Rebuilding Together Fox Valley is often referred to as the best-kept secret in the Fox Valley. The nonprofit organization, with a staff of three, provides critical home repairs free of charge to low-income homeowners, giving them the ability to remain safe and healthy in their own homes.
Last year, Rebuilding Together Fox Valley completed 49 home remodeling projects, serving 78 low-income elderly, veterans and people with disabilities.
How can such a small organization accomplish such a feat? One word: volunteers.
Last year, 426 volunteers served the organization by helping with minor plumbing repairs and installing flooring, grab bar and handrails, windows, doors, ramps and siding.
The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, which is sponsored by Volunteer Fox Cities, is focusing on helping seniors stay in their own homes, so these are perfect projects for members.
Since the beginning of the partnership with RSVP and Rebuilding Together Fox Valley, nine RSVP members have served in the office or assisted with home repairs and adaptations. They have served more than 1,000 hours.
This year, National Rebuilding Day will be held on April 27. Twelve projects will be completed by 12 different teams, all working simultaneously. A few RSVP volunteers will support this day of service by picking up and delivering refreshments at each work site.
Executive Director Chip Wood said volunteers are key to their mission.
“Without volunteers, we could do absolutely nothing,” he said. “The magic of Rebuilding Together is that volunteers who don’t necessarily have any experience in home repair are being able to fix up the homes of their low-income neighbors in need.”
Wood explained that most projects are designed for people who have no experience or knowledge of the construction industry, so they can come in and successfully complete the project in one day. One of the most common projects is installing flooring. He said the high-quality flooring they use is very simple to install.
“We break down the most complex projects into very simple ones,” he said.
Volunteers who are skilled in home repair serve as house captains and supervise the projects.
“That’s where our house captains really come in and do some extraordinary work,” he said. “If there is work that needs to be done in advance, they get that taken care of. Work that is a little more difficult or requires more experience, they will have that taken care of ahead of time. If there is anything that requires a license or skilled contractor, we’ll also have that taken care of in advance.”
All projects are completed in one day, so it’s perfect for volunteers who may not want to commit to a schedule. While most volunteers work for the entire day, they can volunteer for a minimum of four hours.
Consider helping at Rebuilding Together Fox Valley. All that is required is a willingness to learn and a desire to roll up your sleeves to help your neighbors!
Volunteers who are interested in helping at Rebuilding Together Fox Valley can contact Heather at 920-730-2156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.