Rebuilding Together Dutchess County started with the simple act of neighbors helping neighbors.
In 1991, Ron Stein, a local construction manager, became aware of the emerging national effort of helping to rehabilitate the homes of low-income, seniors and homeowners with disabilities, and was determined to bring the Christmas in April program to Dutchess County, making it the first such affiliate in New York State. Christmas in April*Dutchess County was incorporated early in 1992. Its name was changed in 2001 to Rebuilding Together with Christmas in April, Dutchess County to better describe our work.
In 2006, we transitioned completely to our new name Rebuilding Together Dutchess County.
The first National Rebuilding Day, on April 25, 1992, was an ambitious undertaking for the fledgling affiliate. More than 350 volunteers, including skilled tradespeople from the local plumbers, carpenters and electricians unions, made repairs to 11 homes in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie and did some exterior renovation work at the Gannett House Homeless Shelter. The City of Poughkeepsie Community Development Block Grant Program and the United Way of Dutchess County, Inc had provided start-up funds. In addition, 10 local corporations and organizations signed on as Adopt-a-House sponsors and many others provided gifts-in-kind of materials and services. Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation was the very first sponsor, followed quickly by the IBM East Fishkill Employees Charitable Contribution Campaign, IBM Poughkeepsie, the Community Preservation Corporation/Cornell Cooperative Extension group, and the Poughkeepsie Journal/Gannett Foundation. Over the years, we have been blessed with the support of these and many other community-spirited organizations throughout the County.
Much has changed over the past 31years. We have grown to an organization that has rehabilitated over 1100 homes involving more than 14,300 volunteers. And we continue to grow as the need for our services continues.
Rebuilding Together (National Office)
In 1973, a small group of people in Midland, Texas, realized a growing need in their community. Their neighbors’ homes had fallen into disrepair and the homeowners could not afford to fix them on their own. They volunteered their time and skills to rehabilitate the homes of their neighbors. Realizing the potential impact of this work, the group formed Christmas in April, with the intent of performing repair and rehabilitation work in their community every April.
News of the group’s good work spread slowly but eventually achieved national recognition. The mission spread beyond the idea of providing service once a year in April to bringing together partners from all walks of life to help our neighbors year-round. We became Rebuilding Together and opened the national office in 1988.
Rebuilding Together is a leading national nonprofit in safe and healthy housing with more than 40 years of experience. Rebuilding Together’s local affiliates and nearly 100,000 volunteers complete about 10,000 rebuild projects nationwide each year. Today, Rebuilding Together has grown into premier nonprofit housing organization, garnering five consecutive four-star ratings from Charity Navigator.
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