A project of REBUILDING TOGETHER ALEXANDRIA
In 2012, Rebuilding Together Alexandria and our volunteers repaired more than 100 homes and nonprofits. help sponsor a team this year!
The true beginnings of this grassroots organization began many miles away in the small town of Midland, Texas. It was there in 1972, when local citizen, Bobby Trimble, took the initiative to challenge his Sunday school class to action to help local families in need with their home repairs. These many acts of kindness became the seed that has since grown beyond Texas. Thousands of lives for families and communities have greatly improved, not only in our city of Alexandria but in many neighborhoods across our vast nation.
Alexandria’s first Rebuilding Day came in April, 1987, when eight homes and two shelters were repaired and renovated. Some 174 volunteer workers replaced damaged doors, windows, flooring, and hot water heaters, repainted rooms, repaired plaster walls, and cleaned yards. This all came about because of the vision of one very special lady.
In 1986, Barbara Joseph was told of a special program that Rev. John T. Sorensen volunteered for in Washington, DC: individuals gave of their time and skills to repair the homes of in-need families they didn't even know. That program was Christmas in April.
Barbara quickly embraced the concept of neighbor helping neighbor as she oversaw efforts to organize financial and volunteer support from local businesses, churches, synagogues, civic groups and individuals alike. Her efforts to establish Alexandria Christmas in April soon lead to details of last minute problem solving and keeping everyone's spirits high as the first Rebuilding Day neared.
Over the years, she missed just one Rebuilding Day, and on that Saturday in April, 1995, when hundreds of volunteers were repairing homes across Alexandria, she wore her Christmas in April t-shirt in the hospital and spent the day recruiting nurses to volunteer for the program next year.
In 2004, along with the Rebuilding Together National Office, we changed our name to Rebuilding Together Alexandria to better communicate what we do. Though we now go by a different name, the core mission of our organization remains the same: “ Bringing volunteers, communities, and resources together to improve the homes and lives of Alexandrians in need.” Barbara's commitment to help others has grown to touch the lives of thousands of local citizens who have served to sponsor, plan, or volunteer for a Rebuilding Together event.
Today, nearly 1000 volunteers perform work on over 70 homes and non-profit agencies, primarily on National Rebuilding Day but throughout the year as well because demand has increased. This past year, 850 volunteers donated more than $310,000 in manual labor and materials to Alexandria's neediest.