Looking Forward to 2021
A message from Cathy Johnson, volunteer executive director:
If anyone had told me that 2020 was going to be so crazy, I think I would have hibernated. Rebuilding’s Build-it Breakfast on March 12 was literally held the week our world was changing due to Covid. We had 200 people with reservations for the fundraising event but only 110 attendees due to the first Covid precautions being announced on the 11th. Our office, located in the Thurston County Chamber building, has been locked for months. We have a key to the building, but we certainly work in a very quiet environment. Hopefully, we can get to back some sort of “normal” in 2021.
While Covid has certainly been a dangerous disruption, it hasn’t disrupted RTTC from its mission of helping low income homeowners. As of December 11th we had received 43 applications from low income homeowners in need compared with 48 in 2019, 52 in 2018, and 23 in 2017. We have completed 35 Critical Repair projects in 2020 with another seven in process. Some of these projects include: wheelchair ramps, stair and deck repair, plumbing leak resolution, replacement of hazardous/damaged flooring, grab bar installation, and exterior lighting for safety and security. Wheelchair ramps have been an especially needed service this year with 12 being built compared with 5 each in 2019 and 2018. Because of Covid, lumber for ramps is hard to find and expensive as well with the average cost per ramp rising from $700 to $1200. Rebuilding budgets approximately $750 per Critical Repair project. With lumber costs rising and a couple of expensive projects this year, including a new electrical panel, septic tank pump, and hazardous tree removal, we are mindful of our budget.
We delayed Rebuilding Day which was scheduled for May 2 due to the pandemic. To date, we have worked our way through three Rebuilding Day Projects while keeping volunteers safe and at a social distance. This means the majority of work done has been on outside projects.
What is Rebuilding Together’s 2021 New Year’s resolution? We resolve to continue helping low income homeowners in need.
Thank you for supporting Rebuilding Together Thurston County in helping our neighbors.
Wishing you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!