Faces of…Rebuilding Together Petaluma

Yesterday, Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP) volunteers once again fanned out across the city to work in some of our parks or to help qualifying homeowners with critical maintenance needs.

Unlike past years, this time I rode along with RTP’s Victoria O’Riley to the various sites as opposed to focusing on one or two work locations.  This gave me an insider view of the logistics and planning required to support all of the projects. It also gave me an opportunity to get a bit of a “global view” of the efforts throughout the City…and the volunteers.

In a few days all the photos taken by RTP volunteer photographers will be available and I will pass on the links for those who would like to see them.

In the meantime, I offer a quick selection of photos taken during my  travels with Victoria…

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Rebuilding Together Petaluma–The stuff that needs to be done NOW!

NEWS FROM REBUILDING TOGETHER PETALUMA

Fast Water Heater Co. Teams Up with Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP) and Home Depot to Restore Hot Water for Elderly Veteran’s Widow in Petaluma…

DSCF6110RAWWEB A Petaluma homeowner turned on her faucet today and hot water poured out for the first time in nine months. Mrs. G. has been boiling water on her stove for her hot water needs since last June.

“My neighbor read an article in the paper about Rebuilding Together Petaluma, and she said she thought they might be able to help me out,” said Mrs. G.

As a low-income homeowner whose late husband served in the armed forces in the Korean War, Mrs. G. squarely qualifies to be a recipient of Rebuilding Together Petaluma’s home repair services.  RTP works to ensure that low-income homeowners receive the support they need to maintain safe and healthy residences. The non-profit organization relies on grants, donations and volunteers to complete its work.

Mrs. G’s home will undergo a series of repairs over the coming months, but the water heater situation could not wait. Rebuilding Together Petaluma’s Executive Director Jane Hamilton connected with

Both companies immediately agreed. The new water heater was in place within two weeks of the initial request.

“We are proud to have a presence in the greater Bay Area, and this is just one way for our company to show our appreciation,” said Fast Water Heater CEO Jason Hanleybrown. “It also fits with our company values – one of which is caring for the communities we serve.”

“We are very grateful to Fast Water Heater Company and Home Depot for their quick response to this situation,” noted Jane Hamilton of RTP. “They immediately understood the urgency and worked quickly to restore Mrs. G’s hot water. When businesses respond with in-kind donation of materials or services, it allows us to help even more people.”

RTP is still seeking donations and volunteers to help complete repairs to Mrs. G. home on May 3. Volunteers from Home Depot and the Coast Guard and retired members of the military are all expected to improve livability issues inside and out at Mrs. G. home. To volunteer or make a donation, go to www.rtpetaluma.org.

Rebuilding Together Petaluma strengthens the local safety net by repairing homes free of charge for the many low income homeowners in our community as well as renovating the facilities of non-profits that support them. Rebuilding Together Petaluma envisions a safe and healthy home for every person in our community.

According to RTP’s Jane Hamilton:

  • “Rebuilding Together Petaluma was established in our community in 1996, initially as Christmas in April. In the last 18 years RTP has repaired or added safety/energy efficiency features to almost 800 homes for low-income Petaluma homeowners, most of whom are elderly or disabled members of our community.”
  • “We fund this work through an annual grant from HUD and also through the generous donations of businesses and individuals in our community. Each year RTP directs the efforts of over 500 skilled and unskilled community volunteers towards those in our community who are in need of some helping hands. We sponsor and organize a large rebuilding day every April and October and we also offer year round services to those in need.”

Fast Water Heater Company serves all of the greater Bay Area with local operations in Marin, Napa and Sonoma as well as San Francisco and the Peninsula, the East Bay, the South Bay and San Jose. The company has been in business since 1985. Its website is www.fastwaterheater.com.

MLK Day 2014…a day of service

On January 20, 2014, volunteers from Kaiser Permanente and, in some instances their family members, once again gathered to spend MLK Day in an area community facility performing needed improvements and maintenance. This year they took on projects at the Novato Youth Center (NYC) including landscape mulching, planter maintenance, cleaning, computer maintenance, and bookcase construction.

Petaluma’s Rebuilding Together (RTP), in a long standing partnership with Kaiser for Martin Luther King Workdays, coordinated logistics.

