Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Safe at Home Highlight!

Three members of our Safe at Home Team (David Kimelman, Mike Santopolo, and Bob Stocco) teamed up to build an interior ramp for residents with developmental disabilities at one of Parkview Services' group homes in North Seattle!

"Gary and I visited the NE 128th St, Seattle house today to look at the new interior ramp and make final decisions about the covering. We were greeted by Lisa who grasped my hand and smiled from ear to ear when I asked how she liked the new ramp! The on-site staff are thrilled as well. Many, many thanks for helping to significantly improve the quality of life for Lisa as well as Sandra and Leanne. Your volunteer efforts on their behalf are greatly appreciated. Wonderful job, just wonderful." (written by Linda Roche, Director of Affordable Housing Program, Parkview Services)

The new indoor ramp!

About the RTS Safe at Home Program

In the fall of 2010, Rebuilding Together Seattle launched a new program to address homeowners' repair needs year-round. The Safe at Home program (formerly Year-Round Program) is volunteer-driven and is achieved by individuals or small groups of volunteers. Typically, Safe at Home projects consist of safety-related repairs that often require skilled volunteers. Along with individual and small groups of volunteers, RTS relies on our Safe at Home Partners, consisting of local businesses that donate their time, skills, and materials to help homeowners with specialty or highly skilled projects.

Fore more information on Safe at Home, visit http://rtseattle.org/safe_at_home.php.
To join the Safe at Home Team, email Claire at coatey@rtseattle.org or fill out a volunteer form.

                        Thank you David, Mike, and Bob!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Introducing Brittany Barcroft! (RTS Program & Events Coordinator)

RTS is excited to officially introduce Brittany (Britt) Barcroft (pictured above, left) to the RTS community!  Britt joined our organization as a Special Projects Intern in April 2012, just in time for Spring Rebuilding Day 2012.  Britt was eager to support RTS, sharing her (previous) experience in the affordable housing sector and a true passion for the nonprofit industry.  

On July 9th, Britt was hired as the Program and Events Coordinator at RTS to support major program and fundraising events, including the RTS Mariners Night (July 26th), the South Beacon Hill Revitalization Event (August 28-29), and the RTS Beer and Wine Tasting Fundraiser (September 28th).  RTS is thrilled to have Britt's enthusiasm, passion, and organization at our office!

 Britt (top, center/left) with her friends on her wedding day!


1. Where did you go to school? What did you major in? What are some of your hopes for future career aspirations?
I'm a proud graduate of Michigan State University (go green!), where I graduated last Spring with majors in both Psychology and Community Relations, and a minor in Religious Studies.  I'm interested in both the management side of non-profits and the direct services side, so I'm currently trying to gain experience in both worlds by working at RTS and as a shelter counselor at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter.  I've set my sights on completing a Masters in Community Counseling with a non-profit management certificate in the next five years.  My goal is to build a well rounded set of skills that I can apply in creative ways to address poverty (in particular: inter generational poverty, homelessness/affordable housing, and at-risk youth).  I don't know exactly where I want to end up, but I want to make sure that I'm fully prepared to jump in with both feet when I find something exciting! 

2. Why do you believe in the mission of Rebuilding Together Seattle?
When a person is dealing with lack of access to basic resources, it is incredibly difficult to find the time to work on other important factors in their life such as physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health. Helping someone to maintain a safe living environment provides a solid foundation that will give them the freedom to truly thrive. You can watch this transformation happen while the volunteers are working: the homeowner starts standing up straighter, speaking with more confidence, and has a twinkle in their eye. Perhaps even more importantly, the volunteers who complete these repairs are living proof to the homeowners that people care about them, and some of the most incredible benefits of RTS come simply through flourishing relationships. I truly believe that RTS has the power to transform lives and empower our community.

3. What are you excited about the most in regard to your internship position with RTS?
Do I have to pick just one thing? The staff, board, and volunteers at RTS have created such an upbeat and loving environment, so I can’t think of a better place to gain job experience. I love being greeted by hyper puppies and friendly co-workers every morning! I’m excited to be a part of the chaos, creativity, and hard work that goes into providing such an important service to Seattle residents. Furthermore, in college I worked for Appalachia Service Project, a non-profit emergency home repair ministry operating in rural coal-mining regions such as Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. I’ve always found this type of work to be magical; it is unbelievable how big of an impact you can make by doing such simple things. I’m really excited to be a part of the magic once again!

