2012 Shining Star Volunteer Is Tim Erkel

This month, we recognized the hard work, passion and dedication of Tim Erkel by naming him our 2012 Shining Star Volunteer.  Tim stepped in to serve as our Volunteer Coordinator after our AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator couldn’t complete his full term of service.  Tim has been volunteering with us on a full-time basis since mid February.  Thanks to his hard work and enthusiasm, we have been able to continue to recruit and coordinate volunteers and our volunteer base has grown.

Tim holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Classics from Macalaster College.  He also played football and ran track for Macalaster and has worked to leverage those relationships to recruit volunteers for Rebuilding Together.  Most recently, he worked as a Business Licensing intern for the City of Minneapolis.  He also interned with HOME Line, a nonprofit focused on renter’s rights, where he worked on public policy issues to help level the playing field between renters and landlords.

Tim loves that his volunteer work with Rebuilding Together has tangible results on people’s lives.  On his very first project, the homeowner came up to the volunteers and said that thanks to their efforts, he was going to be able to take a bath in his home for the first time in a year.  Tim feels passionately that his work with Rebuilding Together has a very real impact on people’s lives.

Our AmeriCorps Safe at Home Coordinator, Tyler White, said “Tim’s enthusiasm and energy really showcase the essence of the volunteer spirit. To work with him is a wonderful display of altruism, because I know that he strives towards the same goals and vision that everyone on staff does, yet he does this with no financial incentive. It is an honor to be in the company of such a great person and friend.”

Thank you Tim for everything you have done and continue to do to help homeowners in need!

Help Us Win a $50,000 Makeover for the American Indian Family Center!

YOU can help us win a $50,000 makeover for the American Indian Family Center in St. Paul!  Rebuilding Together partnered with Maxwell House to select ten community houses across the country.  The three community houses that receive the most votes between now and June 8th will receive a $50,000 makeover.

The vision of the American Indian Family Center is to be the place Where American Indian Families Thrive!  This is accomplished by providing American Indian families with programs and services enriched by traditional American Indian values and culture.  They focus their efforts on ensuring the development of healthy children, strengthening the family, keeping families together and making communities healthy and strong.  The $50,000 makeover would upgrade the facilities in order to create an even more functional and inviting space for the people that the Center serves.

Please vote for the American Indian Family Center every day from April 24th until June 8th at www.maxwellhouse.com.  If you would like to receive daily emails reminding you to vote, please email Michaela at m.brown@rebuildingtogether-twincities.org.

National Rebuilding Day Was a Huge Success!

Thanks again to the hundreds of volunteers who braved the rain to help 25 families in need on April 28th for National Rebuilding Day!  Thanks to your efforts, we were able to help homeowners like Erin, a proud owner of her Camden Neighborhood home.  Erin’s grandson recently began living with her, and because of the expense of taking care of him, she is not able to afford repairs to her home.  In her thank you note to the volunteers who worked with her, Erin wrote, “Thank you for allowing my house to become more of a home.”

We would also like to thank U.S. Senator Al Franken, who came out to meet volunteers and one of the homeowners we helped that day, as well as MN Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal, State Senator Linda Higgins, State Representative Bobby Joe Champion, Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels, and Rebecca Lucero from Congressman Keith Ellison’s office.

Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors and partners for National Rebuilding Day, including Wells Fargo, Builders Association of the Twin Cities Foundation, Honeywell, MidCountry Bank, US Bank, On Site Sanitation, Valspar, Catholic United Financial, Lowe’s, Caribou Coffee, Subway, CitiCargo & Storage, Target, The Big Day of Serving, Dunwoody College of Technology, Tree Trust, Mortenson Construction, Ironwood Carpentry, Neighborhood Improvement Program, American Public Media, Coca-Cola, Cookie Cart, Webster/Windsor Insulation and ABC Supply Company.