The Mission of Rebuilding Together
Our mission is to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners by providing free repair services and home improvements for those with the greatest need, to enable them to remain in their homes and live in warmth, safety, dignity and independence. In partnership with our communities, we accomplish these goals through the efforts of volunteers and our financial supporters.
In addition to the tangible value of our work, the improvements we make often give much-needed boosts to our neighbors who have fallen on hard times. Our work builds community, as we focus on the reciprocal nature of our caring service. Our work is a gift to those performing the service, as well as to those served. Our caring for each other as neighbors flows both ways. This intangible benefit is at the heart of all we do and what we are all about.
History and Impact
We are a not for profit tax exempt organization which provides home repairs and improvements to those in need at no cost to the homeowners we serve. We have operated for more than 20 years and are one of about 150 affiliates of the national organization, Rebuilding Together. We started small helping two or three homeowners annually our first few years and now our program has emerged into a major initiative, improving the quality of life for many.
In 1996 a group of concerned individuals started this program to benefit the northern Chicago suburbs emulating an initiative that started in 1973 in Midland, Texas, called Christmas in April, to help homeowners who could not afford essential home repairs. We too realized that neighbors’ homes had fallen into disrepair and that these homeowners could not afford to fix them on their own.
We were able to find like-minded volunteers from Evanston to Zion, Illinois to donate their time and skills to rehabilitate the homes of their neighbors. Realizing the potential impact of this work, the group formed Christmas in April North Suburban Chicago, with the intent of performing repair and rehabilitation work in our communities every April. A weekend blitz (usually the last Saturday in April) where people from all walks of life work side-by-side to repair and improve people’s homes has allowed us to accomplish great things in a short period of time, over many years.
Since starting with a few houses in 1996, the North Suburban Chapter now works on approximately 50-60 houses a year, including on our Annual Rebuilding Day in April, utilizing over 500 volunteers, skilled and unskilled. Our name later changed to Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago which more fully reflects the year-round scope of our activities.
Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago
- Hosts our Annual Rebuilding Day on the last Saturday in April, using skilled and unskilled volunteers and donor funding to complete our projects.
- Performs skilled-only projects year-round as resources allow.
- Serves communities north of Chicago, south of the Wisconsin border, west of Lake Michigan and east of I-294 (with a few exceptions).
- We typically complete 50-60 projects each year. About half of the projects are scheduled on or around the last Saturday in April (Rebuilding Day).
- After two decades of service, we have established a comprehensive network of volunteers, donors referral sources that help us serve the needs of the community.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Linda Baudhuin President – Wintrust
- Cheryl Thennisch Vice President
- Sharon Riley Executive Director
- John Diedrich Treasurer – Glenview State Bank
- Ronald Calandra Secretary
- Frank Flammini
- Kevin Faley – Wintrust
- Emily Berlinghof – The Hudson Group
- Tom McCabe
- Mike Murdock – Chestnut Builders of Wilmette
- Bill Plasschaert
- Jim Riley – McGuireWoods, LLP
- Margaret Sparr – Village of Round Lake Beach
- Steve Spinell – Kinzie Real Estate Group
- Cheryl Thennisch – Kinzie Real Estate Group
- Don Treischmann
Junior Board of Directors
- Dean Calandra President
- Ryan Murdock Vice President
- Brian Flammini
- Gina Flammini Director of Social Media
- Patrick Murdock