Monday, April 30, 2012

SRD 2012 Photo Preview! (by Marianne McGah and Dana Questad)

What amazing photos! Stay tuned for more!

RTS receives Certificate of Appreciation and letter from Christine Gregoire

On Saturday, RTS had the honor of touring three veterans' sites with First Gentleman, Mike Gregoire, and John Lee, Director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA).  At the third site (Sponsored by the Junior League of Seattle), RTS Director, Margie Thirlby, accepted a letter from Washington State Governor, Christine Gregoire, along with a Certificate of Appreciation signed by Mike Gregoire and John Lee. 

RTS thanks "First Mike," John, and Governor Gregoire for all of their continued support and advocacy of our programs!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

GiveBIG to RTS in 3 days!

Wednesday, May 2nd is the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG 2012 Event! Make a donation to Rebuilding Together Seattle on May 2nd between midnight and midnight (Pacific Time) to help give to RTS!

Here are the details:


The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG is a one-day, online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live.

Each donation made to the more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations profiled on The Seattle Foundation's website between midnight and midnight (Pacific Time) on May 2, 2012, will receive a pro-rated portion of the matching funds (or "stretch") pool. The amount of the "stretch" depends on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day. For example, if a nonprofit organization receives 3 percent of the total donations during GiveBIG, then it will receive 3 percent of the stretch pool.



Throughout GiveBIG, donors will be chosen at random to have an additional $1,000 given to the charity that received their donation. The selected donor will also be eligible to win a Starbucks gift card worth $100!


Spring Rebuilding Day (Wright Runstad) volunteers on KOMO4 NEWS!

What a DAY!

Yesterday Rebuilding Together Seattle celebrated our 22nd Annual Spring Rebuilding Day with 1,000 volunteers.  22 homes were restored in the greater Seattle area (4,000 homes were improved by Rebuilding Together affiliates nationwide!) The day was a HUGE success and we were truly amazed by the generosity of the volunteers and the spirit of our community.

The Rebuilding Together Seattle Staff and Board sends a BIG THANKS to all of our volunteers, sponsors, donors, and community partners who made this day possible.  A special thanks goes to First Gentleman Mike Gregoire, and John Lee, Director of the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) for visiting three of our veteran homeowner sites and presenting our organization with a special Certificate of Recognition and Letter from the Governor.  Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help veterans and their families in need of essential home repairs.

We'll have hundreds (if not thousands) of photos (before and afters, homeowner shots, and more) to share with you in upcoming weeks, but here are a few for now!

 Robie (above), one of our proud Program Recipients (house sponsored by Wells Fargo)
CHEERS!  Congrats on a successful day, everyone!

Please share your favorite SRD photos on our Facebook page with our community!  Remember to "Like" our page if you haven't already.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Local Charity to Celebrate 22 Years of Service by Restoring 22 Homes in one day

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
CONTACT: Margie Thirlby, (206) 992-5512

Local Charity to Celebrate 22 Years of Service by Restoring 22 Homes in one day

1,000 volunteers to help low income families in need of critical home repairs

Seattle, WA – On Saturday, April 28, from 8 AM to 4 PM, Rebuilding Together Seattle ( will celebrate its major program event, Spring Rebuilding Day, were 1,000 volunteers will provide $500,000 in market value home improvement projects in one day.  In an effort to help homeowners live in warmth, safety and independence, Rebuilding Together Seattle provides homes and nonprofit facilities with critical repairs, modifications, and energy-efficient upgrades at no cost to the individuals served.

Spring Rebuilding Day (also known as National Rebuilding Day) is part of Rebuilding Together’s national effort to preserve affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods through renovation services.  Approximately 200 Rebuilding Together affiliates nationwide will complete over 4,000 projects in one day.  Locally, Rebuilding Together Seattle has identified 22 projects in the greater Seattle area where volunteers will perform a range of repairs including: electric work, plumbing, carpentry, gutter repair, landscaping, cleaning, debris removal, and security improvements.  Recipients of Rebuilding Together Seattle’s services include the elderly, disabled, families with children, and veterans in need.

Among the 22 projects, RTS will be assisting 15 elderly homeowners, more than 11 families with disabilities, eight nonprofit facilities, six veteran homeowners and their families, and three families with children.  Sponsor group, Wright Runstad & Company, will restore the home of Margot Massey, an elderly woman and widow of a veteran living in Southwest Seattle (2907 SW Cloverdale St, Seattle, WA 98126). Volunteers will replace appliances, make security and safety improvements, replace carpeting, complete essential plumbing repairs, and clean up the yard and garage.  Top sponsor group, Greenpoint Technologies, will repair a Parkview Services home for adults living with developmental disabilities (13736 Meridian Ave N, Seattle, WA 98133). Volunteers will replace the cook-top and oven, patch and paint the interior of the home, replace kitchen and bathroom flooring, clean the interior and exterior, and repair a damaged ceiling with new paneling. 

