National Rebuilding Day brings volunteers out to help neighbors

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TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – National Rebuilding Day is held on the last Saturday in April and has returned after a pandemic hiatus.  Dozens of volunteers rallied to help Rebuilding Together Dutchess County (RTDC) to make vital repairs to three homes in the Town of Poughkeepsie on Saturday.

Eighty-two-year-old Alice has lived in her home for 54 years.  Living on a fixed income, the disabled widow has been unable to keep up with home repairs in a timely manner.  On Saturday, several volunteers replaced her roof, fixed an active water leak in the basement, replaced sheetrock that had been damaged during the flooding from Tropical Storm Ida, replaced carpeting, installed new handrails, and installed a new back step.

RTDC worker jackhammering to prepare for a new step to be installed.

This National Rebuilding Day marks a commemorative moment as it is the local nonprofit’s 30th year helping neighbors in need in Dutchess County. Volunteers are the backbone of the organization, according to RTDC’s past president, Christopher Pells.  The volunteers, with the assistance of corporate sponsors, perform the bulk of the repairs on homes.  Board member Joe Ciardi said, “The help of corporate sponsors and the dedication of our volunteers really make a difference.”

RTDC Executive Director Darcy McCourt noted that two other homeowners were being helped on Saturday.

Conly, an 87-year-old widower, and Navy Reserves veteran has been in his home for 57 years.  The disabled veteran had new rear-entrance steps installed, the bathtub was swapped out for a walk-in shower, widened the bathroom door, installed handrails, cleaned the gutters, new paint, and the house was pressure-washed.

Seventy-nine-year-old Candida, a disabled widow in her home for 24 years, told RTDC that she has concerns about falling.  Volunteers on Saturday installed new handrails and grab bars, repaired windows, replaced the side walkway, and replaced the back deck and stairs.