On the last Saturday of every April, Rebuild Together, a non-profit organization holds a nation-wide event where volunteers repair homes of those in need across the country. This year, more than 3,000 volunteers were involved in repairing 86 homes across Chicago and suburban Bellwood on April 28, giving free of cost repairs to low-income residents, according to WGN9.
Team Rubicon and Tuthill gathered their efforts around one home in Chicago near Lake St. and Cicero Ave. where an elderly woman in a wheelchair needed assistance. Team Rubicon was the house sponsor, a local contractor, Kevin Howard from Glass-Tek Windows, served as the house captain, and Tuthill and Team Rubicon provided volunteers. Plumbers and electricians offered their expertise and labor throughout the day, traveling to numerous homes in the Chicago area.
From Tuthill, Subhash Vaidya, Jonathan Youngren, Tom Carmazzi, Xenia Amparo and Erica Magda volunteered. The crew, joined by Team Rubicon members and the house captain's wife and son painted and installed new flooring as plumbers fixed a leaky sink and electricians installed security lights.
"Working to improve one house was exciting, but the realization that thousands of other people across the country were doing the same things at the same time to make our communities better, now that was inspiring!" Erica said.
Xenia helped paint and install flooring, which she had never done before. "Honestly, I knew nothing about house repairs, but at the end of the day you realize, it's all about the willingness to help," she said. "I got to meet new, great people, and was able to give a lift to a family. Their smiles were more than enough reward for all the hard work that day. Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others."
Outside the home Subhash and Jonathan installed non-slip tape on the wheelchair ramp while carpenters fixed stairs and handrails.
"I am grateful to have taken part, and for the willingness of others to show up as well. We couldn't rebuild an entire house, but we did lift a few spirits (and paint a few walls). That alone was worth the time, effort and energy," Jonathan said.
The home-owner and her family were present throughout the day, and were extremely grateful for the work that was accomplished.
"I loved the heart-felt nature of the event," Tom said. "I also loved having 'spirited communities' come to life!"