Down & Dirty — Rebuilding Communities
by Joanna Kitto
Editor’s Note: This article continues the series inspired by DBA President Mary Jo Gross, where guest columnists write about their volunteer/charity involvement.
Rebuilding Together is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the community to rehabilitate the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled, in the Denver-metro area, so that they may
Rebuilding Together provides assistance to people who own their own home but who, because of physical limitations or income, are not able to perform or pay for the costs of home repairs. Volunteers come from all walks of life, including civic groups, small businesses,
In 2004, more than 275,000 people volunteered in 850 cities across the nation. More than 8,500 homes and non-profit facilities will be repaired at a value of $90 million. Since the Denver chapter was established in 1999, Rebuilding Together has rehabilitated more than 100 houses for the elderly and
I have been the secretary of Rebuilding Together and have served as a board member, on various committees, and have performed legal work pro bono since 2001. None of this, however, has been as rewarding as being a "house captain" — rallying the troops at my law firm to show up for the day to pound nails, paint and other such tasks. Being a house captain
My first project
In 2002, we worked on 89-year-old Margaret Adams’ home, installing a guardrail to guide her from her front door to the street, enabling her to access rides to places like her church, the doctor’s office and the grocery store.
In 2003, we worked on the mobile home of a gentleman with MS who had lost his home and all other assets to healthcare costs. We installed special appliances, built a far better ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp, reinforced and rebuilt his porch, fixed broken windows, and fixed doors to eliminate drafts.
Each homeowner was teary, grateful and simply amazed by the strangers who came together to work on their homes. Each attorney, staff member, family member and acquaintance who has volunteered on "Rebuilding Together Day" in April has had a wonderful experience.
How you can get involved:
This organization needs all kinds of support to continue its good work, including new house sponsors, volunteers for its committees, and in-kind donations of supplies or services from those in the construction industry. If you, your law firm, your office or your client would like to get involved, please call me at (303) 291-2324, visit http://www.rebuildingdenver.org, or contact Laurie McCaw, executive director, at (720) 524-0828.
Joanna C. Kitto is an attorney at Perkins Coie and can be reached at (303) 291-2324 or email@example.com.