University Crew Team Spends Spring Break Volunteering with Rebuilding Together
By: Stephanie Carvajal, Capacity Corps Member, Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade
The University of Scranton Women's Crew Team, a group of 17 energetic and hard working women, packed into two fifteen passenger vans and made the 25 hour drive from Scranton, Pennsylvania to Miami, Florida to spend their Spring Break volunteering with the Miami-Dade affiliate of Rebuilding Together. The team spent four days helping the Rebuilding Together Miami staff rehab two homes in the South Miami area. Both homes had interior renovations completed prior to the team’s arrival and were in need of exterior painting. The group did an excellent job on both homes with both family members and neighbors expressing how unrecognizable the homes looked.
"Having the opportunity to work with Rebuilding Together has been a truly remarkable and heartwarming experience. The hard work we put in pays off when we see how grateful the people we help are and to be able to help others is wonderful. I wouldn't have wanted to spend Spring Break any other way. This has been an amazing opportunity that has helped us grow as a team and has helped me grow as a person."
- Jessica Peterson, Class of 2016.
"We have always been passionate about volunteering and serving our community, and feel proud to work for a company that supports and encourages volunteerism. Bank of America believes that volunteering can strengthen the economic and social health of our communities, and provides a powerful opportunity to create positive change in the lives of the communities that we serve. And today was a great honor that allowed us all to give a special gift to a returning veteran who has given much through her military service. The collaborative efforts of our Bank of America team, Rebuilding Together Miami, and the Sear Corporation was a welcome improvement and provided great joy to Veteran Heisser, her father James Smith, their family and neighbors!"
- Katrina Wright, Bank of America team leader, November 29, 2012
"I appreciate what all of the volunteers have done today. Thank you for doing the things that I can’t do myself."
- James Smith, Homeowner, November 29, 2012
"I wanted to be involved in this project because I like helping out others."
- Ahmad Abu-Shaaban, Freshman, UM Business School, September 8, 2012
"I like the feeling of helping other people. I have done other service projects, but I like this one because you are helping a person, someone in need, it is tangible."
- Christine Baez, Freshman, UM Business School, September 8, 2012
"I think it’s cool that we are able to give back to someone that is so close to our campus."
- Abraham Hammer, Freshman, UM Business School, September 8, 2012
"It's a new day for me and my family."
- Elvin Thompson, veteran and homeowner, recipient of the Celebration of Service, September 6, 2012
"[John Bethel] is also a Navy Veteran, and I shook his hand."
- Mike Aldrich, a 73 year old Home Depot employee volunteered for the Celebration of Service because he too was in the service. Mr. Aldrich is a Navy veteran who served in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, September 6, 2012
"Our appreciation and gratitude also extends to MCM, The Greatest [all-time best] contractors and workers anyone could ever have or hire. They came in and worked tirelessly as though they were being paid top dollar. We Thank You Beyond Verbal Expressions. Words cannot convey the content of what our heart really feels. To Kurt and Jerry of MCM, the plumbers [AURORA u r awesome], the roofers [DeckTight], the electricians, the carpenters and laborers, the exterminators [Al-Flex], everyone! Let's not forget the Mormon Church of Latter-Day Saints and all of their volunteers, as well as family and friends who pitched in and got the job done! Thank You All For Everything!!!"
- Janet McIntosh, niece of Bessie G. Adside, NRD Homeowner
"Thank you very much for getting up so early on a Saturday morning to paint my house. I have been waiting a long time and I thank God and you for this day. I am so happy!"
- Sandra Tucker, Homeowner, March 31, 2012
"I volunteered throughout my university days. I am always looking for volunteer opportunities which is why I am here today working on Mrs. Tucker’s house. There are good volunteer opportunities with Bank of America as they have a culture of giving back to the community."
- Raihan Uddin, Bank of America Sunny Isles, March 31, 2012
"I like helping people in need and helping the community."
- Nathali Arias, Bank of America Sunnyland, March 31, 2012
"I always watched extreme makeover home edition and wanted to do that, I wanted to come together as a community and rebuild a house," and alternative spring break was her opportunity to get out and do it."
- Johanna Lopez, UM Senior, February 18, 2012
"I did not have any experience with hands-on manual labor, so I thought it seemed like it would be a good experience helping out and a good way to gain a necessary skill."
