Did you know that 29 percent of Virginia adults volunteered last year through an organization? And that we volunteer at a higher rate than the national average (25 percent)? These volunteer efforts by our neighbors and friends are valuable, equating to $6.1 billion in donated time, according to Volunteer America.
This is great news for nonprofits like Rebuilding Together Alexandria, which relies heavily on volunteers to preserve housing affordability and revitalize the Alexandria community by providing free, safe, and healthy home repairs. These upgrades are important since most of our clients are homeowners who live near the poverty level. By improving their housing conditions, we can help them remain active members of their neighborhood and in turn help our city remain economically, socially and culturally diverse.
In the past three decades, 23,000 volunteers have worked on more than 1,800 projects in the city, improving the lives of thousands. We have volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. In fact, corporations, congregations, businesses, schools, community service organizations, trade associations, and government employee groups often partner with us create exceptional volunteer experiences for their employees to teambuild through service.
Our volunteers build raised vegetable gardens, replace doors and windows, rebuild porch steps, install safety handrails and grab bars, fix cabinets, make energy efficiency upgrades, and more. Skilled tradespeople are always in demand; and indeed, hundreds of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and roofers donate their time. But volunteers do not need to be skilled at home repair work to participate.
Skilled or unskilled, our volunteers make a difference for individuals and the community. In fact, here is what several long-time Rebuilding Together volunteers had to say on:
Value in their Life: “My volunteer work has honed handy-working skills, provided a sense of community and purpose in free time, gave me chance to work with other volunteers, and allowed me to serve the needy.”— Defense analyst
Favorite Rebuilding Together Memory: “We went to one house that had some windows replaced, and obviously was taken advantage of by an unscrupulous contractor. Correcting this work allowed me to right a wrong. I want to make my kids proud.” — Eight-year volunteer
Volunteer Focus: “Serving as a volunteer is my full-time job, so I do research and study to ensure delivery of quality service with the best techniques and tools.” — Retired Alexandrian
Best Accomplishment: “Getting the job done!”— Facilities manager and Vietnam veteran
Importance of Volunteering: “This is essential to being part of the community and I feel I have been fortunate in my life, so it is my duty to help those that are less fortunate. I want to be a good example for my children.” — Parent of two children
Our volunteers are special. The improvements they make to people’s homes have profound, lasting effects on the quality of clients’ lives … and their own. To explore becoming a volunteer, visit us at www.rebuildingtogetheralex.org.