President Preckwinkle Praises County Employees Volunteering on National Rebuilding Day

April 25, 2015

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

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

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle toured the homes and congratulated the volunteers for their efforts as part of the County’s 24th consecutive year of participation in the event, also known as “Rebuilding Together.”

The non-profit Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago annually partners with the County -- along with other agencies, charities, religious institutions and private sector companies -- to improve the homes of elderly, disabled or low-income residents who are selected following a vetting process. The renovations take the selected homes and, through the work of volunteers and skilled tradesmen, make them safe, warm and dry, and improve accessibility for their residents.

“Rebuilding Together is a remarkable program whose mission and purpose I heartily support,” said Preckwinkle, who serves as honorary chair of Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago. “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 our fellow citizens.”

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 24 homes in Maywood being repaired by volunteers through the Rebuilding Together program. An additional 10 homes in Maywood are receiving Energy Efficiency upgrades as part of the National Rebuilding Day efforts. 1,430 Chicago-area homes have been renovated through the program since its inception in 1991.

“The spirit I see here today is commendable, and the results of your hard work will be felt immediately in improved quality of life for the homeowners,” Preckwinkle told the volunteers on-site. “Cook County is proud to be part of Rebuilding Together as a way to assist those in need, and to contribute to the strength of our communities.”

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.

“Cook County has been a consistent and valued partner throughout the years of Rebuilding Together,” said Wanda Ramirez, executive director of Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago. “We greatly appreciate the continuing participation of County employees who donate their time and energy for the benefit of others, and the leadership of President Toni Preckwinkle for serving as honorary chair of this annual event.”

Along with Cook County, sponsors of home repairs in Maywood include Lend Lease Inc., Governors State University, VOA Associates Inc., Primera, American Institute of Architects, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and several churches. Labor unions that contributed to the success of the upgrades were International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134, Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local Union 130, Chicago and Northeast District Council of Carpenters, Painters District Council 14, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 399, Sheetmetal Workers Local 73 and Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman Local 21.

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