Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Feature project of the week: Eric Kormondy & Team

On Spring Rebuilding Day 2010 Project Leader, Eric Kormondy, and his team tackled a project in South Seattle.  They rebuilt a deck out back, renovated a bathroom and kitchen, and completely demolished an unsafe garage in the backyard.  The homeowner, Betty, is elderly and disabled.  She requires the use of a walker and help from her dauther to get up and down stairs and to and from the rooms of her house. The improvements made by Eric and his team were a tremendous help to Betty and her mobility and safety.

Betty and her daughter, Beverly, both wrote wonderful thank you letters to RTS and to Eric and his team:

April 29, 2010

Dear Volunteers,

I want to thank you for all the hard work you have done. I would like to say without your help and assistance and hard work in making my home a safer environment it would not have been possible. While everyone was working so hard and diligently I felt bad I wasn’t able to help with my health condition that I have.

I have met a lot of volunteers on April 24 and I must say I enjoyed each and every one of you. The volunteers were very nice and courteous and very respectful to me and my family. I noticed after my daughter told me to look at the volunteers and see how all of them had smiles on their faces and how none of them had angry faces. I was glad to see that this world has kind hearted people that really care for others. I must say I saw the caring people at my home April 24 that really impacted my life my home and gave me a safe way of living life and I thank you.

As I gotten more curious as the day went on I decided to go and take a look at the house. I first looked at the kitchen I thought I was going to fall off my walker. I was so shocked to see my kitchen transformed into a beautiful place. Later that night I got up out of bed and I guess I just couldn’t believe all that was fixed so I went to look at my kitchen again to see if I was dreaming. I thank God I wasn’t dreaming . I saw my back patio rebuilt into another master piece then the bathrooms was fixed very nicely and the back yard was cleaned up marvelously as well as the basement and the garage. If I have forgotten anything please forgive me. I never thought it would be possible for me to get help and I thank you again for all you have done.

My daughter (Beverly) started the paper work to try to get me help to fix my home. A friend of Beverly told her about this program Rebuilding Together Seattle from her job 1 year ago. Beverly said “mom I can’t afford to help fix your home but I’m going to try to get you some help to fix your home.” She was very persistent in calling Rebuilding Together Seattle and she also prayed long and hard. God heard her prayers and God sent the volunteers and Rebuilding Together to me. And I thank God for the people that dedicated their whole Saturday weekend to me to help make my home a better place you all are wonderful. Thank you.

I heard my daughter talking to the workers and I heard her say “You all are awesome” and I want the volunteers to know each and every one of you are “Awesome.”

Once again Beverly and I want to thank all the volunteers that helped me in the time of need. I would also like the volunteers to know you will not be forgotten and there will always be a warm place in our hearts for you all. Thank you again and God bless everyone.



April 26, 2010

Dear Rebuilding Together, Sponsors, and Volunteers All,

My name is Beverly, my mother Betty is the person who was chosen to receive your services from Rebuilding Together.

Betty and I want to give a very warm and generous thank you to Rebuilding Together, the sponsors, and the volunteers all that were involved in this project and all that I may have missed that was involved. I apologize to anyone that I may have missed. The project was very successful. Thank you.

I would like to let Rebuilding Together to know that you have an “awesome” and a “wonderful” group of people working with you. I noticed on this day (April 24th) the word of the day was “AWESOME.” I chose that word because everyone was “AWESOME.” The volunteers had happy faces at all times not one person looked like they didn’t want to be there. The volunteers made me feel good because they were very happy, kind and they had a very happy spirit and I love to see that in people. Thank you.

I watch a lot of Extreme Makeover shows – they build a house in 7 days for families that are in need for different reasons. You know Rebuilding Together reminds me of this show. I cry a lot while watching this show because they are doing a lot of wonderful things for different people who are in need for different reasons who can’t afford to fix any problems that may arise in the home.

