Thursday, December 5, 2013

Volunteer of the Month: Ron Hankinson

Ron Hankinson (middle) with his wife Shanne (left), fellow Project Manager Gail Duke, (far left), and family members of the homeowner, Bernsteen, (right).
Rebuilding Together Seattle is excited to recognize Ron Hankinson as the Volunteer of the Month for November! Ron is part of the passionate team at Madrona Ridge Residential who helped coordinate the first ever Safe at Home Impact Day. On November 23rd, over 100 volunteers and over 65 community partners came together to repair and improve 10 homes across Seattle. Ron's expert home repair knowledge and enthusiasm for helping the community were essential to the success of the Safe at Home Impact Day. Here is what Ron has to say about his experience volunteering with RTS:

How did you get involved with RTS?

Madrona Ridge volunteered down in the Portland area last year and wanted to provide the same service in the Seattle region where we have a much larger presence and work force available.  My position in the company created a “natural choice” for me to provide the detailed involvement necessary on such a large scale project.  Lisa Bainter provided a HUGE impact getting all the vendor donations plugged in and organized.  Truly, a team effort!

What did you enjoy most about volunteering with RTS?

A collaborative effort between Madrona Ridge, RTS, the vendors, the team leads, the outside volunteers and especially the home owners themselves…….. That was what was most enjoyable.

What repairs did your volunteer team accomplish? 
Our team consisted of 8 Madrona Ridge Residential/Security Properties volunteers, 2 Apartment Advantage volunteers, 10 additional home owner supplied volunteers and 3 site vendors providing services (Innovative Systems/ D&E Electric, Beacon Plumbing and Alliance Flooring).  We completed the following………

  • Replaced kitchen vinyl flooring
  • Installed ADA grab bars in bathroom
  • Removed 40 cubic yards of clutter
  • Installed a new range and built new kitchen cabinetry
 And MANY other repairs and improvements to the home of 86 year old Bernsteen.

Ron coaching a volunteer on miter saw technique.
What about RTS's mission are you most drawn to?

Anytime capable people, with good health and the means to financially support those less fortunate than we are, I think we should as the “human thing to do”.  Not to get too deep in the weeds……. My wife Shanne and I are very, very fortunate to have good health, good jobs, 3 beautiful healthy children (Connor, Tennley and Tanner), a “stable life”, if you will.  Giving back to our community is something that Shanne and I try to do to “feel good about the great lives we have”.  Donating, labor, knowledge of building construction, materials and our time, frankly, just makes us feel good. I think RTS represents this concept well and felt blessed to be an integral part of something bigger that affected so many peoples lives, both volunteers and home owners.

Thank you Ron for all of your hard work making the first Safe at Home Impact Day a huge success!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Volunteers of the Month: The RTS Intern Team!

Rebuilding Together Seattle is so happy to recognize our amazing intern team as our Volunteers of the Month for October. Each one of them worked tirelessly in the weeks and months leading up to the 4th Annual Beer & Wine Tasting fundraiser to help make sure it was a smashing success. The staff was so proud of their dedication and positive "roll up your sleeves" attitude that we wanted to give them extra-special recognition as our Volunteers of the Month.

Jinhee, Jaclyn, and Stephanie each have their own unique perspective on Rebuilding Together Seattle so let's hear from each of them what this honor means.

How did you first get involved with Rebuilding Together Seattle?
I first heard about Rebuilding Together Seattle from my friend, Kristen Kirst (Senior Director of Advancement Communications and Marketing at Seattle University), who had wonderful things to say about Margie Thirlby, the Executive Director of RTS. I was meeting with Kristen because I wanted to get into the non-profit sector in Seattle, and she suggested I speak with Margie about a position here. Next, I went online and signed up to participate in the Spring Rebuilding Day in April.
I found out about RTS through a friend of mine who also had an internship at RTS. The more I listened to what she had to say about how wonderful the organization is and what it does for the community, the more I wanted to be a part of it. Additionally, at this time of economic hardship which has had a great impact on my friends, I thought having an organization such as RTS around our region was such a relief and I applied for the internship program to explore more about the organization.

