Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homeowners Benefit from Rebuilding Together

The Roanoke Chapter of Rebuilding Together will be helping 34 local homeowners rebuild damaged homes they cannot handle themselves on Rebuilding Day--Saturday, April 24.

Local volunteer groups, church members, contractors and others will do the work with materials either donated by local businesses or purchased with grant money from various sources. More than 500 volunteers provided the labor for last year’s event.

“We are active year round,” says local chapter President Ed Murray. “But one day every April, on Rebuilding Day, we pull out all the stops and do many, many houses in one day. It’s so inspiring to see so many volunteers helping people who have no other way to maintain their homes.”

Murray said the repairs include everything from leaky roofs, to falling down porches, to interior problems. “Once we were helping a woman with a leaky roof and discovered she had no way to cook because her stove had been broken for years--but she was too ashamed to tell anyone,” he says.

Adding that by the end of the day the woman had a new stove and a smile--free of charge. Although the repairs will happen at homes across a wide geographic area in western Virginia, there will be a special focus on 11 homes in Roanoke’s Hurt Park neighborhood.

Rebuilding Together has been helping the area for several years, including construction of new homes, renovation of vacant properties and repair and rehabilitation of others.

Rebuilding Together receives money from various groups in order to complete the work, which is always done by volunteers. Recent grants include: $100,000 from Foundation for Roanoke Valley, $10,000 from Wachovia Bank, $10,000 from SunTrust and $15,000 from Carilion Foundation. Since its inception in 1998, Rebuilding Together has renovated, built or restored Over 300 homes in the Roanoke area.

“We allow people to accept help with dignity,” says Murray. “Often times the people who receive our help are on fixed incomes, and they are fine until something bad happens to their homes. Then they are unable to keep up. That’s where we come in.”

Work on April 24 will begin at 8 a.m. and continue until complete. For more information on Rebuilding Together, including a photo gallery of before and after photographs, go here. For information on activities on April 24 please dall Ed Murray at (540) 798-0901 or John Carlin at (540) 815-0669.

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