Rebuilding Together, take 2

By Krista Van Tassel
May 29th, 2012

Minnesota volunteers help plant a new garden despite the rain.April 28th marked Rebuilding Together Day</a for 2012, a special "holiday" for us at here at Wells Fargo because many of our Green Teams volunteered to lead intense rehab projects in support of their community and this important nonprofit.

Rebuilding Together is an incredible nonprofit that provides critical home repairs, safety modifications, and improvements like energy efficiency work for low-income homeowners throughout the U.S. The organization rebuilds homes at no cost to the families they serve.

And as someone who has had the privilege of supporting two Rebuilding Together events, I can easily attest that the important work this organization does goes beyond the specific home they repair—it impacts the health, safety, and vibrancy of the communities they serve as well.

All told, Wells Fargo team members led 24 volunteer projects with Rebuilding Together chapters throughout the United States. From California and Arizona to Virginia and North Carolina—and many places in between like Colorado, Wisconsin, and Illinois—our teams put funding and sweat equity to work to help communities and individuals repair and rebuild their homes and lives.

Volunteers helped repair holes and reseal tile in a homeowner's bathroom in SF.In Minneapolis, Minn., more than 55 team members, along with friends and families, braved the rainy weather to help a neighborhood rebuild from tornado damage brought on by storms in 2011. The team helped make critical energy and safety repairs and also managed to plant several yards to help beautify the community.

Back in San Francisco, Calif., a team of approximately 20 Wells Fargo volunteers joined with two other like-minded companies to help make several safety updates (and a little outdoor “greening”) for a very deserving homeowner in the Bayview neighborhood.

The team helped repair floors in the bathroom and kitchen, install safety rails on an outdoor deck and beautify the home by installing new kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures, painting (with low VOC paint, of course) and clearing out an overgrown lawn. All of this will help to keep an elderly widow safe and secure in her family home.

And in Phoenix, Ariz., our Green Team helped support a community garden located adjacent to an assisted living center. Volunteers painted and readied a new chicken coop, which is now home to 12 laying hens that will produce healthy eggs for residents at the senior center.

The team also helped prepare a new garden that will help supplement both the diet and income of the local community, and that includes a special space for people to enjoy the view. The grounds will be maintained by an after-school youth program moving forward, creating a wonderful way for the community to remain engaged in the success of the garden.

One volunteer takes a quick sunshine break at Rebuilding Together Day SF.Although much of this work was scheduled for April, many more projects continue throughout the year. I hope you will consider joining us at a future Rebuilding Together event—maybe in October, when many local affiliates will host another day of service in the community.

In the meantime, you can learn more about Rebuilding Together’s work or find a local chapter near you by visiting their website!

Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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