rapid gentrification, pockets of poverty still exist. 
Rebuilding Together Seattle is working with Kim and her family to ensure they are living in a safe and healthy home. They endured Seattle’s winter without any heat due to not being able to afford oil for their furnace. Cold air would blow in from a detached window in the living room. Kim said that she hated seeing her boys have to do their homework with blankets wrapped around their shoulders. 
Their kitchen needs extensive repairs. The family depends on a mini-fridge to store food due to their fridge being broken. Only two burners on their oven work. The sink constantly leaks, which makes the family have to empty a bucket of water into the tub regularly. 
Rebuilding Together Seattle is currently working on their work scope for Kim’s home. They hope to replace the detached window, their fridge, the broken stove, and their basement door. They’d also like volunteers to fix a leaking faucet, repair the shower, install a new lock on the front door and porch light, and organize their basement with the help from the family.
Claire Oatey, the program and development associate for Rebuilding Together Seattle, said Kim was very thankful to be chosen to receive free home repairs. “She isn’t concerned with how her home looks, only that is safe and warm for her kids.”

Kim is a single mother raising 3 kids and works full time in hospital administration. Her son Robert, 17, plays basketball and football at the same high school Kim and her father graduated from. Tyree, 17, is a friend of Robert who Kim took in. Omari, 8, is Kim’s nephew and he was adopted by Kim when he was only 2 days old. 

Kim and her family live in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood. Columbia City is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the Northwest in terms of income and ethnicity. The majority of the neighborhood is made up of single-family homes and some low-income apartments. The views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains have prompted the building of expensive new homes. Despite rapid gentrification, pockets of poverty still exist. 

Rebuilding Together Seattle is working with Kim and her family to ensure they are living in a safe and healthy home. They endured Seattle’s winter without any heat due to not being able to afford oil for their furnace. Cold air would blow in from a detached window in the living room. Kim said that she hated seeing her boys have to do their homework with blankets wrapped around their shoulders. 

Their kitchen needs extensive repairs. The family depends on a mini-fridge to store food due to their fridge being broken. Only two burners on their oven work. The sink constantly leaks, which makes the family have to empty a bucket of water into the tub regularly. 

Rebuilding Together Seattle is currently working on their work scope for Kim’s home. They hope to replace the detached window, their fridge, the broken stove, and their basement door. They’d also like volunteers to fix a leaking faucet, repair the shower, install a new lock on the front door and porch light, and organize their basement with the help from the family.

Claire Oatey, the program and development associate for Rebuilding Together Seattle, said Kim was very thankful to be chosen to receive free home repairs. “She isn’t concerned with how her home looks, only that is safe and warm for her kids.”

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County helps elderly woman age in place 
Evelyn Powell, 89, has lived in her home for over 40 years. It’s where she and her husband spent their years together before he passed away. And it’s where she lives with her daughter today.
Evelyn reached out to Rebuilding Together Muscatine County to fix up some windows. When Frank Iliff, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Muscatine County, went to check out Evelyn’s home, he found that she needed much more than just a few windows. He immediately saw a safety hazard in the narrow basement stairs for the 5 foot tall elderly woman. She would walk down the stairs with a heavy basket of clothes every time she needed to do the laundry. Their bathroom was also in bad shape. The floor was rug upon rug, the ceiling lacked insulation, and the walls were weak and thin.
Frank quickly assembled a team of 20 volunteers to renovate this two story house. They installed handrails for the basement staircase. Volunteers moved the washer and dryer to the main floor to make doing laundry easier for Evelyn. Volunteers replaced Evelyn’s bathroom floor, the tub, the walls, and installed insulation, a new sink, vanity, and toilet. And for those drafty windows, volunteers replaced all 19 windows in the Powell’s home. Volunteers also cleaned out Evelyn’s basement, landscaped her yard, and built steps on her hilly front lawn.
Heather, one of Frank’s House Ambassadors, was able to give Evelyn and her daughter another special gift during their renovations. Evelyn’s daughter was born deaf and the two could hardly communicate. Evelyn learned a few words in sign language, but their communication was mostly done through notes. Heather knew sign language and spent some of the day translating for them, giving this mother and daughter one of their first conversations. Frank remembered seeing the two women in tears as they talked about Evelyn’s late husband, their wedding day and honeymoon. 

