Rebuilding Together of Litchfield County has named Steve Waschak of New Milford as the 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

He has been with Rebuilding Together for more than 10 years and is credited with developing the organization’s 25 Health and Safety Priorities.

“We preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly, disabled and/or supporting young children, live in safety and warmth,” Waschak said.

The volunteer explained that the “25” priority list assesses and makes corrections so that the home is dry, clean, pest-free, ventilated and maintained.

Volunteers make sure homes have smoke and carbon dioxide detectors, grab bars and hand rails, and that there are working appliances, a furnace and a water heater.

“In addition, we look for possible electrical hazards in the kitchen and bathroom, such as the absence of GFCI outlets,” Waschak explained.

Wachak said he will make an appointment with the homeowner to assess the residence.

“I run through my 25-point checklist, as well as address any questions or concerns that the homeowner may have,” the volunteer said. “The homeeowner’s input is an important part of the process.”

A report is then submitted to Ceia Webb, executive Director, Mike Bogues, chairman, and Tom Voytek, material coordinator.

After review and approval. Bogues and Voytek will then forward the report to the assigned house captain so that it can be scheduled as part of Rebuilding Together’s Rebuild Day.

“Steve has contributed so much to creating more structure for rebuild day skilled craftsman,” Webb said.

Waschak’s Priority List has become an important component of Rebuild Day, which will be held April 28, when volunteers fan out across Litchfield County to work on selected homes.

Rebuilding Together has been helping homeowners keep a safe and healthy environment for the past 15 years.

“I became involved with Rebuilding Together because I wanted to give back to my community in a way that seemed to match my interests and skills,” Waschak said.

“I find doing construction /repair types of jobs enjoyable, and I was interested in helping people out in this way,” he said. “I find that working with the homeowners is rewarding, as they often do not have the necessary resources to maintain comfortable and safe living conditions.”

People who are interested in joining Rebuilding Together as volunteers for this year’s Rebuild Day can call 860-250-2290, text 203-240-9666 or email info@rebuildingtogether.org.