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.”

Mr. Patterson, 65, is a retired carpenter and Vietnam War veteran living in Alexandria, Va. Due to being exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical made of herbicides used by the military in Vietnam to remove trees and vegetation, Mr. Patterson had to have both of his legs amputated. He now relies on his prosthetic legs to move around.
Rebuilding Together Alexandria worked with Mr. Patterson to ensure that his home was safe, healthy, and accessible. Mr. Patterson has spent his entire life in this home. They noticed that his lawn needed landscaping, the energy inefficiency of his home was costing him extra money in energy bills, and that it was difficult for Mr. Patterson to safely navigate his home.
The 20 volunteers that dedicated an entire day to renovating Mr. Patterson’s house wanted to give him a home where he could age in place and feel proud. The volunteers made energy efficient upgrades and renovations like cleaning out the coils under the refrigerator, sealing outlets, and weatherizing his windows and doors. While Mr. Patterson can still do many things on his own, he struggled with getting groceries from his car and into his home. Volunteers installed a gate on his porch closest to where Mr. Patterson parks. Now all he has to do is open the back door of his car, open the gate, and set the bags on the porch. Volunteers also installed a new wheel chair accessible ramp on Mr. Patterson’s back porch.
Mr. Patterson is elated with how the energy efficient upgrades have lowered his bills. And he is even happier with how much easier he can move around his home. In fact, one of his favorite things to do now is to sit out on his new porches.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up in one single home, fear you won’t be able to remain there, and then receive repairs and renovations so that you can age there safely,” said Ali Feudo, the AmeriCorps Community Outreach Coordinator for Rebuilding Together Alexandria. “But John doesn’t have to imagine. He knows. And that makes me happy.”

Mr. Patterson, 65, is a retired carpenter and Vietnam War veteran living in Alexandria, Va. Due to being exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical made of herbicides used by the military in Vietnam to remove trees and vegetation, Mr. Patterson had to have both of his legs amputated. He now relies on his prosthetic legs to move around.

Rebuilding Together Alexandria worked with Mr. Patterson to ensure that his home was safe, healthy, and accessible. Mr. Patterson has spent his entire life in this home. They noticed that his lawn needed landscaping, the energy inefficiency of his home was costing him extra money in energy bills, and that it was difficult for Mr. Patterson to safely navigate his home.

The 20 volunteers that dedicated an entire day to renovating Mr. Patterson’s house wanted to give him a home where he could age in place and feel proud. The volunteers made energy efficient upgrades and renovations like cleaning out the coils under the refrigerator, sealing outlets, and weatherizing his windows and doors. While Mr. Patterson can still do many things on his own, he struggled with getting groceries from his car and into his home. Volunteers installed a gate on his porch closest to where Mr. Patterson parks. Now all he has to do is open the back door of his car, open the gate, and set the bags on the porch. Volunteers also installed a new wheel chair accessible ramp on Mr. Patterson’s back porch.

Mr. Patterson is elated with how the energy efficient upgrades have lowered his bills. And he is even happier with how much easier he can move around his home. In fact, one of his favorite things to do now is to sit out on his new porches.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up in one single home, fear you won’t be able to remain there, and then receive repairs and renovations so that you can age there safely,” said Ali Feudo, the AmeriCorps Community Outreach Coordinator for Rebuilding Together Alexandria. “But John doesn’t have to imagine. He knows. And that makes me happy.”

Mr Lawrence, 71, moved back to his childhood home in Tulsa in 1999 after his wife passed away. 
His childhood memories are as fresh as ever. “I remember rolling around on this very floor as a little boy. We used to catch fireflies in the frontyard.”
Mr. Lawrence is the father of six kids and “too many grandchildren and great grandchildren to count.” He jokes saying, “I think there are 15,000.”
Rebuilding Together Tulsa renovated Mr. Lawrence’s home to ensure that he can age in place in a safe and healthy home. Volunteers installed air sealing, attic insulation, two new doors with deadbolts, handrails, and new siding. They also replaced the home’s drywall and repaired his plumbing. Mr. Lawrence’s home is now more energy efficient, weatherproof and accessible.
As part of their National Rebuilding Month celebration on April 20, Rebuilding Together Tulsa will send another team of volunteers to paint the outside of Mr. Lawrence’s home and clean up his yard. Mr. Lawrence’s home is just one of 16 projects happening that day for Rebuilding Together Tulsa. His neighborhood in particular is in great need of critical home repairs and community revitalization. 
Mr. Lawrence had this to say about his Rebuilding Together experience, “I love these guys volunteering. They are good people. You can see the light shining in them when they walk through the door.”

