NEEDED: Skilled Volunteers



Our elderly homeowners are in desperate need. The clients we serve live in homes with severe tripping hazards, unsecure doors and windows, and floors caving in. Rebuilding Together OKC is committed to keeping these seniors safe, warm and dry, but we need your help!

We are seeking volunteers with home repair skills, or a willingness to learn new skills, to assist our homeowners with these projects. We have bathroom floors that need to be replaced, doors to be installed, small electrical and plumbing repairs to take care of, all those little things that our volunteers are so good at doing.

We have served our homeowners since 1992 thanks to the generosity and giving spirit of our volunteers. Without you we would not exist. Join us for a skilled project as we continue to make a difference in the lives of our elderly neighbors!

If you are interested working with our homeowners on some of these projects let us know by emailing!

Ms. Martha K.

Martha K.

Ms. Martha K. is an independent 91-year-old still living in the home she purchased for herself 45 years ago.  Martha says she has spent her entire life working and raising her kids.  This retired waitress, who raised four children as a single mother, has been hit hard by age.  Ms. K is hearing impaired and blind in one eye.  She has also suffered from a heart attack and diabetes.  Though she faces difficulties with health, Ms. K. is determined to age in place.  She uses a walking stick to get around her two bedroom home, which is in need of weatherization, as well as new doors and windows.

Martha isn’t able to reach light fixtures or change light bulbs.   Her doctor recommends she not use ladders or step stools.  This limits her in the repairs she can make on her own.  Her son and daughter-in-law help Martha when they can, providing minor repairs to the home.  Rebuilding Together OKC, with the help of Lowe’s, would like to meet the major repair needs of Ms. K.’s home.  Rebuilding Together OKC has replaced Mrs. K.’s roof and bathroom floor and has many more projects planned this fall!

Association of General Contractors of Oklahoma Joins Rebuilding Together to Renovate Home of 85-year-old Ms. Kenney

Volunteers from the AGC will provide free repairs on both Sept. 7 and Sept. 21

Ms. Kenney

Oklahoma City – Eighty-five year old Ms. Johnnie Mae Kenney uses a walker to navigate her Oklahoma City home.  Ms. Kenney has watched her home deteriorate over the past thirty years, but as a widow living on approximately $500 per month, there has been little she can do about it.

Matt Wright, newly elected Association of General Contractors of Oklahoma (AGC) Board Chairman, wanted to start off his term by steering the AGC towards a philanthropic endeavor that would showcase the collective talents of the professional construction industry.  When discussing the mission of Rebuilding Together OKC – to keep or seniors safe, warm and dry – with fellow AGC member and Rebuilding Together board member, Clay Cockrill, Wright committed his support to Rebuilding Together instantly and selected Ms. Kenney’s home as their inaugural project.

“I am thrilled to be witnessing the start of this most important partnership,” said Cockrill. “The AGC represents thousands of skilled individuals each with unique talents that, when harnessed, can multiply the power of the financial support we have. By providing the skilled and licensed volunteers to perform the work we often must contract, the AGC has the potential to help us ensure that any senior who wishes to age at home can do so safely.”

Ms. Kenney’s home is in desperate need of repairs including a bathroom remodel, plumbing repairs, mill-work, siding, and new carpet.  AGC is currently recruiting volunteers to work both September 7 and September 21 (two four-hour shifts each day) at Ms. Kenney’s home providing free services.  AGC and Rebuilding Together OKC are also accepting donations of tools, supplies for all plumbing/bathroom repairs, mill-work, carpet, etc.

For questions or additional information about the project, contact Jennifer Thurman, Rebuilding Together OKC Executive Director, at or 405.607.0464, or Clay Cockrill, Boldt Construction, at or 405.615.7000.

