Rebuilding Together kicks off new year
Rebuilding Together of Litchfield County in New Milford is kicking off its fiscal year this month when it will consider requests from homeowners throughout Litchfield County who may need help making their homes safe, dry and warm.
Homeowners who may be elderly or handicapped can appeal to Rebuilding Together Litchfield County for help with important home repairs.
One New Milford couple, George and Karen Zigmantanis, were on the receiving end of a day’s worth of hard labor earlier this year.
Volunteers, including Rebuilding Chair Mike Bogues, a local contractor, gathered at the house to install hand railings inside and out, and to lay a brick sidewalk up to the front entrance of the house.
Although Rebuilding Together has one annual work day, the organization often steps in to provide emergency repairs for homeowners.
The Zigmantanis family’s well failed last winter and Rebuilding helped to put in a new well pump and pressure tank.
Necessary repairs were also made to the bathroom to replace a weak floor and install a new vanity and toilet.
Zigmantanis, who worked for Coca Cola for 28 years installing soda machines, has been on disability since 2011.
His wife, who got a new knee last year, recently broke her foot and had to take leave from her job as a school cook.
Zigmantanis had circulatory clots in both legs requiring surgery, and then got a new hip.
Since their garage door wasn’t working correctly, the couple used to walk up to their front door by grabbing hold of bushes.
Not only did Rebuilding Together repair the garage door, but the new steps and handrails allow the couple to get into their house safely.
“We can also get into the garage,” Mr. Zigmantanis said, “and come up inside with our groceries.”
Rebuilding Together of Litchfield County has worked on 14 homes with 24 residents this fiscal year, and a total of 233 homes with 342 residents over the past 15 years.
Rebuilding Together of Litchfield County is part of a national organization that works to preserve and revitalize homes of low-income homeowners, especially those who are elderly, disabled and/or supporting young children.
Ceia Webb, founding executive director/CEO of Rebuilding Together of Litchfield County, said that significant preservation repairs have included reroofing homes, installing windows with energy efficient replacements and changing tubs to walk-in/roll in shower replacements.
For more information on how to make a donation, sponsor or volunteer, visit www.rebuildingtogetherlitchfield.org/, or call 860-350-2290 or email rebuildingtogetherlitchfield.org.
A 25-point safety assessment is done of each home, and, along with skilled craftsmen, a wide range of volunteers - high schoolers to senior citizens - help with clean up, painting, yard work and other minor repairs.
Many of the people who are helped by Rebuilding in Litchfield County are connected with the organization through local senior centers.