Kirt Rushlow has been an extraordinary asset for Rebuilding Together affiliates all over the country. He first heard about Rebuilding Together while involved in the Boy Scouts of America when he was a young man. A friend showed him a local newspaper article with information about a nonprofit doing critical repair work for those who could not afford to have the work done on their own. The article piqued his interest and Kirt went to check out a meeting at his local Rebuilding Together affiliate.
Recognizing the need for the organization’s work, and a great opportunity, he began volunteering and was made a house captain his first year, coordinating groups of volunteers on project sites. He and his friend continued to volunteer together for 12 years before his friend moved away.
Kirt grew up in Oakland County, Michigan, and still lives in Michigan to this day. However, he hasn’t just worked with his local Rebuilding Together affiliate Oakland County. Kirt has traveled across the country to lend a hand with Rebuilding Together, and more importantly, to help people who need safe and healthy housing.
Kirt has volunteered in Oakland County, Louisiana, Detroit and Philadelphia over his long involvement with Rebuilding Together. A self-employed carpenter, his multi-talented skill set has been invaluable on many project sites across the country.
“I like how rewarding it is. I like helping people who can’t help themselves.”
“One lady we helped had MS, and she did data entry work for [Rebuilding Together Oakland County] because she was so grateful.”
When you talk to Kirt, you get the feeling that he’d much rather be helping someone right now than just talking about doing it. His enthusiasm for his volunteer work shines through when he is talking about the homeowners that he is proud to have served over the decades.
There is one volunteer moment in particular that Kirt will never forget; one year he helped install a wheelchair ramp for a homeowner who was having difficulty navigating their home, due to its lack of accessibility. “…A mother and her son came down this ramp for the first time. The son had a real big smile on his face.”
Over the years, Kirt also has encouraged others to give back to their communities by volunteering with Rebuilding Together.
“My friend’s husband wanted to go with me because I had been talking about [volunteering in] Louisiana. I told him it’s rewarding. If you do it once, you’ll get addicted.”
His friend’s husband now makes an effort to volunteer with Rebuilding Together every year.
Rebuilding Together is really about hard-working, compassionate people helping other people. Volunteer with your local Rebuilding Together affiliate and become a partner in your community.
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