Q & A: Get to know Executive Director Chris Manley!
Tell us about your first home repair project:
“My first project was helping to replace the roof of a home in West End on Grand Bahama Island. Two hurricanes had come through within two weeks the previous summer. It was an eye-opening experience to be in a village that was swallowed by the Atlantic ocean and to see how resilient the people were. That experience is a large part of what led me to be a part of starting Rebuild Upstate.”
What opened your eyes to home repairs in our area?
“Our organization was founded to rebuild homes in New Orleans. A few months in, a local pastor called and asked if we would consider replacing a — very — leaky roof for a local family who couldn’t afford to fix it. It completely opened our eyes to the need in our own backyard.”
What are your goals for Rebuild Upstate?
“Rebuild Upstate has had a great year. This year alone we’ll serve more than we have in the last two years combined! Even then, we’ll have reached only 5% of the need we’re aware of. We’ve got to keep growing.”
What is the biggest challenge you face in meeting your goals?
“Our biggest obstacle is balanced growth. We can take on more funding, but that requires more volunteers. To accommodate more volunteers, we need more staff to plan projects. More staffing is only possible with more funding. All three have to grow in tandem to have the healthy growth necessary to keep serving well.”