ACCA volunteers were happy to return to the annual National Rebuilding Day project on Saturday, April 30 after the global pandemic forced us to cancel due to health and safety precautions for the past 2 years. Since 1990, ACCA volunteers have given over 3600 hours of service to rehabilitate 128 houses and group homes in our community. During the pandemic, we were able to frequently participate in smaller Rebuilding Express projects.
Volunteers completed repairs on two homes this year. The first home, in Annandale, was led by Ken Mittelholtz, Frank Spink, John Clarke and Camille Mittelholtz. Volunteers from St. Barnabas Episcopal, Annandale United Methodist (AUMC) and the Latter Day Saints (LDS) churches participated. Stella Goings arranged for participation by six Elders and Sisters from the Annandale Stake LDS and worked with the missionaries. This team of 18 people volunteered at the house and other volunteers helped with project planning, food and clean-up. Nancy Moy of Lincolnia United Methodist Church provided lunch and Betsey Clevenger of AUMC baked cookies.
The volunteers at the Annandale home built a handrail at the front entry steps, painted window sills and the front door, repaired squirrel and woodpecker damage on a gable, and replaced a broken basement window. In the yard, volunteers cleaned up limbs and branches, spread mulch and raised the clothesline. Inside, team members installed light fixtures and door handsets and repaired storm door closers. These repairs allowed the homeowners, who had lived there for more than 30 years, to remain safely in their family home.
The second house was in Alexandria, and the repair team was led by Brian Meli, Jim and Laurie Lewis and Woody Woodburn. This team included 21 volunteers from Ravensworth Baptist, John Calvin Presbyterian and Providence Presbyterian churches. Breakfast was provided by Carol Weber and Marie Monsen; lunch was provided by Karen Barnoski and friends from Queen of Apostles Catholic Church.
Volunteers refreshed the house and grounds and made things safer for the elderly homeowners who had been in their home for 40+ years. Inside they installed grab bars and safer electrical outlets. The kitchen got a deep cleaning, several minor repairs and a fresh coat of paint. Volunteers also installed a new stove fan and light and removed a few old fans. The floor area around the hot water heater was repaired and covered with linoleum. Outside, volunteers cleaned up limbs, branches and vines, and spread mulch. They also replaced six shutters, improved the drainage downspouts and made repairs around a window well.
At the end of the day, the volunteers were happy to be back doing what they enjoy – helping families in our community stay in their homes. The grateful homeowners were thrilled with the results. One of the homeowners complimented the volunteers saying, “they weren’t workers; they were artists.” For the wonderful volunteers who help out every year with Rebuilding Together, that feeling at the end of the day is what brings us back year after year.
Read the story from Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church. See the photos from Team #1 and Team #2