I’ve often said that this great city of Portage has always had a wealth of citizens who are always willing to help out their neighbors. All you have to do is pick up a newspaper and you can see the generosity of Portage Township residents for all kinds of projects and fundraisers. Portage Rebuilding Together is no exception to the rule.
About 15 years ago, Randy came home with applications to be volunteers for the Christmas in April program. He said this was a great opportunity to help families and the elderly of our community. He explained that the fire department had planned to have all their volunteers at one house and they would have jobs for our whole family. I was a little skeptical but it truly worked out as a great project for ourselves and our boys. That day really taught them that they don’t have it as rough as they thought they did out in that big world.
This year Portage Rebuilding Together (formerly Christmas in April) will be April 26. Preparations started long ago for the planning of this big day. That does not say that it is too late to get involved in one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have in your life.
RT is a not for profit organization helping the elderly and less fortunate homeowners in their home community refurbish their present homes. Typically, these individuals have a disability and/or are elderly, but low income families and non profit facilities such as schools and shelters are also included. They take their cue from that old-fashioned idea of “barn raising” with as many as 50 skilled and unskilled volunteers assigned to a project.
There are presently 235 RT affiliates in this country serving over 600 cities and towns in all 50 states. That’s a lot of work for a lot of people in need of getting their home and life back on track.
While we need many kinds of volunteers for painting, lawn work, cleaning etc., we especially need skilled workers to volunteer their time this year such as electricians, roofers and carpenters to help on that day and maybe a day or two before hand. Volunteer applications are now available for skilled and unskilled volunteers. They are available at South Haven Public Library, Portage Public Library, Portage Township Trustee’s office, City Hall, American Legion Post 502 and Post 260, Portage VFW, Nativity of Our Savior Church, Bonner Senior Center, Our Lady of Sorrow’s Church and Salon 360.
Rebuilding Together is always looking for donations from anyone in our community as well. Donations are used for the materials that need to be purchased beyond the items donated for each home to be worked on. You may send a check to Portage Rebuilding Together at PO Box 2511, Portage, IN., 46368.
So come on out Portage and give a helping hand to those in need in our Portage Township. It feels so good to see homeowners' faces light up with a job well done.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.