Friday, August 23, 2013

RTS welcomes new AmeriCorps Member, Tim Erkel

 Tim (L) with his fellow AmeriCorps Member at RT Twin Cities

Last week, Rebuilding Together Seattle welcomed our second AmeriCorps Member, Tim Erkel!  Tim will serve a second year as a Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps Member in Seattle after already serving for a year at Rebuilding Together Twin Cities!  RTS is very excited to have Tim's excellent, hands-on program experience and enthusiasm for the Rebuilding Together mission.

Let's hear from Tim!

How did you first learn about Rebuilding Together?  How did you learn about the Rebuilding Together AmeriCorps (CapacityCorps) opportunity?  Why did you decide to serve?

I first heard about Rebuilding Together through a former teammate of mine who was serving as a CapacityCorps member with Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.  He had to leave CapacityCorps midway through his term in February 2011, and because I was job hunting at the time and they did not have the ability to hire someone to replace him, I offered to volunteer in his stead until I could find work or they could find a replacement.  At first it was only meant to be temporary, but once that first homeowner hugged me I was hooked.  I gladly accepted their CapacityCorps position from August 2012-July 2013 and haven’t looked back since.

Describe your first year of service at Rebuilding Together Twin Cities – what were your primary responsibilities?  What was one of your favorite memories during your time there (ex: a particular project with a homeowner)?

At Rebuilding Together Twin Cities I was one of three CapacityCorps members, all of who were Project Coordinators.  I would preview potential houses, develop work scopes for selected homeowners, procure materials, and lead volunteers on project days.  Something that I cherished about Twin Cities is the bond that I had with my fellow CapacityCorps members, Brent and Kelly (pictured above sitting in the truck with me).  We got so close over the course of the year and have countless stories shared between us of the wonderful homeowners we were privileged to serve.


What influenced your decision to serve a second year?  What interested in you in RT Seattle?

I think I wanted to do a second term the minute orientation ended my first year.  As my term in Twin Cities went on, I realized that I wanted to do a second term elsewhere to  expand my Rebuilding Together skill set and experience a different operational style to challenge myself to grow in a way that I wouldn't have, if I stayed in the Twin Cities where I was comfortable.  I was interested in Seattle because I met Executive Director, Margie Thirlby, and former Program Associate, Claire Oatey, at National Conference and immediately was drawn to the passion and direction that they made clear during their breakout session.  I’m tremendously excited to serve in such a vibrant, historic city with a rising affiliate!

What are you looking forward to the most during your year of service in Seattle?

I grew up and lived the vast majority of my life in the same 30 mile radius of the Twin Cities, so I am definitely looking forward to learning more about Seattle the city, what it has to offer me, and what I have to offer it.  I’m very much looking forward to serving with the RTS Staff who have been nothing but welcoming and kind in my transition here.  And most importantly, I’m looking forward to serving our homeowners.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I’m a HUGE Minnesota Twins fan as well as a Denver Broncos fan.  I love going to live shows and discovering new bands to listen to; I’ve already got two shows I’d like to attend in the next month.  I can’t wait to discover all the little hole in the wall places Seattle has, as well as take advantage of the prodigious outdoor culture that exists here.

Thank you, Tim, for your service and incredible dedication to the Rebuilding Together affiliate network.  We are so excited to have you in Seattle (especially so you can become a Seahawks fan :).