As the day was ending and everyone was leaving I spoke to Eric trying to fight back all my tears but I couldn’t hold it back any longer. I wasn’t sad but on the inside I was very very happy for my mother and all thr great things that changed her life in 11 to 12 hours. My mother’s home is a lot safer for her, she can sit on her porch without it moving while she walks on it, my mom can put food in her kitchen cabinets without her cabinets falling through from the weak boards, she can finally use her bathroom sinks without seeing rust and she don’t have to watch the drips that seemed to never stop. And when she goes down her stairs I don’t have to worry about her tripping because the carpet is not stapled down, Betty can look in her back yard and not worry about seeing cat coming out an old garage that was ready to fall at any time with a gentle push. THANK YOU … Her home is a lot better place to be and she is loving her home more today.

Betty woke up Sunday and thought she was in someone else’s home because she thought something so “AWESOME” could not have happened to her. I told her I love her and I would do it all over again to help her because she has given to a lot of people and now it’s her turn to receive something good.

I want everyone to know that I thank God for Rebuilding Together, the sponsors and the volunteers all that were involved. I prayed long and hard for my mother to receive help from Rebuilding Together and do you know what we have an “Awesome” God, He answered my prayers.

Betty would like you to know she is in such amazement and awe and she sends here very happy and warm and generous thank you to everyone involved.

Betty and I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and kindness and loyal dedication to finish the work at my mother’s home it was greatly appreciated. Everyone is wonderful and awesome. I want to say thank you again for everything. Thank you.


Beverly and Betty

Volunteers hard at work on Betty's home

Monday, July 26, 2010

RTS Welcomes New Summer Interns: Erica Strathern and Emma Pihl

Rebuilding Together Seattle is excited to introduce our summer interns! Those of you who have stopped by the office have most likely met one or the other. Next time you stop by you will be greeted by one of the following friendly faces!

Erica Strathern just completed her Junior year at the University of Washington. Erica loves puzzles and numbers and plans to pursue a career in accounting. During the summer, Erica is also enrolled in an advanced Italian Language class, in preparation for an MBA program in Italy next fall.
Erica has been a huge asset to RTS - helping with outreach and giving our office a major facelift!

Erica enjoys sailing, organizing, driving her Prius, and spending time with her mom and friends.

Emma Pihl will be a Sophomore at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and attended Holy Names Academy for high school. Emma is pursuing both an English and Math major at St. Olaf.

Emma has also been a great asset to RTS. She has been instrumental in formatting our documents using new software RTS recently received through a grant. She also helps tremendously with program outreach.

Emma enjoys reading the classics and spending the summer with friends and family in the pleasant Pacific Northwest weather before heading back to the muggy and buggy Midwest this fall!

Welcome to RTS, Emma and Erica!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RTS featured on Burien B-Town Blog and White Center Blog!

Another story on Rebuilding Together Seattle's programs. Check it out! White Center Blog

RTS is accepting applicationsvfrom qualified homeowners!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

RTS volunteer makes a difference through mortgage program

In the Fall of 2008, RTS Young Professionals Society member, Michelle Wilson, approached Rebuilding Together Seattle about an innovative idea for giving back to RTS. Michelle, a Mortgage Loan Officer for Alpine Mortgage in Seattle, wanted to start her own Mortgage Program by providing a donation to RTS each time she financed a home loan.

Michelle stood true to her word. Michelle began her RTS Mortgage Program in January of 2009, bringing in over $600.00 by the end of the fiscal year in June. During Fiscal Year 2010, Michelle brought in over $1,000! To date, Michelle's program has contributed $2,100 to RTS.

"I became involved in Rebuilding Together Seattle’s Young Professionals Society in the summer of 2008," Michelle said. "What I like most about RTS is that it’s a local organization whose main objective is to help homeowners in need. As a Mortgage Loan Officer in the local community, I help people achieve their dream of home ownership, and I thought getting involved in RTS would be a great way to help provide service and funds to homeowners in need. After having supported RTS through fundraisers, events and volunteering at rebuild projects, I was able to witness first-hand how RTS is able to provide a needed valuable service to the local community. I decided to also get involved through my work by securing a commitment from Alpine to donate funds at closing on all my mortgage loan originations."

