Monday, July 21, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Mark Knudson

Mark and his wife volunteering at a project in June
Rebuilding Together Seattle is so proud to recognize our awesome Volunteer of the Month for June, Mark Knudson of Abbott Construction. Mark has been a volunteer and supporter of RTS for more than 10 years, and has brought countless new volunteers to our organization ever since. We contacted Mark while he was on a month long trip to Norway to hear what it means to him to be June's Volunteer of the Month, and here are his responses!

1. How did you first get involved with Rebuilding Together Seattle?

This is a great question and I wish I knew the answer. I cannot really remember all the details but I do know that it was at least 10-12 years ago while I was instructing 3rd year apprentices for CITC in Bellevue. (Construction Industry Training Council). I believe that I caught wind of a program called Christmas in April and that they worked on homes in the Seattle area on the last Saturday in April of every year. I have always loved to volunteer and utilize the talents that God has blessed me with and I thought what a great opportunity this would be for the students that I instructed. They would get the hands on training that they needed in there apprenticeship and learn how to use their talents, and the community would get the help it needed as well. It was a win - win and have not stopped since.

2. What do you enjoy most about volunteering with RTS?

What I really like is when I get that first work package from the team captains and I read through the list of items that they are requesting to be completed by the students. I start getting excited about the difference that this work will make in the lives of the people in need and I also get excited thinking about the impact that it will have on the students. Both parties benefit when you give in this way. I get excited the morning of the day and as I drive from residence to residence checking on the students and talking with house captains and homeowners. As the day progresses I like strapping on the tools and getting to work if needed. I really enjoy working with the RTS staff and and house captains in regards to the projects and results.

3. What about the RTS mission are you most drawn to?

I like the screening process that takes place and ensures that those with the greatest needs get help. I like the fact that the work that is done is designed to impact the way of life for those that are helped. I like the fact that the organization has opportunities for giving of cash to help support the efforts so if we just want to show up with labor and give time we can. I love the fact that old homes are being given another chance to supply the needs of the homeowner. Some of these homeowners are really attached to their houses but just can’t keep them up or do not have the resources and expertise to make the repairs. I love the fact that disabled people are being helped to the point that they can live a more fulfilling life. I believe in the work that is being done by RTS and the staff and support them wholeheartedly. Other than that there is absolutely nothing that draws me to RTS.

4. What are you doing when you aren't volunteering with Rebuilding Together Seattle?

I am a Sr. Construction Manager for Healthcare and Occupied Remodel for Abbott Construction Inc. I have been working at Abbott for 20 years. I am also a 4th year apprenticeship instructor of Carpentry at CITC in Bellevue and an on-line instructor for 1st, 2nd, and 4th year carpentry for CITC. Father of 4 with one grandson and one on the way. Recently married to an amazing women who loves to volunteer as much as I do. Between the two of us we have 5 sons, 3 daughters, 2 son in laws 4 daughter in laws, and 12 grandchildren right now and 2 due at the end of this month. When you do the math and we have a party after the two new ones arrive we will need a table set for 30. Not bad for a couple of 40 year olds. We are currently in Norway for an amazing trip of 30 days. We attend Highlands Community Church and also are involved with serving for one of the emergency shelters with Union Gospel Mission in Seattle once a month where we bring in a meal with other volunteers from Abbott and also have done work with Vision House which helps single moms in need of housing and are in a transition. Love to ride our Harley, love to enjoy wine, dancing and good company.

Mark's view in Norway!

Thank you, Mark, for everything you have done for RTS and everything you continue to do. We are lucky to have you as a volunteer, donor, and all-around advocate for our mission!

Volunteers from Abbott Construction, led by Mark (second from the right), at their Rebuilding Day in June.

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