The Impact of Your Donations
Your donations make a difference. This year, your donations came at a time when someone needed it most. Let’s take a look at how your donations have moved our mission forward and brought positive change that will help Rebuild Upstate long-term.
Here’s what you helped accomplish:
Did you know the cost of lumber has increased 130% this year? That means each ramp, each joist replacement, and each 2×4 for a window frame cost us that much more. When costs drastically increase, there’s always a risk we can repair fewer homes. When you couple rising material costs with the need to hire more contractors for interior repairs, each repair becomes more costly. However, those repairs are still necessary for the family inside the home. Your donations keep us on track to meet the full needs of each family.
Operations director, Nick Kulick, shares how your gifts helped Mr. John.
“Mr. John is a sweet man. He had no running water for six months prior to my first project management visit. During my visit, he offered to give us watermelons or other fruits and vegetables from his garden as a donation, even though he only makes about $800/month. His water was hooked up to the neighbors well. His roof was leaking. We were able to get him hooked up to city water. Mr. John ran the plumbing from the hook up to the house himself. We were also able to put a new metal roof on his home and rebuilt his front deck so it’s safer for him to use.”
Our team may be the agent for getting work done but your donations are the fuel that keeps us going.
Secured PPE Equipment
Thanks to our donors, our staff were able to work with a connection through the ReFrame Association to secure and distribute PPE to nonprofits throughout the Upstate. We distributed 76,500 masks and 362 gallons of hand sanitizer. These were made available to peer organizations at no cost to them.
Pierson Jefferson, Rebuild Upstate’s community engagement intern, managed the distribution of supplies to other local nonprofits. Here’s his experience:
“When I saw how many people were signed up for the PPE and the urgency that organizations showed to pick up the supplies after I reached out to them, I realized that there is such a big need for protective COVID supplies in the nonprofit world. There are organizations that are still trying to make an impact during this pandemic and simple things like a lack of hand sanitizer or face masks make it hard. Every person I met through pickups met me with gratitude and kindness! The number of times I heard ‘You don’t know how much this helps us.’ was enough for me to realize the impact that comes from meeting a simple need.”
Without your donations, we wouldn’t have been able to secure and distribute necessary PPE for nonprofits throughout the Upstate.
Thanks to donations, our team had peace of mind, knowing that the community was committed to meeting the needs of our homeowners and the needs of the organization. Your donations allow us to prioritize pursuing grant opportunities from private and public foundations. In fact, this year we’ve been able to secure our first grant exclusively to repair homes for veterans in Anderson, Oconee, & Pickens Counties. The $30,000 award will repair 6 homes for Upstate veterans. If we didn’t have staff time to pursue new funding opportunities, we wouldn’t be able to bring new funds into the Upstate to support repairs.
Less time in homes provided an opportunity to reflect inward. Our homeowner engagement experience starts at the application. Our operations team gave our application and waiting list a boost to help us better understand the needs of each homeowner, even when we can’t have eyes on the home itself. We also started asking questions that help us better seek case management resources and funding partners based on the needs of our homeowners, such as utility bill pay help or budget training. Our operations team even implemented new technology during visits such as using an iPad to automate forms. Less time on data entry and paperwork means we can spend more time facilitating repairs.
Office Coordinator, Ashley Weekly shared more about process improvements.
“I am very proud of the new application. I feel like this is going to expedite the process for home repair. This will give us the ability to visit more homeowners and serve more people on our home repair list. I am also very proud of the Rebuild Upstate team. Everyone has really come together during this unique time to serve our homeowners the best way we can. We have had to change and adapt and everyone has done that really well. The passion each person has for the community has really been evident this year.”
Ashley went on to add that she’s noticed an increase in requests for assistance coming in from outside our service area. Although we can’t help them, she works to share where they can seek repair assistance in their community.
Did you know each homeowner is offered a case management visit? Did you know a case management visit is also offered to some homeowners who don’t meet our criteria for repairs but who still need assistance? Our team makes referrals and recommendations for things such as budget training, weatherization tips, bill pay assistance, and more. If someone asks us for help, we’ll do everything we can to help them get it. Even if that means help doesn’t come from us
In short, a lot has changed this year. Thanks to our donors, we’ve seen a lot of positive change that will benefit our program long-term.
We’re still in this. We know you are behind us every step of the way.