Working on the sidewalk

National Rebuilding Day – Three Faith Groups Partner to Assist a Veteran

Pouring and leveling cementNational Rebuilding Day included a variety of rewarding projects undertaken by our faith and corporate partners, including the work King of Kings Lutheran Church accomplished for Mr. W. in Centreville Mr. W. is a Marine Corps veteran who was stationed at Paris Island and Quantico before becoming a business owner in our area. He took care of his wife for many years until she passed away in 2020. Mr. W. took pride in his home but in recent years due to health issues and lack of financial resources he couldn’t keep up with the mounting maintenance and repairs needed to continue to live safely in his home of 56 years.

It Takes a Village

For over 20 years, we have counted on our partner King of Kings Lutheran Church to take on challenging projects.  Due to the breadth of the work needed on this home, team leader Oscar vontwo volunteers Bredow recruited volunteers from Fairfax United Methodist and Christ Presbyterian Churches to partner with his church. In total, 35 volunteers with a range of skills worked over two weekends to make Mr. W’s home safer. The first weekend a smaller group of volunteers cleared out extensive debris from a tree-damaged back porch.

Then on National Rebuilding Day, the larger team worked together to improve access to the house, make safety modifications and repairs, and do a major yard clean-up The volunteers patched the driveway, and spent hours removing the old walkway and building a new walkway to the front steps. The process included hauling bags of cement, running the cement mixer, pouring cement, and leveling and smoothing the cement. They also repaired the steps to the front porch and replaced the porch light so Mr. W. can now safely enter and leave his home.

Inside the house, the work focused on aging-in-place modifications like installing a comfort height toilet and grab bars in the main bathroom; fire safety by installing smoke detectors, changing out the plastic accordion dryer vent to metal ducting and replacing the kitchen exhaust fan to remove grease, smoke and fumes from the kitchen; and tackling a host of other repairs that included installing a new cooktop, replacing the leaking dishwasher, repairing a leaking pipe in the basement, removing old carpet and installing vinyl plank flooring.

Good Work is its Own Reward

With this much work to do, the team ended up spending 10 hours at the house on National Rebuilding Day (NRD), plus additional hours preparing materials and removing debris the week prior to NRD. You can see how our generous volunteers participated in the work with enthusiasm and smiles:

The homeowner’s daughter, who lives in Maryland, expressed her appreciation to the team:

“When you see everyone in church tomorrow who worked so hard on my Dad’s house today, please tell them how VERY MUCH we appreciated everyone’s time! Everyone who came was so helpful, suggestive, kind, friendly, and skillful! Both their talents and graciousness shone through. All worked so hard today, and we appreciate and thank every one of you. Bless you all!”

We’re grateful to our partners at King of Kings Lutheran Church, Fairfax United Methodist Church, and Christ Presbyterian Church and proud of the work they did to ensure that Mr. W. is safe and comfortable in his home.

If you’d like to get involved in supporting a rebuilding project or if you know a homeowner in the area who could use our support, please contact us!


Team in front of the house

Please visit our Flickr albums for more photos from this project and all of our National Rebuilding Day 2023 projects.

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