|Rebuilding Together - Calcasieu
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|How does Rebuilding Together work???
Please let us start off the new year by saying...Thank you! Our 2012 fund raising event was a true success. We celebrated our homeowners, our
sponsors and our volunteers. Many people don't understand that there are three equal parts to Rebuilding Together - Calcasieu. Each part has its
own important role in what we do.
Our homeowners are where we start. They are the ones living day to day in homes that are not safe, or secure and basically falling down around
them. Sometimes it is due to maintenance issues, sometimes it is neglect, sometimes through age. Whatever the circumstance, people should not
be living with no heat in the winter or air in the summer, electric bills that are often as high as one quarter of their income or floors they are afraid of
falling through. I think about my own grandparents when dealing with our homeowners....would I want my grandmother to live like this? The
courage to invite strangers into your home, into your personal space, and give up control of privacy and secrecy is an incredible thing and I commend
them all for it. One of my favorite quotes from a homeowner was in 2009 just after a Coca-Cola build. The homeowner had not cooked in her
kitchen for over seven years because her floors were rotting through. "I'm going to dance in my kitchen tonight.", she said as she did a couple of
twirls on the floor.
The second component to our organization is our sponsors. Rebuilding Together - Calcasieu is a non-profit organization. We do not make things to
sell to keep our doors open or charge for our services. We rely 100% on donations and grants. We have been so fortunate for the past 20 years to
have sponsors who believe in our mission of "bringing volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income, elderly
and disabled homeowners". It is because of the passion that they have for this community and for our mission that they are willing to support our
organization and the very important work we do in Calcasieu Parish. Our sponsors are essentially our lifeline, without them we would have to close
and our work would stop. When I spoke with Billy Navarre at a gathering one night he said, "This is my grandmother you are talking about. This is
how she lived and I remember as a boy wanting to help her and the situation she was in. I'm in...I want to make a difference for people." He has
been a loyal sponsor and advocate since that night.
Volunteers are the meat on our bones. Our volunteers are certainly very special people. They come out to the project sites willing to give freely of
their time, their talents, their sweat and very often their tears. I have seen our volunteers love on our homeowners and each other. They leave their
families and their lives to stop for a day (or longer) to focus on someone else; someone they don't even know and haven't met before the day of the
event. They show up with their tools and great "I can" attitudes. They dig in and are willing to do whatever their house captain asks them to do. They
are surprised and astonished at the end of the day at what they have accomplished as a team. They often have new insight into their
coworkers/fellow volunteers. Volunteering on a Rebuilding Together - Calcasieu project is a wonderful team-building exercise/oportunity for you and
your group. Because our teams are often from one business or church group, they have the opportunity to learn more about each other and grow
together with this shared experience. Last year as I was leaving the project sponsored/volunteered by Shaw Modular Solutions one of the ladies
from the group stopped me and said, "So, we're going to do this again in the fall, right?" Their team had enjoyed the day so much that they couldn't
wait to get out and do it again.
As you can see, each piece of our three piece pie is important. We couldn't do what we do or make the change that we make in our community
without ALL THREE pieces of our pie. Won't you find out today how you can become one of those pieces of the pie? Please take time to call our
office at (337) 478-1755 to find out more about how you and your team can get involved.
In Acts 20:35 Paul states 'In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord
Jesus himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "