There truly is no place like home. For Mildred, this sentiment resonates as dozens of volunteers work to breathe new life into her home. It’s been 44 years since Mildred first moved into her house in Houston from Bryan, Texas. It’s a place filled with love, happiness, and memories of her five children and late husband. She lost her husband in 1996 after he fell ill and became disabled. It was at that time she faced the many struggles in the upkeep of her home. She worked to do what she could to take care of it, but eventually she needed help.
Now, as volunteers with Rebuilding Together Houston gather their tools and roll up their sleeves, Mildred will finally receive the helping hand she has needed. Volunteers with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston started exterior home repairs on March 29 and will continue into April. Volunteers will work to make a safer home for Mildred by replacing siding, installing a new side door and storm door, replacing window panes and screens, repairing rotten wood, and scraping and painting the whole house. The crew is even taking a few more steps to reestablish flower gardens, clean up potted plants, cut down dead tree limbs, and even paint the shed for a nice touch to match the house.
The volunteer group from The University of Texas Health Science Center call themselves the UT House Medics. They are a longtime supporter of Rebuilding Together Houston and have been providing volunteer crews since the early 1990s. Since then, they’ve repaired more than 70 homes and they don’t intend on stopping anytime soon.
“Without Rebuilding Together Houston I am a fish out of water!” says the group’s Crew Leader, Dennie Clemons. “We touch lives in so many different ways. We heal the hearts of many. Our volunteers love our homeowners and our homeowners love us.”
The feeling is definitely mutual for Mildred. Since the day the volunteers first showed up to visit, she can’t stop praising their efforts saying, “I’m enjoying them so much. It is truly an experience. Every little thing I’ve ever gotten I’ve had to try and pay for it a little at a time. I’m so grateful to be getting this. I’m so thankful.”
This project is part of National Rebuilding Month, a nationwide call to provide safe and healthy homes for America’s low-income homeowners and families at no cost to the recipients across the country during the month of April leading up to National Rebuilding Day on April 26, an annual culmination of the month’s events. Last year across the country, more than 50,000 volunteers served at over 3,000 affiliate-led rebuild projects during the month of April. National Rebuilding Month is embraced by community leaders and national corporate partners as a way of bringing immediate, large-scale impact to communities across America in a single month. Follow the projects at on Facebook and Twitter (#rtnrm). Learn more at www.rebuildingtogether.org/nrm2014/