Kaiser Volunteers 2014

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To view all the photographs go to>> Kaiser MLK Photo Gallery 2014

As a tease to check out the gallery, I offer this quote from Ally Oxenhandler, the principal at NYC:

What an amazing experience.  Your team couldn’t have been any lovelier to work with.  And the results……..well……..nothing will ever top it!  We will enjoy them every single minute of every single day for the next many, many years.  Thank you for selecting us.  Sometimes, wonderful things happen!  It was a pleasure to work with all of you. The best MLK Day of my life.”

…and this small collage to further encourage you to check out ALL the photos in the gallery linked above…

(Click on any photo to open the collage to see full sized photos)

Rebuilding Together Petaluma–Helping Hands

On October 19th, 120 volunteers from Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP) descended upon eight local homes to assist low-income homeowners in need of critical home repairs and maintenance.

I think of RTP events as a kind of coordinated series of community barn raisings in terms of the spirit of the day and the participants from across the community.

Nina Zhito shot a series of photos for the Petaluma Argus Courier and I believe that one of them is particularly symbolic of the day.  I have given it a working title of Helping Hands

Photo Courtesy of the Petaluma Argus Courier

Photo Courtesy of the Petaluma Argus Courier

To see all of Nina Zhito’s RTP photos on Petaluma 360, click HERE

Joan Bunn was also on site with her trusty Canon to capture the spirit of the workday…

PHOTO CREDIT--Joan Bunn

PHOTO CREDIT–Joan Bunn

And I was there practicing my usual “Gonzo” Photo Techniques…

PHOTO CREDIT--Frank Simpson

PHOTO CREDIT–Frank Simpson

NOTE: To view the complete collection of photos from Joan and others, go to RTP’s Smugmug gallery atRTPetaluma and peruse the top six galleries to see all the action shots!

As a tease for the RTP Smugmug galleries, I offer a brief photo gallery below for your consideration…

PHOTO GALLERY

  • Click on any photo below to start the gallery
  • The gallery may take a minute to load, depending upon your connection speed!
  • Navigate between photos using the left and right arrow keys, or by clicking or tapping the arrows on the left and right.
  • Click “view full size” below any image to see the photo directly outside the gallery.

Rebuilding Together Petaluma…Celebrates its 17th on the 17th!

Rebuilding Together Petaluma (RTP) is celebrating it’s 17th year in Petaluma with a party and fundraiser on September 17th  (5:30-8:30pm) at Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma.

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Wells Fargo through its Hometown Hero program is the lead sponsor for the fundraiser and for RTP’s October workday on October 19th. They will be sponsoring multiple projects in October and providing employee volunteers in their money for muscles program. Recently, representatives from Wells Fargo presented RTP with a check in support of the fundraiser and the upcoming October workday…

Left to Right: Uriel Medina, Wells Fargo; Jane Hamilton, RTP; and Jason Henderson,  Wells Fargo

Left to Right: Uriel Medina, Wells Fargo; Jane Hamilton, RTP; and Jason Henderson, Wells Fargo

In addition, several other  businesses have stepped up to the plate with donations in support of RTP’s fundraising effort:

  • Ghilotti Neighborhood Champion
  • Friedman Home Improvement Neighborhood Champion
  • Clover Neighborhood Champion
  • Devcon Home Saver

Tickets for the fundraiser are $25 which includes 1 free beer or wine, a paella dinner with salad by Bro’s BBQ, live music by D’bunchovus.

According to Jane Hamilton of RTP: “We will be auctioning off some great items and anyone donating over $150 at the event will receive a very cool disaster preparedness kit which includes an Eton hand turbine radio (you’re gonna want this one! Come celebrate RTP’s 17th year of putting hundreds of generous volunteers to work repairing homes for low-income homeowners and veterans in Petaluma. Let’s create safe and healthy homes for everyone in our community!”

It is important to point out that you do not have to be a skilled trades person to attend the event or to be a volunteer for RTP.  There are many  important volunteer workday tasks that merely require willing workers.

Tickets may be purchased at RTP’s office at 402 Petaluma Blvd North, or by clicking on this link to purchase online.

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