We were thrilled to be selected as a recipient of the Power of 100 Southwest! This incredible organization selects one charity each quarter to receive their donation. Power of 100 members nominate charitable organizations that benefit the Twin Cities area. At each quarterly meeting, three charities are randomly selected, and the nominating member makes a 5-minute presentation. One charity is chosen by member vote and each member donates $100 to the selected charity. We are very grateful to Colleen Nagle of Midland Title, who nominated our organization, and to all of the Power of 100 members who support our organization and others doing good work in the Twin Cities!
Our incredible Ramp Team recently completed their 49th project at a Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV) home that provides transitional housing for veterans. MACV provides comprehensive program and supportive services to homeless veterans, including housing, employment and legal services.
Improving the accessibility of MACV homes is critical to ensuring that they can serve all veterans in our community. The ramp our volunteers constructed will ensure the home is accessible for veterans living with a disability.
We talked with one of the Ramp Team Leaders, Armand Peterson, about the Ramp Team and how it started. He said, “The retiree ramp project grew out of initiatives started at the Honeywell Retirees Volunteer Program (HRVP). HRVP dated back to 1979, but its mission was to help retirees find volunteer activities in their communities. The organization did not conduct or sponsor volunteer activities on its own. It was strictly a broker. However, that began to change when Honeywell headquarters was moved to New Jersey after being acquired by Allied Signal. Honeywell reconfigured its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program in the early 2000s and streamlined its charitable donations to align more clearly with the company’s business objectives. These were named “Honeywell Hometown Solutions,” and four or five key objectives were defined. “Housing and Shelter” was defined as one of the key objectives, and Honeywell supported it by becoming a national corporate partner of Rebuilding Together. HRVP was urged by local Honeywell personnel to support these initiatives by sponsoring activities relating to the five key objectives. Paul Parrish solicited retiree volunteers for the RTTC Safe at Home programs, and the ramp projects grew out of these original efforts.”
He went on to say, “We often get asked, ‘How many ramps have you guys built?’ One of our problems in answering that question is that, for most of our early days, we just built ramps, with no thought about keeping track of the numbers. Fortunately, Bill Berschneider keeps track of his volunteer efforts, and he came up with a good historical count, and we are now listing the ramp number on communications relative to each new project.”
We are extremely grateful to the Ramp Team for all of their hard work over the years, and we are looking forward to celebrating the 50th ramp project!
We are excited to welcome Jeff Trechter to the Rebuilding Together Twin Cities Team! Jeff will be serving with our organization for a year through the AmeriCorps CapacityCorps program.
Jeff grew up near the Twin Cities across the border in Wisconsin before attending the University of Minnesota and studying Architecture. He graduated in 2013 and moved down to Madison for a job doing remodeling. After trying out a few different jobs and becoming increasingly interested in doing work with a social benefit, buying a house, and getting married, he moved back up to Minneapolis when his partner chose the University of Minnesota to do a graduate degree in Public Policy Analysis. Jeff is interested in city design, integrating architecture and nature, and fostering deeper and more diverse community connections.
Please join us as we welcome Jeff to the team!
We are sending special shout outs to several groups who volunteered with us over the last month:
Colliers Project Management – Worked at Steven’s house in North Minneapolis
Wells Fargo – Assisted several homeowners over multiple workdays in Minneapolis
Seagate – Volunteered at Steven’s house in North Minneapolis