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County helps elderly woman age in place 

Evelyn Powell, 89, has lived in her home for over 40 years. It’s where she and her husband spent their years together before he passed away. And it’s where she lives with her daughter today.

Evelyn reached out to Rebuilding Together Muscatine County to fix up some windows. When Frank Iliff, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Muscatine County, went to check out Evelyn’s home, he found that she needed much more than just a few windows. He immediately saw a safety hazard in the narrow basement stairs for the 5 foot tall elderly woman. She would walk down the stairs with a heavy basket of clothes every time she needed to do the laundry. Their bathroom was also in bad shape. The floor was rug upon rug, the ceiling lacked insulation, and the walls were weak and thin.

Frank quickly assembled a team of 20 volunteers to renovate this two story house. They installed handrails for the basement staircase. Volunteers moved the washer and dryer to the main floor to make doing laundry easier for Evelyn. Volunteers replaced Evelyn’s bathroom floor, the tub, the walls, and installed insulation, a new sink, vanity, and toilet. And for those drafty windows, volunteers replaced all 19 windows in the Powell’s home. Volunteers also cleaned out Evelyn’s basement, landscaped her yard, and built steps on her hilly front lawn.

Heather, one of Frank’s House Ambassadors, was able to give Evelyn and her daughter another special gift during their renovations. Evelyn’s daughter was born deaf and the two could hardly communicate. Evelyn learned a few words in sign language, but their communication was mostly done through notes. Heather knew sign language and spent some of the day translating for them, giving this mother and daughter one of their first conversations. Frank remembered seeing the two women in tears as they talked about Evelyn’s late husband, their wedding day and honeymoon. 

Rebuilding Together Helping Generations of Families
Felicia Byrd inherited her family home after her mother passed away in 2010. Felicia believed she would have to sell it because she couldn’t afford the extensive repairs that needed to be done. A troubling thought especially because the home was just 7 years away from being fully paid off.
The house wasn’t the only thing Felicia took charge of when her mother died. She became the guardian of her two nieces and nephew her mother was caring for. Felicia, the mother of three teenagers already, was happy to take in her nieces and nephew.
Felicia, an accountant for a temp agency at the time, was recommended to seek out the assistance of Rebuilding Together. She quickly applied, but didn’t fully trust that Rebuilding Together Fredericksburg could do all she needed for no charge.  
Twenty volunteers worked for three weekends to repair Felicia’s home. They fixed her plumbing, painted her walls, installed handrails, fixed electrical wiring, put up new cabinets, and put down a new bathroom floor. There was a massive leak in the water pipes outside of the home. This made getting running water a hassle for Felicia’s mother. Felicia knew there was a lot of work to be done, but she couldn’t imagine how her mother lived there for so long in the home’s condition.
She was taken aback by how much the volunteers cared about her. She saw 20 strangers fixing up her home, enjoying meals with her, and praying with her. The volunteers even worked side by side with Felicia’s children to repair their home. Felicia couldn’t believe their kindness or the kindness of Lowe’s, the sponsor of her renovations. Lowe’s donated the materials and let Felicia pick out the colors and floor of her rebuilt home.
Felicia now works at Rebuilding Together’s National Office in the finance department. “I’ve seen the whole picture of Rebuilding Together. I love how family oriented Rebuilding Together is.” said Felicia.
She is now planning on joining some affiliates to renovate homes and community centers. “I almost lost my home. I feel like I need to give back.”
While working at Rebuilding Together, Felicia found out this safe and healthy housing organization has another connection to her family. Her great-grandmother, Rose Anderson, sought the help of Christmas in April in 1992. Christmas in April was the original incarnation of Rebuilding Together. Those Fredericksburg volunteers gave the 81-year-old woman a new roof.
Felicia never knew that Rebuilding Together was once Christmas in April. She can still remember seeing all the work being done to her great-grandmother’s house and reading a local newspaper article about it. Felicia and her father still can’t believe the coincidence. “It’s amazing how they help people out.”