I first heard about Rebuilding Together Seattle through my brother who is friends with Margie’s brother. After hearing about RTS and its programs and also talking with Margie, I became really interested in getting involved. When I heard about the internship program, I was immediately drawn to the position and thought that it would be a great way to gain some valuable experience while working towards a really important cause.

What have you enjoyed most in your time with RTS?
My biggest highlights at RTS have been conducting the homeowner surveys from our Spring Rebuilding Day and seeing the Beer & Wine Tasting come together in October. I was so touched when speaking with the homeowners about the powerful impact of our services not just on their homes, but in their lives. The Beer & Wine Tasting event was such a blast, and I really enjoyed putting faces to names and seeing the items, which I helped to secure, bring in funding for our future projects. I have loved working with the whole RTS team, not just the staff, but all the volunteers and supporters as well.

The people I work with and the positive outcomes RTS brings in to the community make my time here at RTS worthwhile to be committed to. The passion and pride I feel from the RTS staff for what they do to assist the homeowners influence me in such a positive way. It is also great to see the results of the effort the staff, sponsors, volunteers and homeowners put into the programs we provide. The smiles on the homeowners’ faces, their thank you letters as well as their now safer, warmer and more independent houses remind me about how thankful I am to work for RTS.
Helping to prepare for the Beer and Wine Tasting auction was really exciting. I enjoyed helping organize such a big event, and I was able to learn a lot about putting together a fundraising event in the process. It was amazing seeing the whole process from start to finish, especially since it turned out to be such a success.

What about the RTS mission are you most drawn to?
I feel that our most powerful impact on our clients is our ability to restore their sense of control in their own lives and their faith in the humanity and generosity of others. It is an amazing thing to be a part of!

The mission of RTS is to let everyone live in warmth, safety, and independence and I completely agree with that statement. Building a broader social safety net and providing a hand when someone is in a difficult situation is one of the crucial factors for all of us to live a happy, satisfied life. Thus, the mission of RTS is not only beneficial for those in need but it is also beneficial for all of us to create a stronger, prosperous community.

I think it is so important that every person has the opportunity to feel safe in their home. Many people deal with daily struggles that they have no control over, and helping someone feel warm and safe in their own home is something that can be controlled. RTS works to help struggling homeowners by contributing a tangible improvement to their home and their life.

What are your goals and aspirations after you are done with your time at RTS?
I am currently pursuing opportunities in non-profit development and outreach. I hope to secure a position that focuses on relationship building and allows me to improve the lives of others. 

I would like to continuously get involved with this wonderful organization as a volunteer after I am finished with my time at RTS. The internship program here at RTS has been an eye-opening experience which has taught me that there are still so many people in our region, living under inferior conditions and, that there are also so many warm hearted people willing to help those in need.  I would like to put in my time and effort to create a better environment for everyone and I also believe learning practical skills regarding house repair will be a great asset for me personally!

I hope to continue in the nonprofit sector, whether in a development role or something else, I am not sure! I will take with me a great deal of knowledge acquired at RTS and hope to continue to be involved in any way in the future.

Rebuilding Together Seattle sends a big thank you to Stephanie, Jinhee, and Jaclyn for all of their hard work and dedication over the past few months! We couldn't accomplish our mission without passionate volunteers like these three. To find out more about how you can get involved with Rebuilding Together Seattle, email Paige Schultz at or call our office at 206-682-1231.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

RTS to launch first ever Safe at Home Impact day on November 23rd

Over 100 volunteers to repair 10 homes in one day

Local charity celebrates 1000th house restoration project since 1989

Seattle, WA – On Saturday, November 23rd, from 8 AM to 4 PM, Rebuilding Together Seattle ( will celebrate its inaugural Safe at Home Impact Day with over 100 volunteers from 65 local businesses restoring 10 homes in one day at no cost to the individuals served.  With a vision of a safe and healthy home for every person, Rebuilding Together Seattle provides free home repairs for low income homeowners in the greater Seattle community.

