This work is hard. Every day is a new struggle to find the money needed to help our many neighbors in need. Over the past six years, I have been stressed to the breaking point. I have cried myself to sleep and awake. I have struggled with how to keep my staff and volunteers safe while still helping those with great needs during a pandemic. I have gone without a paycheck to ensure clients receive the help they need, and staff gets paid. And many people ask me why. They want to know why I continually pour my soul into this organization, often without recognition or reward.
I answer that there is no one big reason – it’s a million little things. I do this because the mission matters. If we weren’t here to help, how many people would be forced to leave their homes? How many more seniors would end up in the hospital, or the funeral home, because they didn’t have a grab bar in their bathroom? How many more kids would have unsafe places to play? Or develop respiratory problems due to poor air quality in their home? How many more veterans would live in homes that are falling down around them? How many more families would live in squalor?
And finally, after years of hard work by everyone involved with Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun, I feel like all the blood, sweat, and tears have finally paid off. Now we have another million reasons to keep on keeping on.
I am proud to share that RTVOS is the only organization in Arizona this year to receive a Healthy Homes grant from HUD. Over the next three years, RTVOS will receive $1,035,000 to repair homes in the Central City area of Phoenix! This is such exciting news and makes up for every night of lost sleep since 2016. We now have the capacity to help so many more families, and I am grateful.
I am also excited because this award allows us to hire new staff to help with this new program. We are hiring a Safe at Home manager to oversee our Fall Prevention and Arizona Ramp projects, and a Community Revitalization manager, who will be working alongside volunteers to repair homes and revitalize community spaces at events like our National Rebuilding Day in April. We are looking to find the best people as quickly as possible, and I hope you will help us spread the word to your contacts who are looking for a great job and a way to make a difference in their community. The complete job descriptions may be found at rtvos.org/careers.
So, the million little things that have kept me motivated have finally grown into a windfall that will help Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun continue to help our neighbors in need far into the future. Thank you all so much for your support, we wouldn’t be as strong or resilient without you.