Rebuilding Together Helping Generations of Families

Felicia Byrd inherited her family home after her mother passed away in 2010. Felicia believed she would have to sell it because she couldn’t afford the extensive repairs that needed to be done. A troubling thought especially because the home was just 7 years away from being fully paid off.

The house wasn’t the only thing Felicia took charge of when her mother died. She became the guardian of her two nieces and nephew her mother was caring for. Felicia, the mother of three teenagers already, was happy to take in her nieces and nephew.

Felicia, an accountant for a temp agency at the time, was recommended to seek out the assistance of Rebuilding Together. She quickly applied, but didn’t fully trust that Rebuilding Together Fredericksburg could do all she needed for no charge.  

Twenty volunteers worked for three weekends to repair Felicia’s home. They fixed her plumbing, painted her walls, installed handrails, fixed electrical wiring, put up new cabinets, and put down a new bathroom floor. There was a massive leak in the water pipes outside of the home. This made getting running water a hassle for Felicia’s mother. Felicia knew there was a lot of work to be done, but she couldn’t imagine how her mother lived there for so long in the home’s condition.

She was taken aback by how much the volunteers cared about her. She saw 20 strangers fixing up her home, enjoying meals with her, and praying with her. The volunteers even worked side by side with Felicia’s children to repair their home. Felicia couldn’t believe their kindness or the kindness of Lowe’s, the sponsor of her renovations. Lowe’s donated the materials and let Felicia pick out the colors and floor of her rebuilt home.

Felicia now works at Rebuilding Together’s National Office in the finance department. “I’ve seen the whole picture of Rebuilding Together. I love how family oriented Rebuilding Together is.” said Felicia.

She is now planning on joining some affiliates to renovate homes and community centers. “I almost lost my home. I feel like I need to give back.”

While working at Rebuilding Together, Felicia found out this safe and healthy housing organization has another connection to her family. Her great-grandmother, Rose Anderson, sought the help of Christmas in April in 1992. Christmas in April was the original incarnation of Rebuilding Together. Those Fredericksburg volunteers gave the 81-year-old woman a new roof.

Felicia never knew that Rebuilding Together was once Christmas in April. She can still remember seeing all the work being done to her great-grandmother’s house and reading a local newspaper article about it. Felicia and her father still can’t believe the coincidence. “It’s amazing how they help people out.”

Rebuilding a Home, Connecting a Community 
Andrea and Brian Spencer have lived in their Philadelphia home in the Overbrook neighborhood for 14 years. They have two sons named Matthew, 4, Richard, 2, and a two-year-old beagle named Tiger.
Andrea became a stay at home mom when her eldest son was born. She remained at home caring for her two children while Brian worked to support their family. However, Brian was laid off several months ago, forcing Andrea to find a job. She found one working nine at night till three in the morning. These grueling hours left this mother with only two hours of sleep a night before she had to wake up to get her kids to school. This job gave the Spencers just enough to keep their water flowing, electricity on, and fridge stocked.
Due to their low finances, they had to give up the usual roof repairs they did every three years. They also had to forsake fixing their doors and a leaky faucet. This faucet grew so bad that it filled a gallon jug in a matter of minutes. It was financially impossible for Andrea and Brian to feed their children and maintain a safe and healthy home.
A neighbor alerted Andrea that Rebuilding Together was doing their “Building a Healthy Neighborhood” event in Overbrook. The Spencers quickly applied. When they found out they qualified for receiving critical home repairs, Andrea Spencer said, “We were in a joyful shock, a dream – suspended in animation.”
Andrea described her home before the renovations as loving, but with a heavy weight on her and Brian’s shoulders. “We were scared, worried, and a bit hopeless. I didn’t want the house to fall apart. We care about it.”            
Matthew and Richard loved having the volunteers working on their family home. They even made fast friends with the volunteers. They’d talk to Andrea and Brian about their favorite workers when the work was done. Volunteers even wondered where the kids were when they weren’t in sight.
The family’s favorite renovation to their house is their new kitchen. Rebuilding Together installed new floors, gave the walls a fresh coat of paint, and put in a new backsplash. “I totally love everything, but it’s my favorite. I spend so much time in the kitchen. I feel excited. It’s like a new home. The energy of the people who worked here left an imprint and it radiates every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel the newness.”
Andrea even saw this positivity extend to her whole neighborhood. She remembered how her neighbors showed happiness for the Rebuilding Together recipients. “Rebuilding Together made it feel like we were all in it together. Our community belonged to that endeavor, to that sincerity and devotion. The volunteers worked like they were in it with us. We all felt supported.”
Before the Building a Health Neighborhood event, Andrea said that Overbrook was quaint and cordial. The residents were busy with their own lives and familial needs. “People opened up and their hearts expanded during the project,” Andrea said recollecting the renovation days.
Andrea has since left her late night job to start a new one at a local school. Her pay is about the same, but the hours allow her to spend more time with her kids and to catch up on much needed sleep. Her husband was able to find work during the summer, but has been laid off again.
Andrea said about the whole experience, “I thank Rebuilding Together every day of my life. I love all those volunteers. I appreciate them and my heart goes out to them wherever they may be.”