RTS thanks Michelle for her continued generosity toward Rebuilding Together Seattle. To learn more about Michelle's program, please email Michelle at michelle@alpinemtg.com.


Join friends of Rebuilding Together Seattle at our first ever Beer & Wine Tasting at REI on Friday, October 1, 2010! Please extend an invitation to your family and friends. For more information, please visit: http://www.rtseattle.org/beer_wine.php.

To request a hard copy "Save the Date" please email sihrie@rtseattle.org. Interested in becoming an event sponsor? Please call our office at 206.682.1231.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pike Brewing Company to sponsor RTS on October 1st!

On July 3rd, Rose Ann Finkle, co-owner of the Pike Brewing Company in Seattle, announced that the Pike Brewing Company would be pleased to participate in Rebuilding Together Seattle's inaugural Beer and Wine Tasting fundraiser on Friday, October 1st.

Rose Ann and Charles Finkel started the Pike Brewery in 1989 at the La Salle Hotel on 1432 Western Avenue. Today, The Pike Brewery is a thriving and popular tourist venue in Seattle, on 1415 1st Avenue, right next to the Pike Place Market!

To learn more about the Pike Brewing Company and their excellent brews, please visit: www.pikebrewing.com.

RTS thanks the Pike Brewing Company for their generosity to our organization!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

RTS Program Featured on Queen Anne Blog!

RTS thanks Queen Anne View blog for featuring our programs and helping us get the word out to homeowners in need! Check out the story at Queen Anne View!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rebuilding Together Featured on mlb.com

Volunteers come through at Mary's Kitchen
More than 50 people help complete renovations

By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com

07/10/10 6:37 PM ET

ORANGE, Calif. -- Major League Baseball, the Angels, Rebuilding Together and Bank of America celebrated the grand opening of the rehabilitated facilities of non-profit organization Mary's Kitchen on Saturday, as part of the festivities of MLB All-Star Week.

It was a special and emotional day for all involved in helping renovate Mary's Kitchen, which provides food, clothing, and other social services daily to over 150 of Orange County's hungry, homeless and working poor, including 30 U.S. Armed Services veterans.

The finishing touches were put on the project with more than 50 volunteers painting, assembling picnic tables, cabinets and other furniture, as well as outdoor yard work and more.

It's all part of MLB's "Going Beyond" initiative, which is expected to raise $5 million for local and national charities as part of MLB's All-Star Week in Anaheim and the surrounding areas.

"This is more important in a sense that it leaves a lasting impression in the community and makes a lasting contribution," said Bob DuPuy, MLB's president & chief operating officer. "Baseball is America's game and its national pastime, so Commissioner [Bud] Selig has made it a lynchpin during his tenure that it's a social institution and so we have a need to give back to the community."

DuPuy was joined at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the project by Angels chairman Dennis Kuhl, city of Orange mayor Carolyn Cavecche, Rebuilding Together President and CEO Bill Good, Bank of American regional executive Allen Staff and Mary's Kitchen board president Gloria Suess.

It helped celebrate the renovation of Mary's Kitchen, which now has a much larger walk-in freezer, more kitchen space and more picnic tables for the nearly 200 people who are served daily at the facility.

"We could never have done it without them," said Suess. "We tripled the size of the kitchen, we beautified the yard and now we have space and we can find everything. It's just so many practical things."

It was an especially exciting day for Suess and many other volunteers who have been with Mary's Kitchen since its inception in 1984, when 82-year-old Mary McAnena began serving the homeless in nearby Hart Park. Mary's Kitchen then moved to its current location in '94 with the help of the city of Orange and now it's better than the ever with the help of MLB, the Angels, Rebuilding Together and Bank of America.

"This has been unbelievable," said Sue Siegal, who has been volunteering with Mary's Kitchen for 24 years. "They've been great. Everyone has been fantastic helping out."