More than 40 local organizations and companies are participating through event sponsorships, in-kind donations, and volunteer support, including other top sponsors, Sears, Booz Allen Hamilton, Perkins Coie, and Wells Fargo.  Joining the 1,000 volunteers will be First Gentleman, Mike Gregoire, and Washington Department of Veterans Affairs Director, John Lee.

To get more information on Spring Rebuilding Day (including additional sites and addresses) please call the Rebuilding Together Seattle office at 206.682.1231. This event will offer exceptional visuals and homeowner interviews; all media are encouraged to attend.  To discuss site locations, client stories, and best time frames for media visits on April 28th, please contact RTS Executive Director, Margie Thirlby, at 206.992.5512. 

Rebuilding Together Seattle was established in 1989 and is part of the national Rebuilding Together organization with approximately 200 affiliates nationwide.  Rebuilding Together Seattle is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to bring volunteers and communities together to help low income homeowners live in warmth, safety and independence.  To learn more about Rebuilding Together Seattle, please visit or call 206.682.1231.


Spring Rebuilding Day is TWO DAYS AWAY!

RTS is getting very excited for Spring Rebuilding Day THIS Saturday!  Thank you to our hardworking Project Leaders for all you've already done to prepare for the BIG DAY.  We can't wait to see your projects LIVE!

 Thank you also to our TOP SPONSORS for making 
Spring Rebuilding Day 2012 possible!


RTS Energizer: Dave Maas, Safeway

The Volunteer Coordinator from Safeway, Sara Osborne, nominated Dave Maas as the RTS Energizer for this year's Safeway Rebuilding Day!
Dave pictured with Linda Harms, RTS Energizer from the 2011 Safeway project!

Dave, who manages the Crown Hill Safeway, chose to volunteer at Katy and Shawn's home for the entire day despite the option to work a 4 hour shift. He helped out with sanding and staining the back deck and was also a key player in the yard work group! We were lucky to have Dave around for landscaping because as Sara pointed out, "He carefully pruned each tree and shrub since he was familiar with each type and their respective sensitivities."  The homeowner, Katy, was especially appreciative of his knowledge and care for her plants because gardening was her passion before health issues took priority.

Great work, Dave!

Photography tips for rebuilding days - WHY US?

 Recently, RTS Director Margie Thirlby had a chat with Cynthia Woodruff, VP of Marketing and Communications at Rebuilding Together National (D.C.) about photography on rebuilding days.  

"We began emailing about what makes a rebuilding day photo great," said Margie.  "Cynthia truly captured what marketing experts are looking for, and what makes a rebuilding day photo compelling to our community and supporters."

The simple answer?  WHY US.

If you're volunteering with us on Spring Rebuilding Day this Saturday and planning on snapping some photos, we want to use those photos to tell our story and answer the question "WHY US?"  When we tell the Seattle community about our vision of a safe and healthy home for every person, we need to show them WHY US?  Why join Rebuilding Together Seattle?

Below are additional tips from Cynthia about rebuilding day photography.  Enjoy!

"We are happy to see anything you have...

But we have a shortage of before/after that truly clear visuals that would make sense to someone who does NOT know what RT does, or understands there’s the need out there, or has a choice of who to support.  Why Us? Give me pictures that say “why us."

I more often than not look at photos that staff or affiliates show me and deflate their excitement.  I have a big “so what” factor.   (My job to be a critic!).   More often than not we get close ups of a rotten tub or stairwell and then the after, but, that may be easily identifiable and impressive to a house captain, or volunteers who were there but does it really show Jill-know-nothing that we changed a life that day?   Nope.  I need to someone get the visuals of the whole house change (I’ll take the stairwell before and afters, I’ll take the smiling volunteers standing in front of their sponsor sign but…come on!

Give me homeowners in front of house
Before and afters that tell the story

And I hope you are happy you invited yourself into my soap box speech."


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shoreline Spring Rebuilding Day projects featured in the Shoreline Area News!

RTS thanks the Shoreline Area News for featuring our upcoming Spring Rebuilding Day and wonderful Sponsor and volunteer groups on their Blog!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Site Preview Team Recruitment!

Do you want to get more involved with Rebuilding Together Seattle? Are you kinda handy and great with people? Consider joining the RTS Site Preview Team!

The RTS Site Preview Team members serve as RTS' first in-person contact with our homeowner applicants. After a homeowner submits their application to our office, two preview team members visit the home to meet the homeowner and assess the work that is needed, reporting back to the RTS office afterward.

Requirements of a RTS Site Preview Team Member:
- Has some level of familiarity with home repairs
- Is compassionate
- Great with people
- Has a flexible schedule (ideally)
- Has good communication skills
- Experience working with a diverse population

If you or anyone you know is interested please email Claire at

Spring Rebuilding Day 2012 Sponsor Highlight: CoHo Team of Windermere!

The CoHo Team of Windermere is preparing for another fantastic Spring Rebuilding Day THIS SATURDAY! Once again, they will be teaming up with Copiers Northwest for the big day.  This year, however, the CoHo Team and Copiers NW will transform a local nonprofit called New Beginnings, a shelter for battered women and their children.  The residents of this shelter will surely be thankful for the much needed repairs.