Mr Lawrence, 71, moved back to his childhood home in Tulsa in 1999 after his wife passed away. 

His childhood memories are as fresh as ever. “I remember rolling around on this very floor as a little boy. We used to catch fireflies in the frontyard.”

Mr. Lawrence is the father of six kids and “too many grandchildren and great grandchildren to count.” He jokes saying, “I think there are 15,000.”

Rebuilding Together Tulsa renovated Mr. Lawrence’s home to ensure that he can age in place in a safe and healthy home. Volunteers installed air sealing, attic insulation, two new doors with deadbolts, handrails, and new siding. They also replaced the home’s drywall and repaired his plumbing. Mr. Lawrence’s home is now more energy efficient, weatherproof and accessible.

As part of their National Rebuilding Month celebration on April 20, Rebuilding Together Tulsa will send another team of volunteers to paint the outside of Mr. Lawrence’s home and clean up his yard. Mr. Lawrence’s home is just one of 16 projects happening that day for Rebuilding Together Tulsa. His neighborhood in particular is in great need of critical home repairs and community revitalization. 

Mr. Lawrence had this to say about his Rebuilding Together experience, “I love these guys volunteering. They are good people. You can see the light shining in them when they walk through the door.”

Nick, Dale, and Dave are dedicated and passionate volunteers for Rebuilding Together South Sound. Rachel Lehr, the AmeriCorps year round coordinator for Rebuilding Together South Sound, described them as their “go to guys for projects.”
These retired electricians have been volunteering their time and skills for 18 months. And in that year and a half, they’ve completed 15 projects. In fact, Rachel finds it hard to keep up with their demand of work. Nick, Dale, and Dave would love it if they could complete a project every week.
"We completely trust them," said Rachel. "If we need to widen doorways or fix steps, they can totally do it. They know homes and understand their structure."
The math of their impact doesn’t lie. This trio has donated nearly $9,000 of market value between their time and skills through the projects they’ve completed themselves. That dollar amount rises to $54,000 if you count the projects they helped out with. 
"It’s not something they have to do - they want to," Rachel explained. "They think it’s important to help people. They like Rebuilding Together because they get to meet the people they’re helping.”

Nick, Dale, and Dave are dedicated and passionate volunteers for Rebuilding Together South Sound. Rachel Lehr, the AmeriCorps year round coordinator for Rebuilding Together South Sound, described them as their “go to guys for projects.”

These retired electricians have been volunteering their time and skills for 18 months. And in that year and a half, they’ve completed 15 projects. In fact, Rachel finds it hard to keep up with their demand of work. Nick, Dale, and Dave would love it if they could complete a project every week.

"We completely trust them," said Rachel. "If we need to widen doorways or fix steps, they can totally do it. They know homes and understand their structure."

The math of their impact doesn’t lie. This trio has donated nearly $9,000 of market value between their time and skills through the projects they’ve completed themselves. That dollar amount rises to $54,000 if you count the projects they helped out with. 

"It’s not something they have to do - they want to," Rachel explained. "They think it’s important to help people. They like Rebuilding Together because they get to meet the people they’re helping.”

On February 1st, Rebuilding Together will celebrate our 18th Annual Kickoff to Rebuild, a Super Bowl sanctioned charity event. NFL stars Garrett Hartley and Robert Royal will join our volunteers as we renovate the homes of low-income homeowners in New Orleans. Below are just some of the stories of the people we are helping.
The Moores
Mr. and Mrs. Moore are childhood sweethearts who have been married for nearly 35 years. Mr. Moore served in the Navy for two years shortly after graduating from high school. The Moores’ eldest son and daughter share their father’s passion for service and joined the Air Force. Their daughter assisted her fellow New Orleanians during and after Hurricane Isaac. 
"I’ve been around the world, and no matter where you go, there ain’t no place quite like New Orleans," said Mr. Moore. The Moores plan on watching the Super Bowl together in their newly renovated home.
Anthony Hudson and Lauren Pope
Anthony Hudson joined the military after graduating high school and served one term as an Ammunition Specialist. While being stationed in Iraq, he watched as Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Ever since being honorably discharged, he has dedicated himself to improving the quality of life for his family and others around him.
Anthony and Lauren are engaged and have three children together. The renovations they’re receiving will make their house a safe and healthy home for their kids to grow up in. 
Lois Paige
Lois Paige has lived in New Orleans for over 90 years. This retired elementary school teacher, wife, and mother has been a strong contributor within her community. Her proudest moment came when her daughter graduated from Tulane University’s Newcomb College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Due to arthritis and other health issues, it is difficult for Ms. Paige to move around her house. Ms. Paige receives excellent care from her daughter and a sense of security from living next door to her grandson. However, the critical home repairs she will receive will greatly better her quality of life. 