4. Tell us a bit about yourself – what are some of your interests outside of work?
I love music, and although I'm rusty on several of my instruments at the moment I can still play the piano and guitar decently well. I also love to sing…in choir or in musical theatre, whatever I can get my hands on! I’m a pretty big nerd, so although I do enjoy reading I often choose books on nutritional theory, psychology, or other non-fiction. My favorite way to spend a Friday night would probably be playing board games with friends and relaxing, or going to the movies. I also enjoy traveling, yoga, and long distance running. It's been on my bucket list for a while to run a marathon, so I'm hoping to do it in the next year!


Monday, July 16, 2012

A CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Volunteer of the Year!

Former Board President, Arnie Mondloch (R) presents 2010-2011 Volunteer of the Year Award to John Hanks (L)

Do you know of an outstanding Rebuilding Together Seattle volunteer that has gone above and beyond in his or her volunteer contributions to our organization?  If so, nominate that person TODAY for Rebuilding Together Seattle's 2011-2012 Volunteer of the Year Award!

Last September, Rebuilding Together Seattle presented our first Volunteer of the Year Award (given to John Hanks) at our annual Beer and Wine Tasting Fundraiser.  This month we are asking our supporters to consider nominating volunteers for our 2011-2012 award, which will be presented at our Beer and Wine Tasting 2012 on Friday, September 28, 2012 at the Swedish Cultural Center.

To nominate a volunteer, please complete our brief online form.  Nominations are due by Tuesday, July 31st.  Please be sure to review the following Volunteer of the Year nomination criteria prior to submitting your nomination:

1. Nominee's volunteer contributions should exceed more than one day of volunteering during the past fiscal year (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012)

2. Examples of outstanding volunteers include (but are not limited to): Project Managers, Volunteer Coordinators, Safe at Home Volunteers, Site Preview Team Members, Committee Members, Former Board Members, and Young Professionals Society Members.

3. Unfortunately, nominations of current RTS Board Members will not be accepted.

RTS is lucky to have over 3,000 volunteers support us each year!  Thank you ALL for making a difference!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Volunteers of the Month (and of the last 6 years!): Kristen Cramer and Val Gorder

This month, instead of choosing one outstanding volunteer, we would like to acknowledge two members of our Board of Directors, Kristen Cramer and Val Gorder, for their dedication and contributions to Rebuilding Together Seattle over the past six years. What an incredible commitment! We are sad to say goodbye to them in their roles as Board Members as their 6 year term ends but we are happy to know they both will stay involved with RTS.

Kristen Cramer

“Kristen has been an asset to our organization for many years. In addition to sharing her professional knowledge about home maintenance and repairs, Kristen has been an asset to our programs through her involvement with the Site Preview Team and managing rebuilding day projects. We can always count on Kristen to visit our project sites and give great updates on the work of our organization. Kristen has contributed greatly to the growth of Rebuilding Together Seattle in recent years, and has made an excellent commitment to her role as a Board member.” (written by Margie Thirlby, RTS Executive Director)

Kristen (center) at the Board & Staff Rebuilding Day

Kristen's hopes for RTS in years to come: "My hopes for RTS are that we become the "go to" organization that other non profits and social service providers turn to when they encounter homeowners that are in need of home modifications and repairs. I hope that we will always have enough sponsors to take care of ALL the applicants and through our outreach locally and nationally, that Rebuilding Together will become known for the great service it provides the community."

Val Gorder

“Words cannot describe how instrumental of a leader Val has been at Rebuilding Together Seattle in recent years. Val served as our Board President for two years and was an incredible leader for our Board and entire organization. Val has played a large role in the growth of our programs, in addition to facilitating our annual fundraising plan. Val is a committed member of the Site Preview Team and has an evident passion for working with our clients to ensure that they live in warm and safe living environment. Val always keeps our team grounded by reminding us often of our mission and who we are serving. We are so lucky to have Val on our Board and are thankful for her countless contributions.” (written by Margie Thirlby, RTS Executive Director)

Val (left) at the 2011 Beer & Wine Tasting
Val's hopes for RTS in years to come: "I hope to see RTS continue to help those in need in our neighborhoods, and to do so with the same compassion and hands on approach our staff and board maintain. Also, I'd love to see RTS become more well known in our community."

