At Bellweather Design-Build, our team showed our dedication to the community by volunteering our skills to an important cause. We regularly encourage all staff to take a break from remodeling homes for clients to volunteer. Bellweather provides all staff with 3 paid days each year for employees to apply their skills outside of the business to pursue volunteer activities.
Our sales, design, and production staff coordinate to participate in various team volunteer events together, which is a rewarding part of our company culture. One of the most popular (no surprise!) are the block builds with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that revitalizes Philadelphia communities by transforming vulnerable, owner-occupied houses into safe, healthy and energy-efficient homes.
Rebuilding Together Philadelphia
"Block Builds" are Rebuilding Together Philadelphia's (RTP) primary program which help in revitalizing lower income Philadelphia neighborhoods. These two day Block Builds are held three times a year and utilize hundreds of volunteers, neighbors and homeowners to repair over 75 homes annually in targeted neighborhoods.
Philadelphia's high poverty rate (26%) combined with its aging housing stock (half built before 1950), means an extraordinary number of homeowners live in substandard housing. While many low-income homeowners spend as much as 50% of their limited income on home repairs, the cost of maintaining an aging home is more than many families can manage.
We believe no one should ever be forced to choose between home repairs, buying food and medicine, or paying utility bills, which is why we support RTP. Rebuilding Together Philadelphia's aim is to keep homeowners in their homes by addressing house repairs that impact health and safety.
Giving Back with Construction Knowledge
Brianna Chakalis, a Project Manager at Bellweather, organizes these events for our team and the most recent "block build" was in the Fairhill neighborhood of Philadelphia. Several of our Bellweather team members attended this event, and were split up into multiple teams to tackle several projects.
Brianna was first introduced to Rebuilding Together Philadelphia about four years ago through Will, the owner of Bellweather. She has been volunteering with RTP ever since and participates in multiple events with them each year. Brianna, like many of us, find it very rewarding to give back to my community this way.
At block builds, the Rebuilding team evaluates all of the houses from top to bottom and provide the repairs needed to improve accessibility, energy efficiency and health outcomes. Some of this includes, carpet removal and floor installation, light electrical and plumbing repairs, drywall repairs as well as painting and exterior refurbishment repairs.
For this specific block build, we worked as a team to install new flooring, update a bathroom, and new handrails in this families home. The homeowners were extremely grateful for our teams attention to detail, from the flooring installation to the care and protection we took when moving furniture. Not only do these updates look great, but they will also allow this aging couple to safely stay in their home for years to come.
If you would like to learn more, or to donate to Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, please check out their Guide Star profile here.
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