MUSCATINE, Iowa–In the past 14 years, Rebuilding Together Muscatine County has positively impacted many homeowners across the region. No job has proved too big or too small, with Rebuilding Together completing projects as simple as repainting a few rooms to as complex as replacing all the windows in a house, remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, and building extensive ramps. With the help of countless volunteers, Rebuilding Together has completed repairs on over 100 homes. April 24, they will continue their tradition of making the community safer and more comfortable for all residents by hosting their annual Rebuilding Together Day.
This year, Rebuilding Together will tackle five different projects on Rebuilding Together Day. Volunteers will build three ramps at different locations and professionals willing to work at a discounted rate will reroof two additional homes. Overall, Executive Director Frank Iliff hopes to have at least 85 volunteers, particularly to help with the construction of a 55 foot ramp.
People with all skill sets may volunteer with Rebuilding Together. In addition to completing building projects, Rebuilding Together volunteers also do yardwork at many of the sites they go to, tidying up gardens and planting both annual and perennial plants to remind the homeowner of their care and concern for them all year long. Rebuilding Together also allows younger people to volunteer with them as well, so long as they follow certain guidelines. All underaged volunteers must have a parent or guardian with them. Those under 14 may not do work that requires a ladder, while those under 18 may not use large power tools (such as electric saws).
If you would like to help homeowners in need through this year’s Rebuilding Together Day, Iliff encourages you to fill out the volunteer application and waiver form online ahead of time. Then, at 7:15 a.m. April 24, all volunteers will meet at Rebuilding Together’s office at 1424 B Houser Street, Muscatine, to receive house assignments for the day and to go with their respective teams to their worksites. Because projects can take all day, Rebuilding Together will provide lunch to each volunteer who attends. As Iliff put it, “if you give me nine hours, I’ll give you lunch, a t-shirt, and a day you won’t soon forget!”
For anyone who would like to volunteer for Rebuilding Together but cannot make it to Rebuilding Together Day, the organization does several emergency building projects throughout the year. Working with a number of regional partners, such as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Rebuilding Together learns about low-income homeowners who could use help, especially if a family members’ illness or injury requires them to have a mobility ramp or other modifications made to their house. To add yourself to the list of potential volunteers, simply complete the online waiver and check that you would like to join the email list for future volunteering opportunities.
Whenever and however you can help Rebuilding Together, Iliff welcomes your support, as it will help Muscatine County residents, especially seniors, stay in their homes and have a better quality of life. “The reason I do what I do is because of our tagline, ‘it just needs done,’ because I believe it,” he shared. “It’s neighbors helping neighbors–it’s a safe and healthy home for everybody, and that’s what we stand for.”