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An organization which annually fixes up homes for those unable to do it themselves assists in Southeast

DAVID F. ASHTON - Typically, Hayley Andrews is a Rivermark Community Credit Union Community Development Specialist - but on Portland Rebuild Day, she was helping paint the home of an elderly woman in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.  Volunteers from the organization "Rebuilding Together, Portland" has been getting together at twenty worksites around greater Portland this year – on their annual "Rebuilding Day" – Saturday, April 24.

"In our community, 'Rebuilding Together Portland' hosted hundreds of volunteers to repair houses for low-income homeowners at various sites," said the organization's Executive Director, Mike Malone.

"These repairs are provided free of charge to homeowners who, often faced with diminishing resources, must choose food and medicine over any critical home repairs," Malone told THE BEE.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Both of them Rivermark Community Credit Union volunteers, we found Shauna Luessen and Rodney Beard trimming back shrubs in the yard of the Foster-Powell home being renovated at no charge to its owner. In Inner Southeast Portland, volunteers – many of them associated with project co-sponsor Rivermark Community Credit Union – were busy working on the exterior and the yard of a home in the Foster-Powell neighborhood.

"We've got a lot of work happening here, including painting the outside of the house, putting in a ramp at the side door, fixing an electrical breaker and outlets, installing an ADA toilet, cleaning clogged drains, and removing a lot of waste material," recited the Site Project Leader, Kate Thornton, from Kaizen Construction, another project sponsor.

"I've been involved with this for more than twenty years. I started out with my dad, in Kansas City, with that affiliate of this nationwide organization," recalled Thornton.

"Here, 'Rebuilding Together Portland' is a great volunteer organization providing neighbor-helping-neighbor events, making this an excellent way to give back to our community," Thornton observed. "The value that the community gets back from donated funds and materials is four dollars' worth of service for every one dollar given to the organization."

The eleven volunteers at this particular home – capped at that number by COVID-19 restrictions – were busy inside the house and out, taking care of the many chores on their list.

"The work is chosen based on three criteria: Safety, dignity, and warmth," explained Thornton. "That's how we prioritize what jobs we're going to do."

Thornton said the homeowner told her she was very grateful "and beside herself with joy because she is elderly and has arthritis."

The volunteers said they were happy to be out, helping their community.

Find out more about Rebuilding Together Portland online – www.rtpdx.org


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