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A Volunteer Weekend for Arciform

174 Kim Larsen after paint disaster

Last weekend several Arciform and Versatile Wood Products staffers contributed their Saturday to a national volunteer event called ReBuilding Together. The project provides essential safety repairs to low income homeowners, many of whom are facing health or disability challenges. Our crew worked alongside 100s of other volunteers who tackled 47 projects throughout the Portland metro area. Here’s a note from our Team Captain, Kate Thornton, about the day and what the team was able to accomplish.

Dear RT House #174 Volunteers,

If you googled “Rebuilding Together” in the news Saturday, you learned stories of over 250,000 volunteers with more than 200 RT affiliates across the country that collectively tweaked the aura of the world.  Well, who really knows about that last part, but I hope you felt a good sense of accomplishment and a burning desire to come play again this time next year.   In the meantime, follow National RT on Twitter @rebldgtogthr.

174 RT 2013 House 174 Group picture

About half of our crew was first-time RTers.  Thank you for stepping out and we hope to see you again for many future Aprils.  One of the best things about RT is that they/we are able to organize and deliver $4 of value to our community for every $1 in donations.  Volunteers see the direct impact of their efforts and get to bond in the process.

Together, the volunteers at House #147 accomplished the following (in a single day!):

  • Spread two yards of gravel in driveway
  • Mow grass
  • Patch broken siding
  • Repair gutters/downspouts
  • Replace laundry room lighting
  • Rewire several outlets
  • Replace bathroom floor down to joists
  • Edge sidewalk
  • Spread word of RT to neighbors
  • Pull weeds
  • Prune bushes
  • Paint house exterior
  • Repair storm door & latch
  • Replace dryer vent & ducting
  • Insulate laundry room
  • Plug drain leak
  • Clean patio furniture
  • Re-support front roof overhang
  • Hang new clothes line
  • Patch sheetrock holes
  • Replace four broken windows
  • Install kitchen fire extinguisher
  • Replace kitchen sink strainer & drain
  • Repair & adjust kitchen cabinet doors
  • Repair wall panels next to range and stairs
  • Add electrical covers
  • Replace two toilets with ADA “water sense” models
  • Install Smoke & Carbon Monoxide alarms

Not too shabby for a day’s work!

A few other notes from the Team Captain:

Kim takes home the award for “Biggest Disaster” for leaving her paint container on top of the ladder and dumping it on her head while moving the ladder.  She is about 50 years too early to be sporting blue hair, but you can get away with it here in Portland.

174 New basement toilet

Shaun and Wallace win the uncontested “Git ‘er Done Hero” award for embracing the day’s yuckiest task of removing the plugged basement toilet that was unspeakably vile and frothy.

174 Bathroom floor 1 174 Bathroom Floor 2 Jeramy 174 Bathroom Floor 3 Jeramy and George 174 Bathroom Floor 4

Arciform’s Jeramy Bashaw wins the “Nice Guy” award for trading his lunch break for a Home Depot run so that he and fellow Arciform men could finish rebuilding the upstairs bathroom floor that had rotted through to the basement.

Tim wins “Quote of the day” with: “That bush was dead.  It just didn’t know it yet.”

“The Miracle Award” goes to Diane and her landscaping crew for uncovering a lovely yard under a jungle of dandelions and unruly overgrowth.

174 House front after 2

“Honorable Mention” goes to Teresa and Steve who spent most of their beautiful Saturday slaving with ductwork and insulation in the dark basement laundry room.

174 New insulation and ducting

While the sun was still high in the sky, the house along with its very grateful owner had a new lease on life. A trailer full of supplies, 32 donuts, a gallon of coffee and 36 sandwiches had been devoured and the dumpster was full.  At the final sweep, only one lonely banana and a single bottle of water remained.  It was a good day.

174 Full Dumpster

Arciform was joined in supporting this incredibly valuable project by the following organizations:

Port of Portland

Tim’s Urban Bees

Wallace Rainey, General Contractor

Kaizen Home Improvement (Kate)

Providence Occupational Therapy

RED’S Electric

PS from Kate: If you would like to get involved with this excellent organization, please go to this website and say “yes!”  http://rtpdx.org/contact  There is a big need for people to help screen all the applicants between October and March.  Of all the applicants this year, there were 185 who made it to the home inspections/interview phase, which were then pared down to ~47 successfully completed projects.

We were honored to have the opportunity to participate in the work of this excellent organization and we encourage you to find out more about their good work here.

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