Rebuilding a Home, Connecting a Community 

Andrea and Brian Spencer have lived in their Philadelphia home in the Overbrook neighborhood for 14 years. They have two sons named Matthew, 4, Richard, 2, and a two-year-old beagle named Tiger.

Andrea became a stay at home mom when her eldest son was born. She remained at home caring for her two children while Brian worked to support their family. However, Brian was laid off several months ago, forcing Andrea to find a job. She found one working nine at night till three in the morning. These grueling hours left this mother with only two hours of sleep a night before she had to wake up to get her kids to school. This job gave the Spencers just enough to keep their water flowing, electricity on, and fridge stocked.

Due to their low finances, they had to give up the usual roof repairs they did every three years. They also had to forsake fixing their doors and a leaky faucet. This faucet grew so bad that it filled a gallon jug in a matter of minutes. It was financially impossible for Andrea and Brian to feed their children and maintain a safe and healthy home.

A neighbor alerted Andrea that Rebuilding Together was doing their “Building a Healthy Neighborhood” event in Overbrook. The Spencers quickly applied. When they found out they qualified for receiving critical home repairs, Andrea Spencer said, “We were in a joyful shock, a dream – suspended in animation.”

Andrea described her home before the renovations as loving, but with a heavy weight on her and Brian’s shoulders. “We were scared, worried, and a bit hopeless. I didn’t want the house to fall apart. We care about it.”            

Matthew and Richard loved having the volunteers working on their family home. They even made fast friends with the volunteers. They’d talk to Andrea and Brian about their favorite workers when the work was done. Volunteers even wondered where the kids were when they weren’t in sight.

The family’s favorite renovation to their house is their new kitchen. Rebuilding Together installed new floors, gave the walls a fresh coat of paint, and put in a new backsplash. “I totally love everything, but it’s my favorite. I spend so much time in the kitchen. I feel excited. It’s like a new home. The energy of the people who worked here left an imprint and it radiates every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel the newness.”

Andrea even saw this positivity extend to her whole neighborhood. She remembered how her neighbors showed happiness for the Rebuilding Together recipients. “Rebuilding Together made it feel like we were all in it together. Our community belonged to that endeavor, to that sincerity and devotion. The volunteers worked like they were in it with us. We all felt supported.”

Before the Building a Health Neighborhood event, Andrea said that Overbrook was quaint and cordial. The residents were busy with their own lives and familial needs. “People opened up and their hearts expanded during the project,” Andrea said recollecting the renovation days.

Andrea has since left her late night job to start a new one at a local school. Her pay is about the same, but the hours allow her to spend more time with her kids and to catch up on much needed sleep. Her husband was able to find work during the summer, but has been laid off again.

Andrea said about the whole experience, “I thank Rebuilding Together every day of my life. I love all those volunteers. I appreciate them and my heart goes out to them wherever they may be.”