USAA Grant Funds Deep Repairs for a Veteran in Alexandria

Mr. S proudly served in the US Marine Corps in Vietnam and then spent 40 years working for the Washington Post. His wife was employed by the General Services Administration and they enjoyed being part of their community. But ten years ago Mrs. S became disabled and Mr. S retired to become her full-time care-giver. He built a wheelchair ramp so he could bring her home from rehab and then safely get her out of the house to go to doctor’s appointments. He was grateful that he could bring her home and take care of her so she didn’t have to live in a nursing home but over the years as his health declined he could no longer keep up with home repairs and the ramp had deteriorated and become unsafe. He applied to Rebuilding Together – AFF after learning about our work from a home health aide and a grant from USAA allowed us to rebuild the ramp and make extensive repairs in other areas of the couple’s home.

Twenty-nine volunteers signed on to help with the project. The first team arrived on site on a frosty morning and got right to work demolishing the old ramp. They quickly filled a 20-yard dumpster with the debris and the team leaders developed the plan to construct the new ramp. The ramp came together like clockwork in one day as the volunteers stepped into their roles. They constructed a porch deck so that Mrs. S could roll out the front door onto the ramp. Framework for the 50-foot ramp was built on the solid upright posts that Mr. S had installed 10 years ago. One team focused on cutting planks for the deck of the ramp while others screwed them down. Other volunteers puzzled through the pieces needed to make the turns so the boards on the deck of the ramp fit together as smoothly as possible. Plank by plank, screw by screw, the ramp was completed and as the sun began to set the volunteers took a brief moment to celebrate their amazing accomplishment. Mrs. S. would be able to use the ramp that night in case of an emergency. Mr. S walked up onto the ramp and gratefully said “I could never have done this myself. Thank you!”

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RT-AFF Conducts AmeriCorps Member Training for RT National

RT-AFF was pleased to partner with our National Office to plan, manage and execute the 2018 AmeriCorps Members training and project days this August. RT-AFF volunteers Bard Jackson and Bob Austin joined consultant Armand Magnelli and RT-AFF staff member Don Ryan to conduct a one-day formal training in safe and healthy home repairs. They set-up hands-on work stations to demonstrate the right methods and materials for installing grab bars, gutters and downspouts, clothes dryer vents and other repairs. Behind the scenes, Marcy Bartlett, RT-AFF Director of Programs orchestrated the two day project where the AmeriCorps members would put their classroom training to work. We were fortunate that Marcy agreed to stay on for the month of August and put in a tremendous effort to make her last project for RT-AFF a successful and meaningful experience for the homeowners, AmeriCorps Members and RT-AFF volunteers. Read more

Sears Heroes@Home Volunteers Help Multi-generational Veteran Family

On July 17, 2018 Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church and Sears partnered in Alexandria to serve a multi-generational veteran family as part of the Sears Heroes at Home program. Read more

Time Flies: RT Express Teams Have Helped 75 Seniors Age in Place in Their Homes

Our vision for Rebuilding Together Express has come true:  small teams of 4-5 volunteers, working 4-5 hours, and spending $400-$500 for materials are helping seniors age in place safely in their homes. We’ve refined our procedures, enlisted the help of more than 40 volunteers who want to work regularly throughout the year, and completed repairs to more than 75 homes. Read more

RT-AFF Wins Commonwealth Council on Aging Best Practices Award

Patti Klein, Christy Zeitz, Dr. Richard Lindsay and Don Ryan (l-r)

The Commonwealth Council on Aging presented its top Best Practices Award to Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church for demonstrating the effectiveness of surprisingly simple, low-cost repairs to correct health and safety hazards in low-income seniors’ homes. Dr. Richard Lindsay, Chair of the Council on Aging Best Practices Committee, presented  this competitive award, which comes with a $5,000 prize funded by Dominion Energy. Read more