Rebuilding the future

An NRCA member helps rehabilitate homes during Rebuilding Together's annual Kickoff to Rebuild

The words "Super Bowl" conjure up the typical thoughts of football, fans, parties and expensive commercials. However, while Super Bowl XXXVIII hype was high in Houston, this year's Super Bowl host city, there was a different kind of event going on not far from Houston's Reliant Stadium.

The event featured demanding physical activity, but it wasn't running or tackling. Those involved showed a lot of heart but not because of a gutsy football play. There weren't any fans to cheer on the participants or any trophies given. But the volunteers for Rebuilding Together's Kickoff to Rebuild 2004 experienced their own unique sense of accomplishment.

Rebuilding Together is an organization devoted to improving communities by repairing and preserving low-income homes throughout the year, often focusing on homeowners who are disabled, elderly or have children. Rebuilding Together previously was known as Christmas in April when Patricia Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Rebuilding Together, Washington, D.C., founded the national office from her basement 15 years ago. At the time, she was executive director for the Washington, D.C., affiliate. The name of the organization was changed to Rebuilding Together in 2000.

"Before it went national, there were 13 loosely organized programs operating," she says. "Now, there are 257 affiliates across the United States."

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