Bank of America and Rebuilding Together began doing work on the facilities on June 5 and after 770 hours of work by more than 150 volunteers, the renovation was finished on Saturday and will now better serve its visitors.

"In partnering with Rebuilding Together, we've had many volunteers to help rebuild Mary's Kitchen, which is very important," Staff said. "We've had volunteers here from Bank of America since June 5 so now we're just seeing the end result of a lot of great work."

Bank of America also presented Mary's Kitchen with a check for $75,000, while the Angels Baseball Foundation also helped with the efforts.

It's certainly an exciting week for the Angels, who host the 81st All-Star Game on Tuesday, and this was just another great event for the organization.

"Everybody focuses on the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby, but we're so excited to be a part of something bigger than the game and that's what this is," Kuhl said. "We're helping our community and the less privileged."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


RTS Program Featured in Green Lake Blog!

RTS wants to thank My Green Lake, a neighborhood blog, for publicizing a story highlighting Rebuilding Together Seattle's home repair program.  Check it out at their site: My Green Lake  

Savvy Avenue partners with RTS!

Recently, a local online service, Savvy Avenue, chose Rebuilding Together Seattle as their "Charity of the Month".  $1 from each purchase made on Savvy Avenue's website during the month of June was donated to RTS to help further its programs!

A note from Savvy:

Savvy Avenue launched in Seattle with a mission to keep spending local and highlight savvy new experiences. They provide daily email offers for Seattle's local restaurants, spas and retailers. The offers, on average, provide consumers 50 to 75 percent off a specific item, service or purchase. Savvy Avenue strives to partner with the area’s local “hot spots,” to create exclusive deals or packages only available to Savvy Avenue subscribers.

Savvy Avenue is also helping local consumers support their favorite charities as they shop and purchase certificates. Each month, a portion of every purchase goes toward a featured local charity or nonprofit, which is selected based on subscriber feedback through focus groups, personal contact and social media sites.
For the month of June, Savvy Avenue partnered with Rebuilding Together Seattle! For every certificate purchased throughout our featured month, $1 went to Rebuilding Together Seattle to provide donated repair services for homeowners in need.
For more information or to subscribe to Savvy Avenue, visit www.SavvyAvenue.com. Follow the company and its daily deals on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/SavvyAvenueSeattle, and Twitter, http://twitter.com/SavAveSeattle.

Thank You, Savvy Avenue!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

RTS program featured in PHINNEYWOOD Blog!

RTS thanks the writers of PHINNEYWOOD for publicizing our home repair program! In April, RTS's Youth Board Spring Rebuilding Day project was also featured in the Blog.

If you live in the Phinney/Greenwood area and have a neighbor who could benefit from our free home repair program, please call our office! (206) 682-1231.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ABC features YPS Rebuilding Day in ABC newsletter

RTS thanks ABC of Western WA for featuring our RTS Young Professionals Society's Rebuilding Day 2010 in their newsletter. We hope you can join!

ABC Cares: Rebuild With Rebuilding Together

In February, ABC’s Young Professionals Group and Rebuilding Togther’s Young Professionals Society (YPS) held a joint event where the two groups raised almost $1,000 for Rebuilding Together's YPS Inaugural Rebuilding Day, which is being held on August 14th from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm in White Center.

Rebuilding Together Seattle is a non-profit organization that counts on volunteers and charitable contributions to repair or rebuild homes at no cost to low-income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled or families with children. To learn more about Rebuilding Together, visit their Website at http://rtseattle.org.

Rebuilding Together’s YPS is looking for volunteers to help out on this project. If you or your company would like to provide skilled labor or donate project materials to this project, please contact John Hanks at JHanks@swinerton.com.

If you are unable to volunteer and would still like to make a donation, please visit http://rtseattle.org/make_donation.php.

Featured Project of the Week: J2 Building Consultants

On Spring Rebuilding Day 2010, J2 Building Consultants went to the home of veteran Wayne and his family in Everett. Wayne is a 63 year-old disabled Vietnam War veteran who was enlisted on January 27, 1964.