On February 1st, Rebuilding Together will celebrate our 18th Annual Kickoff to Rebuild, a Super Bowl sanctioned charity event. NFL stars Garrett Hartley and Robert Royal will join our volunteers as we renovate the homes of low-income homeowners in New Orleans. Below are just some of the stories of the people we are helping.

The Moores

Mr. and Mrs. Moore are childhood sweethearts who have been married for nearly 35 years. Mr. Moore served in the Navy for two years shortly after graduating from high school. The Moores’ eldest son and daughter share their father’s passion for service and joined the Air Force. Their daughter assisted her fellow New Orleanians during and after Hurricane Isaac. 

"I’ve been around the world, and no matter where you go, there ain’t no place quite like New Orleans," said Mr. Moore. The Moores plan on watching the Super Bowl together in their newly renovated home.

Anthony Hudson and Lauren Pope

Anthony Hudson joined the military after graduating high school and served one term as an Ammunition Specialist. While being stationed in Iraq, he watched as Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans. Ever since being honorably discharged, he has dedicated himself to improving the quality of life for his family and others around him.

Anthony and Lauren are engaged and have three children together. The renovations they’re receiving will make their house a safe and healthy home for their kids to grow up in. 

Lois Paige

Lois Paige has lived in New Orleans for over 90 years. This retired elementary school teacher, wife, and mother has been a strong contributor within her community. Her proudest moment came when her daughter graduated from Tulane University’s Newcomb College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.

Due to arthritis and other health issues, it is difficult for Ms. Paige to move around her house. Ms. Paige receives excellent care from her daughter and a sense of security from living next door to her grandson. However, the critical home repairs she will receive will greatly better her quality of life. 

Need some inspiration? Here’s a look at some of our favorite quotes from the homeowners we’ve helped. 
“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.” - Andrea Spencer.
“I love how family oriented Rebuilding Together is…I almost lost my home. I feel like I need to give back.” - Felicia Byrd. 
“My experience with all of you is much better than winning the lottery! Money is great, but it pales in comparison to the kindness shown to me. Money runs out, but I will be to remember what you did for me well into my old age” - Janelle Weikum.
"I am not a crier but looking at my house and knowing what those men did  for me, tugs at my heart and brings tears to my eyes." - A homeowner helped by Rebuilding Together Central Ohio.
“It’s a God send, I am so grateful for the help. I can just cry, knowing that there are people who want to help make my home better.” - Ms. Purnell.

Need some inspiration? Here’s a look at some of our favorite quotes from the homeowners we’ve helped. 

“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.” - Andrea Spencer.

I love how family oriented Rebuilding Together is…I almost lost my home. I feel like I need to give back.” - Felicia Byrd. 

My experience with all of you is much better than winning the lottery! Money is great, but it pales in comparison to the kindness shown to me. Money runs out, but I will be to remember what you did for me well into my old age” - Janelle Weikum.

"I am not a crier but looking at my house and knowing what those men did  for me, tugs at my heart and brings tears to my eyes." - A homeowner helped by Rebuilding Together Central Ohio.

It’s a God send, I am so grateful for the help. I can just cry, knowing that there are people who want to help make my home better.” - Ms. Purnell.