Through the leadership of local property management firm, Madrona Ridge, and 65 other supporting businesses, Rebuilding Together Seattle will launch its first ever Safe at Home Impact Day to repair the homes of 10 families in one day.  On November 23rd, Rebuilding Together will also celebrate its 1,000th house restoration project since the organization’s founding in 1989.  Volunteers will perform a range of repairs to benefit the families served, including carpentry, electric, plumbing, painting, and weatherization improvements.  Featured projects are as follows:

In the Holly Park area of South Seattle, volunteers will provide a kitchen overhaul for 86 year old mother and grandmother, Bernsteen Offord.  After suffering a recent stroke, Bernsteen’s family has been helping care for her.  

In West Seattle, volunteers will support Dolores McGee (73) and her daughter, Debbie (48).  Dolores recently had a brain tumor removed and is the primary caretaker Debbie, who is paralyzed from the waist down after an accident over 20 years ago.  Volunteers will paint the home, repair windows, and improve the safety of the McGee’s wheelchair ramp.  S

In Ballard, volunteers will assist 93 year old Donald Wakefield in Ballard.  His daughter, Donna, lives and cares for Mr. Wakefield so he can remain in his home of over 60 years. Volunteers will paint the house, repair windows, and add numerous safety improvements to the home. 

Madrona Ridge Residential, the event coordinator, has recruited all volunteers, materials, and professional contractor services for the 10 homes. Joining Madrona Ridge are over 65 participating local businesses, including top Sponsor, ECC Painting, along with American Floors & Blinds, Bumgardner, G5, ICS, and Kurkov Construction.

For more information on the November 23rd Safe at Home Impact Day (including additional sites and addresses) please call Rebuilding Together Seattle Executive Director, Margie Thirlby, at (c) 206.992.5512.  This event will offer exceptional visuals and homeowner interviews; all media are encouraged to attend. 

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.  Rebuilding Together Seattle was established in 1989 and is part of the national Rebuilding Together organization with approximately 185 affiliates nationwide.  To learn more about Rebuilding Together Seattle, please visit or call (206) 682-1231.

Madrona Ridge Residential is a property management firm providing property, construction and compliance management services in five states.  Madrona Ridge Residential is an affiliate of Security Properties Inc.  Security Properties has a 40-year history of providing both quality housing to residents, as well as excellent financial benefits to investors. To learn more, visit: or call (206) 787-8480.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Beer and Wine Tasting 2013 Sponsors!


Rebuilding Together Seattle extends a BIG thanks to our 4th Annual Beer and Wine Tasting Event Sponsors for making our event possible:

Thank you to Infiniti of Kirkland, who will serve as our Presenting Sponsor for a fourth consecutive year!

Thank you to HomeStreet Bank, our first Bronze Sponsor, who will join our event for their first year!

Thank you to Goodman Real Estate, our second Bronze Sponsor, who will join our event for their first year!

Thank you to Nintendo, who will serve as a Table Sponsor during their fourth year of participation!

To learn more about how you or your company can sponsor the Beer and Wine Tasting, please email

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beer and Wine Tasting 2013 AUCTION PREVIEW!

Rebuilding Together Seattle is getting excited for the 4th Annual Beer and Wine Tasting Fundraiser on Friday, October 4th.  Thanks to the generosity of our supporting businesses and donors, we have an exceptional spread of auction items at this year's event!

Take a look at what's in store for October 4th!  Please note that the packaging of some of our auction items may be subject to change.


Original Painting by Father Bruno Segatta (40” x 30”)

2 Private Pilates Sessions with Stacy Brenner at BodyCenter Studios

2 One-month Passes for Yoga Classes at the Yoga Element in Bellevue

A Custom Seahawks Necklace by Beck’s Custom Creations

A Custom Mariners Necklace by Beck’s Custom Creations

Fuel Fitness 24-Day Challenge with Molly Scott
Includes custom meal and workout plans, supplements and meal-replacements, and online and email support from Molly Scott

Novara Stinger 12” Kid’s Bike from REI      

10 Class Package at Elite Performance Center

Starbucks Coffee Co. Gift Basket

City People’s Fall Gardening Basket

SeaFair Fan Package (2 tickets for air show and hydroplane races and 2 Skipper pins)