On Saturday, April 24th, J2 volunteers dedicated their day to repairing windows, painting, bathroom repairs (grab bars, new vent, tub enclosures), updating the electric work throughout, installing new stove, molding and a kitchen door.

The team submitted a great before and after group shot of their work! What an amazing difference they made!



A note from Wayne and his family:

To all the wonderful Volunteers,

I’m having so much trouble coming up with enough words to describe this experience. My family and I were treated wonderfully by Rebuilding Seattle and all the volunteers that worked on our house.

The experience of meeting and dealing with all of you was great. Every one of the volunteers were courteous, kind, and hard-working. The work that they did on our home was quality work, the professionalism they showed handling weather and other circumstances was impressive. We didn’t expect the work to be done so quickly, given that the weather didn’t cooperate. However, they remained optimistic and attacked it with a great attitude.

I can’t say enough just how pleased our family is with your organization and its volunteers. We offer our thankful praise a thousand times over. We will always remember the help you’ve given our family at a very difficult time.

May your times be long and happy,


Great work J2 Consultants! You have made a noticeable difference and impact on Wayne's life.

Meet the 2010-2011 YPS Executive Team: Erin Scheopner, Service Chair

Erin Scheopner, Service Chair

1. How did you get involved with YPS? Why did you choose to become a member of YPS?

I am fortunate enough to be a friend and former colleague of Margie. When she had the idea to start a group for young professionals, she contacted me. I was more than happy and eager to get involved as I had already experienced the thrill of a spring rebuild day and am a strong believer in the mission of RTS. It has turned out to be rewarding in so many ways- it is truly a treat and an honor to be connected with RTS.
2. What is your favorite part about YPS?

What I like most is that RTS considers the needs of the homeowners first and foremost, and treats all clients with dignity and respect. With that, RTS pulls together a diverse group of people from the community to help with their mission, which bridges the gap between the client and volunteer, creating a true sense of solidarity rather than charity. It is a unique system that is able to sustain and grow because its roots are in the community.
3. Why do you support Rebuilding Together Seattle?

RTS is a necessary component of our community. The work that RTS does for residents in Seattle allows people from all walks of life who are in need to be empowered.

4. What are your favorite pastimes?

My favorite pastimes include spending time with my family, friends and dog, drinking tea, traveling, going on road trips, listening to music, listening to breakfast with the Beatles, reading, watching movies, watching/playing sports, visiting museums, watching live theatre, volunteering, learning about cultures, reading newspapers/journals, eating, discovering new foods, cooking, and last but not least…laughing.

5. Where do you work? What do you do for a living?

I am an Administrative Assistant in the Missions Office at the Archdiocese of Seattle. Our office educates and raises funds for relief and development programs.

What the RTS Director has to say about Erin:

"Erin has been our most committed YPS member for two years. Erin has a true passion for volunteering and shows genuine enthusiasm at every service project, rain or shine. Erin demonstrates a great understanding of the RTS mission. Erin's ability to lead by example (combined with her passion for service) makes her a perfect fit for the role as YPS Service Chair. This year, Rebuilding Together Seattle decided to make the Service Chair an official part of the YPS Executive Team. We're excited to see where Erin takes YPS with our program!"

Friday, July 2, 2010

RTS Partners with Vulcan Inc.!

On Saturday, June 26th, Vulcan Inc. sponsored a Rebuilding Together Seattle Project at the Cascade People's Center in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Everyone agreed it was a successful, rewarding and fun project. A huge shout out to Vulcan Project Managers, Andrew and Jim, who kept everyone busy, on task, and safe!

Ray of Ray Meuse Photography did an excellent job capturing the work done that day:

Morning warm-up stretches!

Morning welcome and safety talk

The fruits of Vulcan volunteers' labor- Before & After!

Volunteers hard at work:

Rebuilding Together Seattle wants to send out a big THANK YOU to our Sponsor, Vulcan Inc. and everyone who played a role in this project!