 Thank you Kristen and Val!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thank You to our Sounders RD In-Kind Donors!

On Wednesday, June 27, 2012, RTS partnered with Sounders FC and 25 volunteers from Wilcox Construction and Seattle Bank.  The project took place from 8 am-4 pm in Shorewood at a home for people with developmental disabilities.  This home is one of three in the Seattle area run by the nonprofit called United Friends Group Homes (unitedfriendsgrouphomes.org).

Thank you to all of our in-kind donors!

Major League Baseball, Kansas City Royals, and Bank of America Team Up with Rebuilding Together for All-Star Veterans Project

MLB All-Star 2012 Veterans Project

Major League Baseball, Kansas City Royals, and Bank of America Team Up with Rebuilding Together for All-Star Veterans Project

As part of the 83rd MLB All-Star Game, Major League Baseball and the Kansas City Royals unveiled the most extensive lasting legacy endeavor in MLB All-Star Week history through projects that benefit the Kansas City community and beyond. 

On July 7, along with partners Bank of America, local Rebuilding Together affiliate Christmas in October, and volunteers and staff from the Kansas City VA Medical Center, more than 100 people worked in the 100+ degree weather to complete renovations to the new Kansas City VA Honor Annex. The Honor Annex will provide services to veterans including Primary Care Clinics, a Women's Heath Program, PTSD Clinics, and a Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Center.

Check out the project photos on Facebook
View Photos
Watch the Video on MLB.com
Watch Video

Learn more on our website
Learn More

Rebuilding Together
1899 L Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036

Thursday, July 5, 2012

RTS Energizer: Gordon Dewey (Wilcox Construction), Sounders Rebuilding Day

Gordon (Left) with Project Manager, Jeff Berry
"I was asked to select one volunteer for the Energizer Award and hands down that award goes to Gordon Dewey. While everyone who showed up did an outstanding job, Gordon put in many hours behind the scene to make sure the event day went as smoothly as it did. Every time I asked Gordon to do something or asked him for his opinion he was always able to help out. Gordon’s extensive construction knowledge, willingness to help and extremely positive attitude made this an easy choice for me." (written by Jeff Berry, Project Manager)

Gordon hard at work
Group shot of Wilcox and Seattle Bank volunteers
 Good work, Gordon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

RTS Energizer: Arnie Mondloch, RTS Board & Staff Rebuilding Day

"Arnie Mondloch deserves the lead Energizer nod on this project due to his support and persistence. I appreciated his willingness to locate a tent and tables, as well as his willingness to arrive early to help set up. In addition, he and co-Energizer Dan Gemme deserve recognition for their persistence in completing the grab bar on the mysterious bathroom wall that seemed to have no studs. Despite reports of contractors trying and failing, these guys figured it out and managed to leave Phyllis with a very sturdy grab bar (and no evidence of the poking around in the process). Unfortunately we missed the picture op of Dan holding himself completely off the ground as a final quality check. Nicely done!" (written by Gary Ballas, Board Member and Project Manager of the Board & Staff RD)

Arnie and Dan working on a project during the Board & Staff RD

Arnie (Right) pictured with another great volunteer, John Hanks (Volunteer of the Year 2011), at last year's BWT

Great job, Arnie!

Monday, July 2, 2012

RTS Energizer: Larry Lacktrup and Barbara Marilley, Assumption Parish

"Barb Marilley and Larry Lacktrup are very worthy of the Assumption Parish Energizer Award of the Year! They have consistently participated in Assumption RTS events and are known for their solid performances. These folks don’t leave early! This year was no exception as the two of them turned in to painting maniacs, painting everything that was in their sight. Did they ever stop for lunch? Who knows? Most impressive was all the overhead work, equivalent of a week’s worth of yoga. Barb and Larry – Assumption Parish’s Dynamic Duo!" (written by Tim Lane, RTS Board Secretary)

Awesome job, Barb and Larry!