Family Outing Package
Includes 4 passes to Pacific Science Center, Woodland Park Zoo, and Museum of Flight

Out-of-Town Guests Package
Includes 2 passes to the SAM, 2 passes to the Underground Tour, 2 tickets for Argosy Harbor Cruise and dinner for two at Anthony’s Bell Street Diner

Seattle’s Grown-Up Museum Package
Includes 4 passes to MOHAI, EMP Museum, and Chihuly Garden and Glass

2 Weekday Flying Trapeze Classes at Emerald City Trapeze

Private Wine Tasting for 8 People @ Columbia Winery PLUS a bottle of 2009 Columbia Chardonnay

Private Wine Tasting for 6 at Castillo De Feliciana and a bottle of 2009 Adentro Red Wine
Wine Tasting for 10 at Ross Andrew Winery PLUS a bottle of their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Tasting for 4 at Novelty Hill/ Januik in Woodinville
Includes Single Vineyard Tastings for 4 and 2 Brick Oven Pizzas

Round of Golf for 4 at Interbay Golf Course PLUS Happy Hour at Ray’s Boathouse
Includes $50 Gift Card for Ray’s

His and Hers Golf Package
Includes Women’s and Men’s Nike Golf Polo and Jacket and Oki Golf Passport (discounts, specials, access to exclusive clubs)

Golf for 3 at Sand Point Country Club with Pat Corr
Includes Food and Drinks at the Club afterwards

Sounders Fan Package
Includes 2 Tickets to a 2014 Season game, 2 hats, and 2 scarves

Seattle Mariners Tickets for 4 to a game in the 2014 Season PLUS 2 Parking Passes

Complete Bike Tune-up for a Family of Bikes

Whales and Ales in the San Juan Islands
Includes a 4 hour whale watch for two with San Juan Excursions, and a brewery tour, 2 tasting flights and 2 pints at Island Hoppin’ Brewery

Stay at The Silver Reef Hotel & Casino
Includes 1 night stay in a deluxe room and $50 for lunch or dinner at the Red River Café

Two Night Stay at the Inn at Cannon Beach PLUS 2 Bottles of Canon de Sol (Syrah and Red Blend) Only Valid Sunday – Thursday

Stay at Alderbrook Resort
Includes one night stay in a deluxe Canal View room, a $50 dining credit and an Alderbrook Gift Bag

Admission for two to Silverwood Theme Park

2 Reserved Seats to See “Carrie the Musical” at the Moore Theatre PLUS Dinner for 2 at Hotel 1000

2 Tickets to Seattle Shakespeare Company’s 2013-2014 Season PLUS a $50 Gift Card to Seastar

2 Tickets to Village Theatre’s 2013-2014 Season PLUS a $40 Gift Card to Tutta Bella’s in Issaquah

4-Course Dinner and 2 Hours of Bowling or Billiards for 2 at the Garage in Capitol Hill

Cooking Classes at Bon Vivant School of Cooking PLUS PLUS 2 Bottles of Canon de Sol (Syrah and Red Blend)

Woodinville Beer Tour
Includes gift card for beer tastings at Triplehorn Brewery; a growler, t-shirt and tastings at The Dirty Bucket Brewing Co.; 2 pint glasses, a growler, and a $50 gift card to the Collective On Tap; a $50 Gift Card at Redhook Brewery

Private Wine Tasting for 10 at Guardian Cellars with Winemaker Jerry Reiner PLUS 3 bottles of 2011 Chalk Line (Red Blend)

7 Days of Parking at the MasterPark Valet Garage at SeaTac

Private Wine Tasting on Whidbey Island for 8 at Spoiled Dog Vineyard


A bottle of Rock Block “SoNo” Syrah by Domaine Serene

2009 Napa Valley Reserve Red Wine (Magnum)

Quail’s Gate 4 Pack
Includes 2008 Chenin Blanc, 2010 Chardonnay, and two 2008 Pinot Noir

Matthews Estate 6 Pack
Includes three 2009 “Blackboard” Red Blend and three 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

