Ellen Schleicher: Uplifting Spirits
A seven-time National Rebuilding Day volunteer and board member, Ellen Schleicher talks about why she keeps coming back year after year.
How long have you been involved with Rebuilding Together?
I guess I am going to have to guess at that, as I am not sure what year was our first home. I am going to say 2003 or 2004. The first home I was involved in was a home on Geele Avenue across from Washington School.
What do you do for Rebuilding Together?
My first goal was to gather volunteers from Kohler Co. This includes management and union employees. As a sponsor of Rebuilding Together, Kohler Co. provides the needed product; I find volunteers to help on the projects. I was then asked to serve on the Board of Directors, which I do. I wear two hats. For project day, I help coordinate volunteers and job responsibilities, run errands for needed items, help order supplies, etc. Throughout the year, I attempt to raise needed dollars by looking for, applying for and requesting grant money to help offset the cost of fixing homes.
Why do you volunteer?
I like helping people. It is fun to meet people from different walks of life. I have met so many interesting folks since I began volunteering with Rebuilding Together, not only the folks that we help but also the other volunteers. We have such a good time together that it really does not feel like work at all. The sense of fulfillment from helping people is indescribable.
Describe your most memorable moment as part of Rebuilding Together.
Every home, every project day, every person we help, the look on the homeowners’ faces when we make their homes safe, warm and dry. Amazing what a little cleaning and painting can do to uplift someone’s outlook on life.