This summer, Rebuilding Together South Sound will help disabled homeowners get in and out of their homes safely with the first ever Pierce County Ramp-A-Thon. Lead by home builders from the Master Builders Association of Pierce County, Veterans will be giving back to their communities once again by constructing 3 wheelchair ramps on this one day blitz, partially funded by the City of Lakewood.
Rebuilding Together South Sound jumped at the chance to work with VetsMeetVets, the organization providing volunteers for this event. VetsMeetVets, which is working to end veteran suicide, is always looking for ways to get their veterans involved in the community. “There is nothing better for our Veterans, than to be back in service in their community,” explains Founder and Executive Director Rod Wittmier. “It stops the spiral immediately, by raising their self-worth and value in their community.” Rebuilding Together South Sound, being a volunteer organization was a perfect fit to meet this need for our local Veterans.
Continuing its strong partnership with the Master Builders Association of Pierce County, Rebuilding Together South Sound is utilizing skilled volunteer home builders to lead these 3 projects. “Over the last decade, the organization’s members have donated thousands of skilled volunteer hours to rehabilitation projects through Rebuilding Together South Sound,” states Gary Patterson of Omega Custom Homes and the Master Builders Association. “We’re excited to now include our Veterans in that partnership.”
In 2001 when Rebuilding Together South Sound was established, 3 projects were completed during a one-day event called National Rebuilding Day. “It’s exciting to see this organization grow from a once a year service event to a year-round affordable housing organization that can facilitate special one day events such as the Ramp-A-Thon,” says Executive Director Amy Hoyte. “In the last 3 years, our year-round services have grown substantially, and thanks to the community support we receive, we’ll be completing 100 projects between our 2 programs this year alone.” Rebuilding Together South Sound was managed entirely by volunteers for its first 4 years and focused solely on the annual Rebuilding Day event. Today, with just 2 staff members and 1 AmeriCorps Member, the affiliate is able to serve hundreds of South Sound residents through its 2 housing repair programs.
About Rebuilding Together South Sound:
Awarded the Jane T. Russell Governance Award at the 2011 Nonprofit Excellence Awards, Rebuilding Together South Sound’s mission is to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners – particularly the elderly, people with disabilities and families with children. Rebuilding Together South Sound is an affiliate of Rebuilding Together Inc. but is an independent 501 (c) 3 and the Board of Directors is solely responsible for fundraising, publicity, volunteer recruitment and management. With volunteer and in-kind community support, each dollar raised by Rebuilding Together South Sound provides a minimum of $4 worth of work for recipients. Since 2001, Rebuilding Together South Sound has completed more than 350 projects with repairs worth nearly $4,000,000. For more information, visit www.RebuildingTogetherSS.org. Become a fan at www.Facebook.com/RTSouthSound.
VetsMeetVets is on a mission is to end Veteran suicide in our nation by connecting our Recent Veterans with Seasoned Veterans and the services of their local area. The organization creates community around our Veterans and Families so that they know that ‘they are not alone!’ Without support a returning Veteran will withdraw from family, friends, community and life itself. The support services currently offered to a Veteran are typically designed to help them survive tough times (very reactive). VetsMeetVets’ focus is to be much more proactive and create a community that surrounds our returning heroes so that they not only survive…they thrive.
About the Master Builders Association of Pierce County:
The Master Builders Association of Pierce County (MBA) is a non-profit trade association comprised of more than 850 home building professionals and related service providers, employing over 10,000 people in Pierce County. The MBA’s purpose is to promote through membership involvement, legislative action, networking and education, the opportunity for affordable housing to all while striving to maintain the highest ethical standards.