Novelty Hill/ Januik 6 Pack
Includes three 2007 Januik Cabarnet Franc and three 2008 Novelty Hill Viognier

2011 Stag’s Leap “Karia” Chardonnay

2011 Sonoma-Loeb Chardonnay

2010 Camaraderie Cellars Cabernet

2008 Lost River Cabernet

2010 Ridge Three Valleys Red Wine

2010 OS Winery Elephant Mountain Merlot  (Magnum)
OS Winery Mixed Case
Includes 6 Red blend and 6 Dry Riesling

2007 Andrew Hill Cellars Champoux Vineyard Red Bourdeaux Blend
 Horse Heaven Hills *95 Points*

2007 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon
Walla Walla Valley *97 Points*

2007 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley *96 Points*

RTS Board “Tuesday Wines” Wine Cellar
Everyday wines personally selected by members of the RTS Board of Directors


Guided of Seattle’s Fire Station 5 and Fire Boat

Ultimate Sounders Fan Package
Includes 2 Tickets to a 2014 Season game, 2 hats, 2 scarves and an Autographed Soccer Ball – Seattle Native DeAndre Yedlin (#11)

Kyle Seager Signed Baseball PLUS 4 Main Level Mariners Tickets

Stay and Golf at Suncadia Resort
Includes one night stay and a round of golf for 4, PLUS 2 Bottles of Canon de Sol (Syrah and Red Blend)

Wine and Jazz
Includes a one night stay at the Pan Pacific in a deluxe room with valet parking and breakfast for 2, Show Admission and Dinner for 2 at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, and a bottle of Airfield Estates’ 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

South Park Bridge Tour for 3 People PLUS Lunch with Tim Lane, King County Bridge Engineer

The 5th Avenue Theatre Package
2 Tickets to see Oliver! OR A Room with a View, plus access to the Producer’s Club before the show, a one night stay at The Sheraton Downtown,  a $100 Gift Card to Tavolata (an Ethan Stowell Restaurant), and Brunch or Lunch at Purple Café

An Eastside Retreat
Includes a one night stay on a weekend night at The Heathman Hotel plus Breakfast for two at Trellis and valet parking, PLUS a $50 Gift card to John Howie

4 Year Vertical Case of Avennia Boeschen Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (2007-2010)

2001 Hightower Merlot 3000ml (Double Magnum)
Artist Series bottle, hand painted and signed by the artist

Sailing around Lake Union and Lake Washington with Tim Lane
Includes a 3 hour cruise for 4 people on a 36’ Catalina sailboat with RTS Board Member and Bridge Aficionado, Tim Lane. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks provided.

Private Wine Tasting for 20 people at Total Wine & More in Bellevue
Includes tasting of 8 hand-selected wines for two hours

Private Tasting for up to 24 people at Fivash Cellars’ tasting room in Sammamish
Fivash Cellars Tasting Room is located on a beautiful farm property in Sammamish.

Private Cocktail Party for 20 at Sound Spirits
Includes A bottle of Ebb + Flow Gin and a private party for 15-20 people including tastings, drinks, and a distillery tour at Sound Spirits.

Wine Tasting with the RTS Board President and Executive Director
Russ Schultz and Margie Thirlby will bring their favorite wines (along with an excellent assortment of food) to share with you and 9 friends, hosted at a private home in the Windermere neighborhood overlooking Lake Washington.

Autographed Seahawks Football
Signed by Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Brandon Mebane, Russell Okung, Kam Chancellor, Golden Tate!

2 Night Stay at Campbell’s Resort on Lake Chelan
Includes 2 night stay during the off-season at Campbell’s Resort

Tour of Capitol Hill Station Construction Site for 6 with Dan Gemme, GM of Turner Construction
Includes lunch after the tour with Dan

Stay at The Renaissance Lodge at Sonoma Resort & Spa in Sonoma, CA
Includes a one night stay for two and breakfast for two

Mountain Biking with the “Board Biker Dudes”
Take a risk and join Tim and Gary, both RTS Board Members, on a mountain biking adventure. Good for all difficulty levels, from the casual rider to the avid downhill mountain biker, Tim and Gary will tailor the day to you. Includes food/drinks after the day is over!

