Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s Provide Critical Repairs to Historic Tampa Homes during 26th Annual ‘Kickoff to Rebuild’ Leading Up to Super Bowl LV Weekend
TAMPA, FLA., FEB. 5, 2021 – Nonprofit Rebuilding TogetherLowe’s, the Official Home Improvement Sponsor of the National Football League (NFL, to provide essential home repairs for community residents in the historic neighborhoods of West Tampa, Ybor City, East Ybor and East Tampa during the annual Kickoff to Rebuild event in Tampa, Fla.
Kickoff to Rebuild, presented by Lowe’s, directly impacts 54 children and 46 adults in the Tampa Bay area through home repairs, including replacing roofs, AC units and water heaters, and installing hurricane-impact windows and wheelchair ramps. The families include veterans, children with severe asthma or allergies, people with disabilities, seniors, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and people who need oxygen support.
In addition to the Kickoff to Rebuild event, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay will also host a community fair where local organizations can connect with residents to provide additional services.
“At Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, we are committed to helping the neighbors in need in our community live in safe and healthy housing,” said Jose Garcia, executive director of Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay. “We are so grateful for all of the volunteers, contractors and sponsors who are helping preserve and revitalize houses and communities in the Tampa Bay area during the annual Kickoff to Rebuild event.”
Local contractors completed the home repairs following COVID-19 safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, Lyndell “Mack” Wilson, a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, and Derwin Gray, a former tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars, attended the event to show their support.
“Through Kickoff to Rebuild events held during the past 26 Super Bowls, we’ve repaired more than 150 homes, engaged 5,000 volunteers and invested more than $5 million in communities nationwide,” said Caroline Blakely, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. “At Rebuilding Together, we know there is a strong link between health and housing, so we are eager to support Tampa Bay and its resilient residents by facilitating essential home repairs.”
Three of the historic neighborhoods where the work occurred are deeply rooted in the cigar-manufacturing industry. Ybor City and East Ybor were founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor and other cigar manufacturers and became a mecca of rolled cigars boosted by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba, Spain and Italy. Similarly West Tampa, whose first generation of cigar manufacturers included Cuesta, Rey & Co.; Ellinger Brothers; and the Armena Cigar Company, is one of the oldest neighborhoods within the city limits of Tampa with many homes built between 1939 and 1969.
“The houses we’ve repaired have been homes for multiple generations and have become part of the neighborhood’s cultural history and identity,” said Darrell Brown, Lowe’s of South Tampa store manager. “As a long-time partner of Rebuilding Together, Lowe’s is proud to lend our expertise to these home repairs, while emphasizing the importance of preserving the area’s heritage and promoting safe and affordable housing.”
Lowe’s also launched the “Home for a Home” Super Bowl campaign to show how the power of sports and fandom can unite us all. Lowe’s and Rebuilding Together will count how often the word “home” is mentioned in nationally televised Super Bowl commercials during the Super Bowl telecast (from pre-kickoff as the official game telecast begins to the end of the game). The final tally will determine critical housing repairs in up to 32 NFL team markets for those impacted by the pandemic. Additionally, in honor of the winning Super Bowl team, Lowe’s will donate $100,000 to complete home repairs in the championship city of either Kansas City or Tampa Bay.
Last fall, Rebuilding Together and Lowe’s provided essential home repairs and safety modifications for veteran homeowners in 29 NFL markets leading up to Kickoff to Rebuild.