Over the past two years, RTGC has focused our major home repair efforts in the Druid Hills neighborhood through our Building a Healthy Neighborhood program. We were able to identify 16 residents in need of critical home repairs in large part due to the support of Reverend Darryl Gaston, the former Druid Hills Neighborhood president, and his wife Melissa, the leader of the North End Community Coalition.
Before completing projects and moving on to our next target neighborhood, we wanted to host one last community event in Druid Hills. RTGC staff worked with Darryl Gaston to plan a neighborhood clean-up event that was designed to thank homeowners for letting us come into their community to repair their homes. Unfortunately, a few weeks into the planning process, we received heartbreaking news of Darryl’s passing. Faced with the discussion of whether to continue with the event or not, and with the feedback of Darryl’s wife Melissa Gaston, we soldiered forward with the event. But the event took on a whole new meaning.
Kickoff to Rebuild is an annual Super Bowl-sanctioned event hosted by Rebuilding Together that has provided over $5 Million in home repairs over the past 26 years to homeowners living in NFL cities. Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay has taken on the incredible task of providing 30 homeowners with critical home repairs in preparation for Super Bowl LV and the Kickoff to Rebuild event.
Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte had the privilege of participating in Kickoff to Rebuild by partnering with Lowe’s Home Improvement to provide critical repairs to a local veteran living in the Druid Hills community. We are honored to share his story with you.
Donald “Red” Adams was born on April 8th, 1952. His parents, Robert and Willie Fair purchased their home brand new in 1950. Donald’s Father, Robert Adams, Sr. served in the Army and fought in World War 2. Donald and his 8 siblings were all raised in the home and attended Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.
Following his father’s wishes, Donald served in the Air Force from 1970-1972 before receiving an honorable discharge for medical reasons. Donald returned home to support his family, as 4 of his siblings also followed their father’s wishes by enlisting in the armed forces. Donald’s older brother Robert retired from the Airforce after serving honorably for 31 years.
Donald’s father began a tradition in the 90’s of hosting a huge Fourth of July cookout for family and friends. Donald moved back to the home in 2010 to care for his aging parents. After they passed, Donald continued this Fourth of July tradition to honor their memory. Donald and his siblings continue to gather monthly at their family home for meals full of laughter and love. Donald is the father of 3 adult daughters, who also frequently visit him at home.
Donald is homebound due to a medical condition that requires him to be on oxygen. With Donald staying in the home, the Adams family remains one of a few original families in the Druid Hills community. Through the Kickoff to Rebuild project sponsored by Lowe’s Home Improvement, we provided critical bathroom repairs including a new subfloor, vinyl flooring, vanity and sink, medicine cabinet, toilet, grab bars, ceiling and drywall repair, and extensive plumbing repairs. Donald can now safely use his bathroom for many years to come.
To learn more about the Kickoff to Rebuild event Rebuilding Together's partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement, click the button below.
There is a type of poverty you may have never heard of – fuel poverty. Households that cannot afford to keep the home adequately warm or cool are considered to be experiencing fuel poverty. According to the Department of Energy, heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.
For seniors living on low, fixed incomes, often in older homes that commonly lack proper insulation or weatherization, keeping up with the cost of electricity or gas can become a serious financial strain. Many low-income families are forced to make budget trade-offs in warmer months to pay off utility debt accumulated during the winter. Having a lower income is associated with a greater risk of temperature-related death, particularly for older adults. Heat and cold can challenge the ability to maintain a stable core body temperature, which heightens a person’s vulnerability to illness.
Since 2019, we have partnered with Window Nation to provide new, energy efficient windows for four local families in dire need of window replacements. Before these families received their new windows (along with several other critical repairs), they all shared concerns with high heating and cooling bills as well as the drastic fluctuations in the temperature of their homes due to the weather conditions. The existing windows were as old as their 1940s homes and were presenting issues with security, maintenance, and the elements. “Being a disabled vet, it’s that much better because my income […] I couldn’t afford to have done it. I already feel like it’s warmer in here,” said Mr. Adams, one of the recipients of the new windows this year. Thanks to the generosity of Window Nation, these families are now living comfortably without the financial burden and associated health risks of drafty old windows.
Digi-Bridge, Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte, and She Built This City Find New Home at Innovation Alley
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 12, 2020) -- On Thursday, Nov. 12, doors will open at Innovation Alley, a dedicated programming space funded by Lowe’s Foundation to be shared by Charlotte nonprofits Digi-Bridge, Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte, and She Built This City.