- Pilar Castaneda, UM Junior, February 18, 2012
"I can't believe it, it's a whole new house"
- Mary Henderson, Homeowner, February 18, 2012
"I am writing to thank you and your organization for your generosity and efforts in repairing my home. In today’s times there are few people who would care for others as you have done. It is a great comfort to have the house painted, septic tank replaced and yard work landscaped. The efforts of you and your organization are greatly needed by our society to help those who cannot afford to help themselves. I assure you of my continued prayers for you and this organization to continue your good work."
- Michael Masters, January 18, 2012
"It's nice to help others in need. I appreciate helping less fortunate people and spending family time teaching my children to help...giving thanks for what they have and teaching them to be helpful to others in need... teaching them true value."
- Yessel Santana (wife of UPS employee)
"I painted a wall and supervised my dad. I had fun doing it I feel it's important to give back to the community and everybody should help."
- Amanda Henize, Age 16, daughter of UPS employee, Coral Reef H.S. student
"I want to personally thank you for the opportunity of allowing us to work with you all. You were an amazing host site and provided us with strong, direct service as well as an education that changed the way we look at service work. I am very grateful to have worked with you and I hope we can continue this partnership."
- UM Student Volunteer August 27, 2011 work day
"Greetings, I was an applicant of your project that was held on May 7, 2011 in Naranja. You made my house into a home and I am very pleased to say that it was a great job. In doing this great job, I want to thank the staff of Rebuilding Together. Special thanks to Mr. Bob Miller and Mr. Gregory of the First Florida Building Corp and Mr. James McCants also for your effort that goes beyond the cause of Rebuilding. Words cannot express the gratitude. I pray and hope whatever it takes that you will continue to help in the communities. You are doing great work and please don’t stop."
- Diane Richardson - Homeowner
"On behalf of the University of Miami's Butler Center for Service and Leadership, I would like to say that working with Donna Fales and Rebuilding Together has been nothing but a pleasure. They have assisted with many of our University's service days this year including Orientation Outreach and the United School of Business Service Day. The volunteers that worked with Rebuilding Together have returned from their sites with rewarding experiences. I look forward to continuing this partnership with Rebuilding Together, as this is a great organization doing wonderful things for the Miami Community."
- Natalie Fontela, Student Placement Assistant
"Having an organization like Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade means the world to me. Before their help, my house was in shambles. My kids were cutting themselves on broken tile in my floor and I had holes in my walls. I had been in and out of the hospital because of my disability and was unable to find the resources to fix my home. I prayed for help and when it came, it was such a blessing for me any my family. It is such an awesome program and I will forever be grateful for the help and support I have received."
- Angela Butler
"I am completely overwhelmed by all the volunteers here today and thank you to each of you for everything you have done."
- Joyeria Willis
"Thanks to all who really blessed my mother with the things that are being done around her house. Thanks to the workers that didn’t think the house was too worn down to repair it. She was afraid to leave the house for years because she was afraid of falling. Now she has the support of the railing and ramp. God Bless you all."
- Mrs. Laverne Fisher's daughter
"Thank you for everything. This program is truly a blessing for the senior citizens. I’ve been a resident of this community for over 50 years. The assistance and service that your agency has provided are immeasurable. Many of the needed repairs would not have been possible without your help. Keep up the good work."
- Mrs. Minnie Cooper
"Thank you for allowing Gillette Construction the privilege to take part in National Rebuild Day. The small amount of tasks that we completed that day were nothing compared to the thanks and compassion that each and everyone of us received from Mrs. Brown. Mrs. Brown touched the lives of myself, my co-workers, my team members as well as my friends. If the world were filled with more people like the group that came together on Saturday; to act as one and help those that need just a small amount of kindness and care; what an incredible place and time we would have. We look forward to being there arm and arm with everyone again next year."
- Sandy Domando, Gillette Construction
"Approximately one year ago, we stood in the living room amongst all of the chaos that Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina graced upon us, thinking to myself, “Lord what will thou have us to do”. As a result of the hurricanes, Miami-Dade County issued a citation indicating the house was deemed unsafe due to the deteriorating roof and carport. Rebuilding Together Miami stepped in and worked wonders. We were provided with necessities and amenities: a brand new kitchen including new appliances; a refurbished terrazzo floor; updated electrical system; closets renovated; new storm impact windows throughout the entire house; interior and exterior of the house painted; a new driveway; a new sprinkler system not to mention a new roof and carport. On behalf of the entire Walker Family, we say thank you to all who made this wonderful venture possible. "
- Mrs. Thelma Walker's daughter