Mission Nonprofit Spotlight: Rebuilding Together Thurston County

Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Deborah Vinsel sat down with Lane Sater, past board president, and Cathy Johnson, volunteer executive director, from Rebuilding Together Thurston County talk about the organization’s services for low-income homeowners and the upcoming National Rebuilding Day event.

Since 2003, Rebuilding Together Thurston County, a local nonprofit organization, has helped keep people in their homes in Thurston County by providing free home repairs and handicap modifications for low-income homeowners and nonprofit facilities. They focus on serving low-income homeowners who are elderly, disabled, families with children, and veterans in need. They are an affiliate of Rebuilding Together, a national organization that was started in Texas in the mid-1970s.

The first project was completed in 2004. Since then, volunteers throughout Thurston County have worked on many projects from window replacements, hot water heater replacements, wheelchair ramp construction or repairs, installation of smoke detectors, gutter and roof cleaning, flooring installations, fence replacement and more. “We initially started out doing just three building day projects, which are typically the last Saturday in April or the first Saturday in May,” shares Cathy. “We typically did anywhere between four and seven projects a year for rebuilding days and then we discovered that, yes, it’s great to do a whole bunch of big projects on that day, but then we had people calling all through the year saying, “Hey my hot water tank and I’ve got no hot running water and my floor is ruined because it’s wet,’ or ‘I don’t have electrical service,’ or ‘I need a wheelchair ramp.’ And they couldn’t wait until the last Saturday in April.” So, Rebuilding Together Thurston County started their Critical Repairs Program in 2013, doing three repairs. In 2020, they did 34 repairs through the program.

A part from two part-time paid employees, everyone, including the board, is volunteer. In 2020, volunteers gave over 6,000 hours to the community. They are always looking for more volunteers. And you don’t have to be a skilled tradesperson to help. If you want to help but are not skilled, they will pair you with someone who is, who can lead the project.

This year, they have their BUILD IT! Breakfast on March 10, 2021 to help them raise funds for their important work. The breakfast is free to attend.

Then, on May 1, 2021, join Rebuilding Together Thurston County for Rebuilding Day! This day marks the end of Rebuilding Together’s National Rebuilding Month. Each year, volunteers throughout the nation come together to complete projects. According to the Rebuilding Together Thurston County website, each year, Rebuilding Together affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects on Rebuilding Day. To join in, please contact us by email at info@rebuildingtogethertc.org or by phone at 360.539.7830.

For more information, watch the full video and visit the Rebuilding Together Thurston County website.

You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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