“What a Special Gift”
When Mary first contacted Rebuilding Together Aurora to see about getting her broken chairlift replaced, she had almost given hope of being able to leave her home. A ramp was out of the question for her from a financial standpoint, and due to the weakening of the muscles in her neck from her disability, being carried outside was painful and traumatic for her. It was October of 2012, and she hadn’t been outside of her house more than once in ten months.
Rebuilding Together Aurora was able to address her need for a new lift through the Safe at Home Program, funded by the City of Aurora’s Community Development Block Grant. Mary was amazed to hear that she would be able to use her lift before Christmas, and also a little bit skeptical; however, just about two months later she was able to roll out her back door and into the wider world. “The lift is just wonderful,” Mary says, glowing with excitement, “because I can scoot right out the door, no jostling!” Mary says while she wasn’t exactly lonely during her year in her house, having the company of her dogs and caregiver, she did get “cabin fever.” She would think of how nice it would be to get out and just run simple errands, to be able to see different things and make contact with a variety of people.
When asked where she planned on going to enjoy her regained freedom, Mary said, “I want to go to Ice Cream Drive,” where a popular shopping center is located. “So many of the stores that I like, all in one place.” Mary’s story reminds those of us who do not have mobility impairments of the aspects of life that we take for granted. Mary was overjoyed to have her lift ready in time for Christmas, as she’d been told it would be. “What a special gift! It would really be my pleasure to help anyone realize how wonderful this program is and how it can impact people’s lives.”

“What a Special Gift”

When Mary first contacted Rebuilding Together Aurora to see about getting her broken chairlift replaced, she had almost given hope of being able to leave her home. A ramp was out of the question for her from a financial standpoint, and due to the weakening of the muscles in her neck from her disability, being carried outside was painful and traumatic for her. It was October of 2012, and she hadn’t been outside of her house more than once in ten months.

Rebuilding Together Aurora was able to address her need for a new lift through the Safe at Home Program, funded by the City of Aurora’s Community Development Block Grant. Mary was amazed to hear that she would be able to use her lift before Christmas, and also a little bit skeptical; however, just about two months later she was able to roll out her back door and into the wider world. “The lift is just wonderful,” Mary says, glowing with excitement, “because I can scoot right out the door, no jostling!” Mary says while she wasn’t exactly lonely during her year in her house, having the company of her dogs and caregiver, she did get “cabin fever.” She would think of how nice it would be to get out and just run simple errands, to be able to see different things and make contact with a variety of people.

When asked where she planned on going to enjoy her regained freedom, Mary said, “I want to go to Ice Cream Drive,” where a popular shopping center is located. “So many of the stores that I like, all in one place.” Mary’s story reminds those of us who do not have mobility impairments of the aspects of life that we take for granted. Mary was overjoyed to have her lift ready in time for Christmas, as she’d been told it would be. “What a special gift! It would really be my pleasure to help anyone realize how wonderful this program is and how it can impact people’s lives.”

This is the third and final installment of the three-part series on Rebuilding Together’s renovations on Janelle Weikum’s home. The previous two stories focused on Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines’ interaction with Janelle and a volunteer’s work with her.
Below is a letter that Janelle Weikum wrote to Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines and the volunteers that worked on her home. 
Dear Volunteers,
As I sit around my beautiful ‘new’ house, I cannot believe how blessed I am. Even though I have had a few weeks to get used to things, I am stilled amazed every time I open my front door. 
My experience with all of you is much better than winning the lottery! Money is great, but it pales in comparison to the kindness shown to me. Money runs out, but I will be to remember what you did for me well into my old age. Thanks to all of you, I can now spend those golden years in the home where I raised my son. 
I just wanted you to know I will always be grateful! And I will always think of you and your kindness with a fond and grateful heart. 
Wow. Thanks!
Janelle Weikum

This is the third and final installment of the three-part series on Rebuilding Together’s renovations on Janelle Weikum’s home. The previous two stories focused on Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines’ interaction with Janelle and a volunteer’s work with her.

Below is a letter that Janelle Weikum wrote to Rebuilding Together Greater Des Moines and the volunteers that worked on her home. 

Dear Volunteers,

As I sit around my beautiful ‘new’ house, I cannot believe how blessed I am. Even though I have had a few weeks to get used to things, I am stilled amazed every time I open my front door. 

My experience with all of you is much better than winning the lottery! Money is great, but it pales in comparison to the kindness shown to me. Money runs out, but I will be to remember what you did for me well into my old age. Thanks to all of you, I can now spend those golden years in the home where I raised my son. 

I just wanted you to know I will always be grateful! And I will always think of you and your kindness with a fond and grateful heart. 

Wow. Thanks!

Janelle Weikum

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.”