RTS Board Premiere Wine Cellar
Includes 12 wines personally selected by the RTS Board of Directors of exceptional value and ratings by Wine Spectator

Cigar and Scotch Tasting for 4
Includes choice of multiple single malt scotches, cigars in a private smoke controlled room in downtown Seattle, and hors d’oeuvres. Time : 7:30 to 9:30.

Rockstar For A Night
Includes 2 GA tickets to see Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on December 12th for their sold out show at the Key Arena, two night stay at the Fairmont Olympic on 12/12 and 12/13, and a $20 gift card to Dick’s Drive-in so you can party like a real Seattle celebrity

Woodinville Wine Tour for 8 with Margie Thirlby and Russ Schultz
Includes a 4 hour guided tour in a Mercedes Sprinter Van with Butler Seattle around Woodinville Wine Country up to 6 Wineries, Margie and Russ will be your hosts and provide drinks and surprises along the way!

Groundskeeper for a Day
The recipient will sit with the grounds crew during the game directly beside the visiting team’s dugout for an unmatched view of the action.  As a guest groundskeeper, you will join the rest of the grounds crew in setting up batting practice, helping with pre-game preparation, dragging the infield between the 3rd and 6th innings, and taking the bases in after the game.  Plus, this package includes box seat tickets for two of your guests.

Big Hill Tour with Gayle Roberts, RTS Board Member and Volunteer
RTS Board Member, Gayle Roberts, will take up to three people on a thrilling tour of dizzying heights and stomach clenching descents.  Nerve-calming drinks to be provided in Capital Hill, and happy hour in Queen Anne to end the adventure.

Chef’s Dinner for 4 People at El Gaucho Seattle
Includes special Chef created menu items, paired with Sommelier-selected wines for each course

Ultimate Seahawks Fan Package
2 Club-Level Seats to see the Seattle Seahawks take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 9th at Century Link Field. Includes passes for 2 into the Player’s Loft, the VIP pre-game lounge with complimentary food, beer and wine, open 3 hours before kickoff. Parking pass for the Century Link Garage included and a Seahawks Fan pack with stickers, keychain, t-shirt, pencils, etc.

2 Diamond Club Tickets for a Mariners Game in the 2014 Season
Includes Autographed Edgar Martinez Baseball and parking pass for the Safeco Field garage

Disneyland Package
Includes 2 round trip tickets to LAX from Tangerine Travel, 2 night stay at the Marriott Fairfield Inn directly across the street from Disneyland, 4 one-day park hopper passes to Disneyland Resort AND 7 Days of Parking in the MasterPark Valet Garage

A Weeklong Stay at an Oceanfront Home in Seaside, OR
Weeklong stay at an oceanfront house with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths. Sleeps 8 and is conveniently located near the center of town so you can get away from it all while enjoying a variety of fun restaurants, bumper cars, miniature golf, and all the classic summer favorites. The package also includes a variety of local gift certificates to help make your stay even more enjoyable, and saltwater taffy to take some of that sea air home with you.

4 VIP Tickets to a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in New York City
VIP Tickets include priority access and prime seating

 Overnight Sailboat Cruise to the San Juan Islands for Two
Enjoy a weekend cruise for 2 in the San Juans aboard a 42 foot Catalina sailboat!  Take in the breathtaking sights and wildlife while sailing through some of the best scenery the Pacific Northwest has to offer.  Your hosts, Mike and Wendy, will treat you to meals and drinks of your choice so you can sit back and relax, or use the opportunity to learn a few things about sailing.  Stop for the night at one of the many island coves where you can enjoy hiking, kayaking, or just relaxing on the front deck. This package is perfect for sailing enthusiasts, wildlife lovers, and any couple just looking to "go off the grid" for a night.

2 Round Trip Tickets on JetBlue to any domestic destination AND 7 Days of Parking in the MasterPark Valet Garage

REGISTER TODAY for the Beer and Wine Tasting.  Please note: RTS has a limited amount of spaces left, so be sure to register before spaces sell out!