Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Meet the Interns: Ali Holmes and Sarah Foster

This Summer, RTS welcomed 2 new interns to our staff. Ali Holmes, above far left, joined us in June and Sarah Foster, above far right, started her term in July. We are so excited to have their help with a busy summer of programs, fundraising, and a hectic move to our new office!

Ali has already completed her time with RTS, as she heads back to start classes at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. Sarah is about to start her second year in the Master of Public Administration program at the Evans School of UW. Sarah will be with our office for the next few months, so be sure to say "hi" next time you give us a call.

We asked Sarah and Ali to share a little bit about themselves and why they are passionate about our mission. Here is what they had to say:

1. How did you first hear about Rebuilding Together Seattle?
AH: I first learned about Rebuilding Together Seattle this summer, 2014, in late May when I was starting to looking for a summer internship.

SF: I heard about Rebuilding Together while I was serving with AmeriCorps NCCC in Denver. Different RT affiliates frequently sponsored NCCC teams for different projects, and I always heard great reviews. As I was looking for internships on, I found RT Seattle and thought hey, this could be fun.

Ali, right, with a friend at Whitman College

2. Why do you believe in the mission of Rebuilding Together Seattle?
AH: I believe in the mission of RTS because the work that they provide gives local people a chance to be happier and lead an easier life. I love that RTS works to make homes safer, warmer, and gives people the chance to live independently. I think that these are necessities that all people deserve to have access to.

SF: Owning a house is a huge accomplishment. It takes time and money to buy one, to maintain it, and turn it into a home. Everyone, regardless of financial status, should feel safe and secure in their home. I love the idea of working with people who want what is best for themselves and their families while being independent and secure.

Sarah, right, with friends at the Top Pot 5k

3. What have you enjoyed the most during your internship?
AH: I have enjoyed getting to know the RTS staff in the office and consistent feel that the work I'm doing constantly leads to a positive change in someone's life who really needs it. My favorite thing about working in the office is getting to work with the people who benefit from RTS' services. Obviously it isn't fun to see or hear about people is a hard place but there is nothing more rewarding than giving them hope that our services can help at no cost to them!

SF: Everything! I’ve never done work in development before. I am excited to learn new skills to strengthen relationships among donors, RTS, and homeowners. I also hope to be on-site for some projects and get to meet some of the homeowners. I’m just excited to learn about how a nonprofit organization operates, and the RTS office is a great environment to learn in.

Sarah, left, with fellow corps members during her time with AmeriCorps NCCC

4. Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you like to do outside of RTS?
AH: I am a Sociology and Studio Art double major at Whitman College. At this point in my life I am really interested in public health and global health. At school I do a lot of work with a global health club called GlobeMed. In my free time I enjoy beading, printmaking, and getting addicted to TV shows.

SF: I’m originally from Rochester, NY. I’ve lived in Boston, MA, Seneca Rocks, WV, and Denver, CO. I’ve come all the way to Seattle to the University of Washington to earn my Masters in Public Administration at the Evans School. I’m interested in the arts and arts education and policy. I love going to the theater, the ballet, and concerts. I love sports as well, mainly football and baseball, but have been known to play some soccer and ultimate Frisbee. I also like to read books in coffee shops on cool, rainy days, so Seattle’s working out pretty well.

Thanks, Ali and Sarah, for all of your hard work for our organization! We wouldn't be able to accomplish our mission without great interns like you. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Volunteer of the Month: Ed McKenna

Ed, third from the left, reading with his grandkids and his son
Rebuilding Together Seattle is excited to recognize our awesome Volunteer of the Month for July, Ed McKenna! Ed has been a supporter of RTS for almost 15 years, and has been a dedicated Safe at Home volunteer. We asked Ed what it means to him to be July's Volunteer of the Month, and here are his responses!

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

I started about 14 years ago. Wanting to give back to my community, I thought I would lend my general skills and enthusiasm to help someone who could truly use it. Little did I know that I would soon be tasked as a project manager, overseeing a crew to renovate a deserving person’s home. It was such an uplifting experience for the homeowner, myself and the entire crew. That event had me hooked and I have been a supporter ever since.

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

I like the people I meet, the support I get from RTS and the thought that so many others are helping our community. Most of all however, I like to see the face of the person I’m helping when they say “Thank you”. Every homeowner I have worked with has been gracious, deserving and truly grateful.

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

Warmth, safety and independence are basic human needs that no one should suffer without. From my involvement, I know that RTS helps those who are vulnerable and in need and it makes me feel good to help with that mission.

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

I am a full-time judge in Seattle, have a beautiful wife and have 4 grandchildren. Sometimes it’s hard to find time to volunteer when needed but I always think of those less fortunate. However, I seem to find the time to volunteer and after each project, I remember why I first volunteer with RTS.

Thank you, Ed, for your dedication to our mission of helping low-income home owners live in warmth, safety, and independence!