The space located at Hygge Coworking’s Jay Street location provides a shared workshop, classroom, and inventory space for three organizations working to provide STEAM education, construction career training, and critical home repairs to the community. Additionally, the space contains interior and exterior public art, a tool wall, 3D printing lab, activation space and a state-of-the-art virtual studio provided by Generation T.
Innovation Alley will allow the three organizations to fulfill elements of their respective missions and also provide opportunities for collaboration such as 3D printing classes for construction students, job training and apprenticeships for women in trade fields and multifaceted volunteer opportunities. The three organizations are all supported by Lowe’s and will continue to innovate to find ways to bring community together.
We are excited to announce that this fall, we are partnering with LG Electronics USA and Lowe's Home Improvement for the second year to give five homeowners in the Druid Hills Neighborhood ENERGY STAR appliances.
ENERGY STAR appliances are equipped with cutting edge energy efficiency technology that allows homeowners to save on energy costs and help protect our planet. For the homeowners we work with, these appliances can be life-changing. We are forever grateful for the relationship we have with LG and Lowe's and the impact their generosity has on the health and safety of our homeowners.
Learn more about this partnership here.
These appliances are life-changing for me. Before I had to unhook my oxygen to cook because the gas stove and dryer, now I don’t have to worry about any of that."
In the midst of the pandemic, Social Venture Partners launched a new pilot called Spark Teams to leverage their greatest assets - Partners' skills, experience, and expertise - to support the nonprofit community. A Spark Team consisting of SVP Partners with interest and expertise in specific areas (e.g. operations, fundraising, governance, etc.) convened to offer non-financial support, brainstorming, and thought partnership to a few selected nonprofits.
In the spring of 2019, our Executive Director, Beth Morrison, participated in SVP's SEED20 event, which provided invaluable coaching and support in crafting and elevating the messaging of our work. So we didn't hesitate to throw our name in the hat for the Spark Team Pilot and were thrilled to be selected.
Our leadership determined the most impactful areas to strengthen as we continue growing and expanding our community impact. We were paired with an amazing team of strategic philanthropists including Henry Lander, Lou Jerome, Cristy Travaglino, and Dawn Posey. Over the course of eight sessions over two months, we mapped out a more supportive and robust board onboarding process and identified different tools to use with board and staff to implement our strategic plan.
We're working with Lowe's Home Improvement to make a meaningful difference in the Greater Charlotte area! Through our partnership in 2020, we have further expanded our staffing capacity by hiring a full-time Program Manager, piloted virtual build-along fundraisers, launched an Emergency Repair Program, and prepared to launch programming in our new shared nonprofit space, Innovation Alley.
Our partnership with Lowe's has provided a springboard for our growth and increased impact in preserving safe, affordable housing in the Greater Charlotte area.
Read more about Lowe's community impact throughout the Greater Charlotte area.
*Please note, these photos were taken in October 2019 during the Rebuild-a-Block event.
by Michael McClelland
A rising senior at Davidson College majoring in History, Michael interned with Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte over the summer through Davidson Nonprofit Leadership Fellows program.
For decades, African Americans have experienced housing discrimination by real estate agents, banks, and the government policies regarding where they have the right to live. This post discusses the ways in which the US government along with other aspects of housing (real estate and the banking industry) have segregated American neighborhoods with a focus on Charlotte, North Carolina. Richard Rothstein's 2017 book The Color of Law is an excellent introduction to this topic and provides much of the information referenced below.
While the Coronavirus has altered plans for millions of people, I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with Rebuilding Together of Greater Charlotte this summer through the Davidson Nonprofit Leadership Fellows program.
Back in high school, I had some interactions with nonprofit organizations when I had free time. I never really worked with one specific organization entirely; I floated around and experienced many different segments of the nonprofit world. During that time, I began to understand the impact that nonprofits can have on people's lives. I realized I would find joy and fulfillment in helping as many people as I can.
Some more about me: I am Michael McClelland. I am a rising senior at Davidson College. I decided to major in History, and I enjoy learning about and discussing American history. I was recruited to Davidson College to wrestle, which I did for two years. I was raised in Waxhaw, North Carolina, with my three siblings and parents. At Davidson College, I have been the Service Chair for the past few years for my fraternity and worked with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Hope House Foundation.
For the summer, here are some things that I am excited about:
While this fellowship was intended to be in-person, I am still very excited about what this summer holds, although it is remote. Throughout the summer, I will be researching different topics surrounding housing such as redlining and the relationship between housing and health which will be posted here on RTGC's blog. I intend to focus on Charlotte’s housing situation in my research. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work for such an amazing organization.