The AGC is the nation’s oldest construction trade association founded in 1918!  The association is dedicated to improving the construction industry and committed to skill, integrity, responsibility, and quality.  AGC has over 1,000 Firms in Oklahoma.  To learn more, visit their website –

Rebuilding Together OKC brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income, elderly homeowners in the Oklahoma City metro area. We provide free home repairs, emergency home repairs and home modifications that foster safer mobility and independence, changing the lives of our elderly neighbors every day! For more information visit

The Association of General Contractors of Oklahoma teams up with Rebuilding Together!

agc okc

This month the Association of General Contractors of Oklahoma (AGC) will be serving 85 year old Ms. Johnnie Mae.  She is a south Oklahoma City homeowner whose home is in desperate need of repairs including, roof replacement, a bathroom remodel, plumbing repairs, mill-work, siding, and new carpet.  Volunteers will work both September 7 and September 21 at Johnnie Mae’s home providing free services.

The AGC is the nation’s oldest construction trade association founded in 1918!  The association is dedicated to improving the construction industry and committed to skill, integrity, responsibility, and quality.  AGC has over 1,000 Firms in Oklahoma.  To learn more, visit their website –!

Thank you Oklahoma Roofing & Sheet Metal, LLC. for your donations to this project!!

How to help 

AGC and Rebuilding Together OKC will be accepting donations of tools, supplies for all plumbing/bathroom repairs, mill-work, carpet, etc.

A Ramp for Ms. Mary

Mary Bailey

Ms. Mary B., 60-years-old, returned to her home the first of August after spending six months in a physical therapy rehabilitation center.  Mary suffered from a stroke leaving her with only one leg and a very weak body.  Her home was in need of safety modifications tailored to Mary’s new wheelchair.

Not only did Ms. B. return to her home of 25 years unable to walk on her own, she also return home alone.  Mary’s husband died in March while she was in therapy.  He had served as Mary’s primary caretaker.  “I was very scared to go home, since my husband’s death, but I am ready to live life again,” Mary said.

To help her adjust to normal life again, Rebuilding Together’s A-Team built a wheelchair ramp and provided other home modifications that allowed Mary back into her home.  Ms. B can now get around her home safely and independently.

Mary’s daughter T.J. was so pleased with the work of the A-Team, “I can finally take my mom home! Your time and hard work is a true blessing for us.”

Happy Women’s Equality Day! Meet Incredible Women of Rebuilding Together!

[from National Rebuilding Together Tumblr]

In honor of Women’s History Month, we spoke to a few of our exceptional female leaders to get their thoughts on their careers, their communities, the women who have inspired them, and their advice to women trying to make it in the nonprofit world.

Pam Howe, a board member of Rebuilding Together Peoria, first got involved with Rebuilding Together through volunteering. After finding her volunteer experience so rewarding, she joined Peoria’s Project Selection Committee in 1995. She has been with Rebuilding Together Peoria ever since serving in several roles.

Amy Hoyte, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together South Sound, joined Rebuilding Together through what she called “a lovely mistake.” She quit her previous job during her maternity leave and was searching for an administrative job with a construction company. A friend of hers led her to Rebuilding Together South Sound. After a couple weeks, “Rebuilding Together South Sound became my second baby,” said Amy. And it’s been her second baby for 8 years.

Julie Smith, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Central Ohio, saw her first Rebuilding Together project in 1996 while she worked with kids in social services. Her husband was one of the first volunteers her affiliate saw in 1991. She became the Executive Director in 1998.

The Impact

All of these leaders have a story to tell about how a homeowner or volunteer affected them.

Two of Pam’s service recipients and their families come out to volunteer for Rebuilding Together Peoria every year on National Rebuild Day. She finds constant inspiration from them. “They have encountered circumstances beyond their control that leave them with physical or financial limitations. Such limitations have not jaded or impeded their willingness to help others, and I will not let the daily challenges or stresses in my life jade or impede me.”

