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Enriching lives, improving homes

Rebuilding Together gives Evanston residents a boost

A man painting a house.
More than 50 volunteers lent their extensive carpentry, repair and maintenance skills. Photos by Stephen Anzaldi
A man using a power saw.
Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago is a nonprofit group that repairs and improves homes in need at no cost to homeowners.
Two men repairing a fence.
The volunteers rebuilt her damaged and hazardous back porch and stairs, replaced an old backyard fence and repaired broken gutters.

Every homeowner has a wish list of repairs or upgrades. Some jobs, like a new porch, are bigger than others. So this summer, Northwestern University helped Evanston residents with a few of the improvements they wouldn’t have been able to do themselves.

On Aug. 27, Northwestern volunteers teamed up with the City of Evanston and Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago to work on two west Evanston homes. One is owned by a retiree who worked in the community for several years. Now on a fixed income, she is unable to afford essential repairs. The volunteers rebuilt her damaged and hazardous back porch and stairs, replaced an old backyard fence and repaired broken gutters.

Evanston is our community, and it’s such a wonderful place because of the people who live here.”

John D'Angelo
Vice President for Facilities Management

The volunteer team of more than 50 in all included members of Northwestern’s Facilities Management who lent their extensive carpentry, repair and maintenance skills. Some helped with yard work and cleanup. Other participating Northwestern units included Neighborhood and Community Relations and the Office of Sustainability.

“Evanston is our community, and it’s such a wonderful place because of the people who live here, said John D’Angelo, Vice President of Facilities Management. “Being able to team up with Rebuilding Together and our generous material donors enables Evanston and Northwestern to help our neighbors continue to keep the community vibrant.”

Northwestern will be recognized for its contribution to the day of service during an upcoming City Council meeting.

“These volunteers did more than just improve a couple of homes for seniors,” said Alan Anderson, Executive Director of Neighborhood and Community Relations. “They provided an uplifting experience for everyone involved and strengthened the Evanston community in the process.”

Northwestern officials have said they hope to schedule a similar event with Rebuilding Together in 2017.

Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago is a nonprofit group that repairs and improves homes in need at no cost to homeowners. It works in 14 northern Illinois communities, completing more than 50 projects each year. The group draws on a network of more than 600 skilled and unskilled volunteers and receives support from contractors, local businesses, and civic and faith based organizations.

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