Cook County Employees Volunteer Time on National Rebuilding Day

County workers provide expertise and labor to repair, update two homes in Blue Island

National Rebuilding Day brought dozens of Cook County employees who volunteered their time today to help repair two homes in south suburban Blue Island.

It was the County’s 25th consecutive year of participation in the event, also known as “Rebuilding Together.”

The non-profit Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago partners annually with the County to improve the homes of elderly, disabled or low-income residents who are selected following a vetting process. Through the work of volunteers and skilled tradesmen, the homes are made safe, warm, dry and accessible for the residents.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle praised County employees for the generosity of their time and expertise.

“I am pleased and proud that so many of our Cook County employees are willing to donate their time to improving the living conditions of County residents,” said Preckwinkle, who serves as honorary chair of Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago.

“Rebuilding Together serves a critical role in making sure the homes of our friends and neighbors are safe and comfortable.”

The County has contributed $70,000 during the past year to Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago through its Community Development Block Grant program. This year the County is sponsoring two of the 28 homes in Blue Island being repaired by volunteers through the Rebuilding Together program. An additional 10 homes in Blue Island are receiving Energy Efficiency upgrades as part of the National Rebuilding Day efforts. More than 1,500 Chicago-area homes have been renovated through the program since its inception in 1991.

Preckwinkle’s Chief of Staff, Brian Hamer, toured the Blue Island homes renovated by County volunteers.

Improvements to the homes included making them ADA accessible, patching and painting, updating bathrooms and kitchens, landscaping and performing needed repairs to vital systems such as plumbing and electrical.

“Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago is proud to be partners with Cook County, which has been a consistent and valued supporter for the past 25 years,” Wanda Ramirez, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago, said. “We greatly appreciate the continuing participation of Cook County employees who donate their time, energy and skills for the benefit of others, and for the wonderful leadership of President Toni Preckwinkle for serving as an honorary chair of this organization and supporting our annual event.”

Along with Cook County, sponsors of home repairs in Blue Island include Windy City Women’s Charity Club; Our Lady of the Woods Parish; American Institute of Architects; WIGIV; Arquitectos; Clayco Realty Group; Grace Lutheran Church of LaGrange; Order of Malta; C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co.; Hinsdale United Methodist Church; Construction Financial Management Association; Lendlease; First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn; Team Rubicon; Edgebrook Lutheran Church; Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine; University of Chicago Facilities Services; First Congregational Church of Western Springs.

Additional information on Rebuilding Together of Metro Chicago and its programs is available by calling Wanda Ramirez at (312) 201-1188 or visiting www.rebuildingtogether-chi.com.