Reflections from AmeriCorps Member on MLK Week of Service

Every year, the CapacityCorps members from Rebuilding Together affiliates across the U.S. come together to serve in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. This year, Krista and I traveled to Lafayette, LA to help Rebuilding Together Acadiana make repairs on six homes in one of their target neighborhoods. The experience was an opportunity to bond with other AmeriCorps members and to learn about the importance of service within our communities.

On MLK day, January 18, 2016, I worked with 8 other Capacity Corps members, and 9 local AmeriCorps members from the University of Louisiana – Lafayette on a young woman’s home in the Monroe neighborhood. Together, we tore down rotten siding, scraped chipped paint, and began installing new flooring in the living room. Over the next three days, we replaced the siding, washed the house, painted the new siding and trim, installed flooring in two rooms, replaced the sink cabinet, added a new countertop, and painted the existing cabinets. Similar projects were completed on five neighboring homes. The week was an excellent experience and a welcomed break from the bitter Minnesota winter. For myself, I enjoyed spending time with my CapacityCorps peers and learning about their experiences with their affiliates, all while being able to serve the Acadiana community.

In addition to the physical work, we were visited by a number of different elected officials and community leaders to talk with about the importance of AmeriCorps and community service. During the day, Lieutenant Governor William Nungesser walked around the neighborhood and conversed with both CapacityCorps and Louisiana AmeriCorps members, thanking us for our service. Accompanying the Lt. Governor, Bill Basl, the Director of AmeriCorps, welcomed everyone to Louisiana and gave his appreciation for our hard work. It was very rewarding to receive this kind of recognition, and to see that we are supported for the work that we do. It put things in perspective for me as I am thankful for the pioneers of the CapacityCorps program and the opportunities they have provided to people across the country.

MLK Week 2016 was a great success. The CapacityCorps group is an exciting and diverse collection of people from all different kinds of backgrounds and stages in life. Not only was it a positive experience to work alongside them, but also to converse with on and off the worksite at meals and in hotel rooms. The week was a reflection of the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., as we engaged in great conversations and learned from each other’s experiences, all while coming together to work for the better of our community.

Author Ethan Boote is 2015-2016 CapacityCorps AmeriCorps Member serving with Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.


Rebuilding Together National Names New President and CEO

Please join us in welcoming Caroline Blakely as President and CEO of Rebuilding Together National!

“After an extensive national search, the board of directors unanimously agreed that Caroline’s expertise and successful 30-year career in both business and law make her an ideal choice to lead Rebuilding Together. Her strong leadership skills, wide-ranging corporate and real estate connections, and engaging enthusiasm will help our organization energize impact and reach to serve more people and communities,” said Sherry Chris, who has served on the Rebuilding Together Board for more than three years and was recently elected to chair the national Board of Directors.

Caroline joins Rebuilding Together from Cassin & Cassin LLP where she was a partner in the Real Estate Finance Group. She also served as vice president in Fannie Mae’s multifamily business, defining its strategic direction for growing asset management and counter party responsibilities. Earlier, Caroline practiced real estate, banking, and corporate law in the Washington, D.C., area, including co-founding a woman-owned firm specializing in Resolution Trust Corporation matters.

“Rebuilding Together is a strong organization now poised to go beyond transforming lives one house at a time to revitalizing entire neighborhoods. It is a privilege to join the affiliates, staff, and corporate and community partners of Rebuilding Together to make this vision a reality,” Caroline said.

Active in business and community service organizations, Caroline was a member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) Board of Governors. She was recently elected to the board of the public mortgage real estate investment trust ARES Commercial Real Estate (ACRE). She is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Responsible Property Investment Council, and the steering committee of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She volunteers on the boards of trustees for Global Communities and subsidiary, Vitas, which specialize in international development and microfinance.

Caroline received her Juris Doctor cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center and her Bachelor of Arts with high distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Virginia.

Don’t Forget about Letter-Palooza – March, 23rd at 5:30 pm at Insight Brewing!

What is Letter-Palooza?

Join us at Insight Brewing, named best new Twin Cities brewery by Thrillist, and help raise money for Rebuilding Together Twin Cities! Over the course of the night, enjoy locally-brewed beer and socialize with staff, board members, donors, volunteers and homeowners as we send letters to each of our contacts on behalf of Rebuilding Together Twin Cities to build support and generate some resources for our upcoming build season!

How does it work?

  1. Come up with a list of about 20 contacts to whom you can mail our fundraising letter. Ideas to generate your list can be found here.
  2. Before the party, edit your letters, two options can be found here. For people that are just being introduced to Rebuilding Together, we recommend that you use the “Intro Letter,” for those that are familiar with our work we recommend you use the “Spring Appeal Letter.”
  3. Print your letters and bring them with your mailing list to the party.
  4. Write short notes, stuff your letters, and address envelopes based on your mailing list.
  5. Have fun, while hanging out with our fellow Rebuilding Together Twin Cities friends. We will provide the envelopes, brochures and postage.

Big THANKS to Insight Brewing for hosting this event!

For more details and to RSVP check out:  Let’s make it bigger and better than ever this year!

Brackets for Good Kicks Off on February 26th!

We are excited to be participating in this year’s Brackets for Good tournament!  We will be competing against other nonprofits in a single-elimination, bracket-style fundraising tournament that will help raise much-needed funds and awareness for our work.  The winner will receive a grand prize donation and it’s free for all nonprofits to participate.  Check out our page and make a donation by clicking here.