Wrapping up National Volunteer Week will be what has now become a familiar weekend around Muscatine. National Rebuilding Together Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 29.
The local chapter, Rebuilding Together Muscatine County (RTMC), will join 141 other affiliates working on repairing and restoring homes across the country.
RTMC began in Muscatine in 2007 when Frank Iliff was participating in Leadership Muscatine through the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Participants in the class were challenged to devise a project that would positively impact Muscatine and the surrounding area.
Iliff researched several organizations and decided the principles of Rebuilding Together would be a benefit to the Muscatine area. Rebuilding Together provides home repairs to elderly, low-income and disabled persons to allow them to remain in their homes.
The first year, RTMC worked on two projects in the spring, with approximately 65 volunteers. The organization found the need was so large that four projects were completed in the fall. Over 85 volunteers helped with the fall project.
Projects scheduled for this year’s rebuilding day include ramp installation as well as planting and yard work at each home.
In the ten years since the organization began in Muscatine, over 80 projects have been completed in the area. Projects have ranged from painting homes, installing new tub surrounds, repairing and replacing roofs, and installing ramps to make homes accessible.
When asked about the hours dedicated, Iliff can often be heard to say, “It just needs done.”
While the mission of RTMC to keep residents safe, warm, and secure has not changed, the local chapter continues to grow.
RTMC builds handicap-accessible ramps throughout the year. In cases where a loved one cannot come home from a hospital because their home is not accessible, RTMC can provide a temporary ramp.
The ramps are constructed in a manner that allows them to be removed from the property when there is no longer a need.
RTMC will host their annual Rebuilding Together Day on Saturday. Interested volunteers are asked to arrive around 7:15 a.m. at 1424B Houser Street in Muscatine. Volunteers will be asked to sign in and will receive a T-shirt once accounted for.
Volunteers do not need to be skilled in a specific area, and novice volunteers will be assigned to a jobsite under the supervision of a skilled house captain.
RTMC will also be hosting their annual trivia night fundraiser on Saturday, May 6 at the Rendezvous in Muscatine, 3127 Lucas Street. Tables will be eight persons each, with a cost of $10 per person. Included in the evening will be raffles, doors prizes, and more.
*Editor’s note: Mary Mason is the daughter of Frank Iliff and serves as the secretary of the board for RTMC.