Rebuilding Michele Alston’s Home

January 10, 2024
by Caleb Marshall, Executive Director at Rebuilding Together Seattle

In the heart of Seattle resides a remarkable woman, Michele Ada Alston, whose life journey is not just a testament to her resilience but also an inspiring tale of community coming together. Since 1978, Michele has called Seattle home and her story is intertwined with decades of dedication to both her family and the community.

Michele's Seattle chapter began when she moved to the city with her daughter following the passing of her husband. She embraced the challenging role of a single mother while also making history as one of the first women to become a timekeeper at Boeing, a prestigious accomplishment that broke gender barriers in the workplace. Community service wasn't just a choice for Michele; it was a way of life. Volunteering became ingrained in her values, shaping her identity as a compassionate and giving individual. Little did she know that her selfless acts would one day become the foundation of a lifeline when adversity struck.

Despite her years of service in her community, Michele found herself facing health issues that drained her finances, leaving her unable to make essential repairs to her home. In her own words, "I grew up always serving in the community. Volunteering was just a part of the values in my home. I never thought that there would be a time when a crisis hit, then I become a recipient of what I have done for 30 years."

Pride and a fear of losing the only legacy she could pass on to her daughter prevented Michele from seeking help. The struggle to ask for assistance was real, a sentiment many can relate to. The burden of needing help carried with it a heavy weight of shame and guilt for Michele. The turning point came when COVID-19 hit and flooding from her roof caused the entire left side of her kitchen to cave in. The already challenging situation escalated, adding a physical crisis to her financial one.

More than 30 volunteers from Rebuilding Together Seattle stepped up to help Michele repair her home. Essential repairs were made to her kitchen, basement and other bedrooms. Volunteers not only mended a house but mended a spirit that had weathered storms both within and outside its walls. Michele Ada Alston’s story is a testament to the strength that comes from community bonds and from the kindness of strangers willing to lend a helping hand.