A family Amy met in the beginning of her time with Rebuilding Together still holds a place in her heart. A couple with two teenage boys just had a baby born with severe disabilities. The mother quit her job to care for their child, which significantly impacted their income. The father had to ignore calls from work at night regarding mandatory overtime because they’d lose their Medicaid benefits if he worked too much, which was how they could afford the specialized food their child needed to eat.

“There was no way to describe the feeling in that house that day for me,” said Amy, a new mom herself at the time. “It hit home and I knew that I would be doing this work for a long time.”

Julie said her volunteers make it impossible not to be happy with her work when they are so happy to be there. “They’re talented and willing to share with each other and our homeowners. It’s the best training grounds for people who want to be homeowners.”

You Can’t Do it Alone

None of these women take sole credit for their successes.

“One role model has been Mother Theresa and her Missionaries of Charity vow to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor,” said Pam. “My professional role model has been my own mother, who successfully balanced family life and full-time employment at a time when female employment outside the home was not widely accepted. My Rebuilding Together role model was former Vice President for Affiliate Relations, Melissa Flynn, whose ability to convert passion into action I strive to emulate within my affiliate.”

Amy thanks her mother and teachers she had growing up for nurturing her and allowing her the opportunities to make mistakes and to learn from them. She also draws inspiration from Melissa Flynn and Amy Radachi in the Rebuilding Together Network for their long-term dedication to the cause.

Julie credits her father and her family for her success. Her sister has worked with Rebuilding Together as well for 9 years and her husband has been a constant volunteer.

Advice to Women Working in Nonprofits

“Seek out as many different types of experiences as possible at first, to help determine what it is that they are passionate about.” – Amy

“Embrace the cause and let it guide all decisions and actions. Surround yourself with talented people. Develop relationships with a diverse network of advisors and centers of influence.” – Pam

“Stick to your mission. Know your mission. You have to look at it like a for profit. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Nonprofit is still a woman’s world. It’s one place we are truly equal.” – Julie

Deadline is Aug. 19 for FEMA Assistance

As Rebuilding Together OKC continues work on disaster recovery efforts, we would like to remind our clients that the deadline to register for assistance from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is August 19th.

Oklahoma County is one of the nine counties that has been declared in a state of disaster and residents are eligible for federal assistance.  Other counties include Canadian, Cleveland, Le Flore, Lincoln, McClain, Okfuskee, Okmulgee and Pottawatomie.

We ask homeowners within our service area to apply for federal assistance through FEMA.  Our goal in assisting with disaster recovery is to partner with other agencies, including FEMA, to provide homeowners with the best possible services.  If accepted to receive services from Rebuilding Together OKC, we will help with repairs not covered by the federal and state government or other agencies.

To apply with FEMA Call (800) 621-3362, visit or visit!

Service Impact Award: We Need Your Vote!


The Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps (an AmeriCorps program) team members from 2012-2013 have been nominated for Corporation for National and Community Service‘s Service Impact Award for their service during Rebuilding Together’s CapacityCorps MLK Week.  The 2013 Service Impact Awards recognize outstanding contributions made by programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  

In partnership with Rebuilding Together OKC, members of the Rebuilding Together CapacityCorps dedicated the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service to rebuilding homes and revitalizing communities in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  For MLK Work Week, AmeriCorps members serving with Rebuilding Together came together from 20 different states to perform critical home repair services for veteran and senior citizen homeowners in-need. The CapacityCorps, serving a collective 3,000 hours, repaired nine homes with the help of area high school students and community members, in the Carverdale-Edwards-South Creston Hills (The C-E-C triangle) area in Oklahoma City.

The general public has 9 more days to vote for the winning service project!!  Be sure to vote for them HERE!  

To see the work accomplished on MLK Work Week, stop by our MLK Work Week webpage!

AARP Oklahoma Presents Rebuilding Together OKC $80,000 Grant for Disaster Recovery

AARP 0031
Posted on 07/30/2013 by |

AARP Oklahoma today presented Rebuilding Together OKC an $80,000 grant to help low-income older Oklahomans whose homes were damaged by May tornadoes.

