Reflections on the 15th anniversary of our first home repair

Reflections on the 15th anniversary of our first home repair

January 27th, 2022 marked the 15-year anniversary of the first home repaired by Rebuild Upstate in South Carolina. Chris Manley, President/CEO & Founder, shares his reflections below.

15 years and a week ago today something amazing happened. A family got a new roof. It had been leaking for months in several places. There was also a broken window where a little girl slept at night, letting in freezing air at night. It was replaced. The work we did that day changed the life of this family for years and years to come.

But that day almost didn’t happen. There were few organizations doing home repairs in the community. It was only through a connection between a local pastor calling a guy doing hurricane relief trips to Louisiana that sparked a plan to repair this one home.

Just like January 27th, 2022, when everyone woke up that January morning it was below freezing. Nobody knew if enough volunteers would even show up.

Could we even repair a roof in a day?
Did we have enough materials?
Did we have enough know-how?

So many things could have gone wrong. But they didn’t. So many people showed up to help. We ran out of jobs for them to do. A family’s home – where a mother lived with her two adult sons and kindergarten-age granddaughter – was now safe and warm. They couldn’t believe it. Neither could we. We did it.

15 years later, you are a part of this story. It has grown so much, but we keep the same focus: one by one, home by home, changing lives by making homes safe, healthy, and livable for people who need our help.

Thank you. Thank you for waking up every day with a passion for serving these amazing people we have the honor of serving. Thank you for sharing your passion with me and everyone else who has come alongside us. This need once hid behind deteriorating siding, underneath roofs that looked perfectly fine from the average passerby, and behind doors and windows that people couldn’t safely move beyond. This need hid in cold, leaking homes with unsafe floors, inadequate heating and cooling, and structural deficiencies unknown to neighbors driving by. 15 years later, that need is no longer a secret. We have put it front and center for all to see, to know, to understand, and with a way to respond.

Rebuild Upstate is more than an organization. It is a calling to ensure people have a safe, warm, and dry place to rest their head at night. It is a dream that people can truly feel the love of their neighbors lending them a hand in a time of need. It is a drive to show people that light still exists in this world, no matter how much darkness they might be experiencing. You are that light – a light that has shined brighter and brighter each of these last 15 years. I hope and pray that light only continues to grow in the years we have ahead – and am confident beyond words that it will.

May your light continue to shine bright – and may we continue to invite others to come shine brightly alongside us – as we put our hands and feet to work loving others as ourselves.