My First Project as a [Re]Builder

July 20, 2022
by Brittney Gray, Manager, Donor Communications at Rebuilding Together National

I was nervous, but excited. I was on my way to my first project site and did not know what to expect. I had only been working for Rebuilding Together for one week, and was still getting my bearings. I joined the team at Rebuilding Together because I felt a personal connection to the mission. As a long-term caretaker, the ability to maintain a safe space for the most vulnerable members of my family, especially over the past two years, has been very important to me.

As we made our way to the project site, we crossed our fingers, hoping to avoid the storms forecasted for the day. Thankfully, about 20 minutes later, we arrived under a beautiful partly cloudy sky, in Ringwood, New Jersey. We met up with the group of volunteers from our partner Bed Bath & Beyond and were greeted by the members of Rebuilding Together North Jersey. After signing everyone in, we quickly got to work. We worked with volunteers to clean yards and move trash into dumpsters. I was hesitant at first, not knowing what I should do, but when I explained that this was my first project to some of the long-term volunteers, they happily took me under their wing and showed me the ropes.

We worked at three neighboring houses in a tight-knit community. I got the opportunity to meet the homeowners, and it truly warmed my heart to hear from them how the support of Rebuilding Together and Bed Bath & Beyond was making a difference in their lives. Kelly, one of the homeowners receiving repairs, even brought me to tears as she shared her story with a small group of us. It was at that moment that I knew joining Rebuilding Together was the right choice for me.

It was an amazing experience to see firsthand how lives are changed by Rebuilding Together and our partners. I am so glad to be a part of a team that does such meaningful work in communities all across the country.