“We are appreciative of the outpouring of support by all those who donated to the AARP Oklahoma Disaster Relief Fund and are pleased that this money will directly help older Oklahomans,” said AARP Oklahoma State Director Sean Voskuhl. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with those affected by these devastating storms.”

“We will use AARP funds to help low-income elderly homeowners in the OKC area rebuild their homes after the disasters. We believe that a safe, warm and dry home is a critical building block for a healthy, rewarding life,” said Rebuilding Together OKC Executive Director Jennifer Thurman. “We want to thank AARP for helping these homeowners get their lives back.”

Rebuilding Together OKC, which serves low-income homeowners who are 55 or older, estimates it will spend half of the grant making roof repairs and the other half on repairs such as heating systems, flooring and walls. In addition to its greater Oklahoma City metro service area, the organization says it will work with Rebuilding Together Cleveland County on joint projects if funding permits.

Within hours of the May storms, AARP Foundation established an Oklahoma relief fund to support victims. AARP and AARP Foundation matched dollar-for-dollar contributions up to $300,000 resulting in a total of $673,000 raised from more than 6,000 people, Voskuhl said. All 11 organizations receiving grants have signed a letter of agreement and submitted a plan detailing how they will use funding to help storm victims. In addition, grantees have committed that 100% of funds will be used for direct assistance in Oklahoma and no portion will be used for administrative costs. Each organization will send a final report to AARP detailing the full expenditure of its grant money.

AARP is committed to helping those in need and continues to participate in long-term recovery committee meetings in Pottawatomie and Oklahoma/Cleveland counties, Voskuhl said. The association will be announcing additional local grants that will help tornado victims over the next several weeks.

Earlier this year, AARP Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to Rebuilding Together OKC that will be used as part of a pilot for its Safe at Home Program that provides aging-in-place services and home modifications.

– See more at:

Board Chair Brad Segal Welcomes New Rebuilding Together President and CEO Charley Shimanski


Today, the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together announced that after an extensive nationwide search, it has elected Charles S. Shimanski as president and chief executive officer (CEO). Charley will join Rebuilding Together on August 26, 2013.

As president and CEO, Charley will have responsibility for the overall management of Rebuilding Together. He will be responsible for developing, establishing and implementing strategic goals for the organization moving forward and will be the key liaison to our nearly 200 affiliates across the nation, working with them to develop resources and services to help better serve our communities through safe and healthy housing. He also will serve as the primary spokesperson and national fundraiser for Rebuilding Together.

Charley’s strong experience and knowledge of nonprofits, fundraising, affiliate relationships, and disaster recovery will help guide Rebuilding Together to best serve our vision of a safe and healthy home for every person. He has the leadership and relationship-building skills necessary to engage with stakeholders to best steward the needs of our affiliate network and bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners in need.

Charley joins Rebuilding Together from the American Red Cross, where he has served since 2008. He worked at Red Cross national headquarters since 2010, most recently as a senior vice president of Development and as senior vice president of Disaster Services. Prior to that, Charley was CEO of the Red Cross regional office in Denver. During his tenure at the Red Cross, Charley created and implemented fundraising campaigns, led major disaster relief programs and worked closely with affiliate organizations.

Prior to the Red Cross, he was president and CEO of the Colorado Nonprofit Association from 2004-2008. From 1993-2004, Charley served as the executive director of The American Alpine Club in Colorado.

Charley is the author of several guidebooks on nonprofit excellence and individual giving. He served on the National Advisory Council for the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA and on the National Advisory Council for the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University in 2011. Shimanski received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to welcoming Charley, I also want to take a moment to thank John Fiegel for his service to Rebuilding Together. Since joining Rebuilding Together in January as the interim president and CEO, he has kept us focused on our mission and has provided wise counsel during a time of transition. We wish him the best going forward.

Brad Segal
Chairman of the Board

Rebuilding Together

July 30, 2013