Eric Smith's home is just one of the roughly 150 households helped by ReBuild Waterbury.
"This particular house, when we came in, was under construction. A lot of the work was being done by the homeowner. Like a lot of the projects we have done, they get to a point where you just can't do anymore," said Dave Kerr, ReBuild Waterbury's Construction Manager.
The group was formed as a special project of the non-profit Revitalizing Waterbury just weeks after Irene -- to help homeowners with repairs.
"It was a great experience to have them come in and say -- take this off your mind, lets get this done, we are gong to take care of it for you, we are going to make you whole and get you on your way again," Eric Smith said. "I would still be here with trim not on the walls and hammering nails and driving my kids crazy if it had not been for them."
Fundraising began immediately. Donations included a $250,000 matching grant from the Stiller Family Foundation. In all, close to a million dollars was raised.
"Also -- a plug for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund who provided a great deal of assistance as well, so out of that nearly one million dollars we raised two-thirds of it here locally and the other third came from the VDRF," said ReBuild Waterbury's Theresa Wood.
Wood gives a lot of credit to the volunteers. "A lot of people have helped with this effort. We had over 10,000 hours of volunteer service that has been donated to us," she said.
Like the local Rotary club. "There is the, what we call Rotarian painters -- came in and painted many households," said Mame McKee, who worked to coordinate the volunteers. "We worked with Retrain and Youthbuild -- it was an amazing relationship that we had with them over a 12 month period... Those young people can be very proud of the work they did to rebuild Vermont."
Now the group said their work is done -- and next week the office will close. But Wood wants to make sure there is support for the other groups like theirs still working in communities across the state. "To remind the rest of Vermont that there is still a lot of work to be done out there for other people, so keep the contributions going to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund," she said.
On Saturday evening the group will host a big community celebration -- a lasagna dinner will be held at the Crossett Brook Middle School.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:32 AM EDT2013-05-21 04:32:23 GMT
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