Carlene, a Mandan resident, needs a wheelchair to get around and a lack of accessibility at her own front door means she’s been going up and down the front steps on her knees.
This isn’t a unique problem, either. There are plenty of people in the Bismarck-Mandan area who are struggling with issues around the home. Whether it’s a disability or lack of funds, some individuals simply can’t make the improvements they need to their homes.
That’s where Rebuilding Together comes in.
“The goal of Rebuilding Together,” explains Destiny Voth of the organization’s board, “is to help people be in a home that is warm, safe, and dry. So we typically try to help people who are disabled in some way or someone who can’t afford or physically do the repairs for themselves.”
The organization recently helped build a wheelchair ramp for Carlene’s home, so she can now get to her front door in a way that’s both easier and safer.
This perfectly ties into the philosophy of Rebuilding Together – helping people through home improvement.
The organization offers repairs of all sorts to those in need, from plumbing to wiring, and even yard work. They’ll also, on occasion, provide individuals with accessible appliances … or, in Carlene’s case, build accessible entryways and paths for their home.
Rebuilding Together is a division of the United Way, and has branches across the US.
Its Bismarck-Mandan department was founded in 1997, and since then, they have raised more than $1.2M in both donations and gifts.
More than 6,500 volunteers have helped to fix up roughly 175 homes and non-profit sites in the Bisman area alone.
Their annual rebuilding sessions all take place in the span of a single day, which they call ‘Rebuilding Day.’
All repairs are done by volunteers at no cost to the homeowner, using resources donated to or purchased by the organization … and the volunteers themselves are more than happy to help.
“I really enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community,” says Ashley Backsen, who aided the group during his year’s Rebuilding Day. ” When you’re willing and able to help out, it’s just a nice feeling, and it’s really rewarding at the end of the day.”
At its heart, Rebuilding Together is a joint effort by the community to help make Bismarck-Mandan a little bit safer and more comfortable for everyone.