Early last year, Gary Garner, president and CEO of GLS Companies in Minneapolis, Minn., was invited to a presentation and overview of Rebuilding Together Twin Cities by an industry associate. The organization's mission is to provide no-cost repairs for low-income homeowners who are older adults, individuals with disabilities, or families with children.
"I came away from the presentation seeing an incredible opportunity to make a real difference and help improve [these people's] lives by helping with needed home repairs and providing a safe environment for them to live in," Garner said.
With the guidance of a Rebuilding Together Twin Cities coordinator, up to 35 GLS employees participate in a one-day project that may include removing furniture, painting, fixing a deck, replacing a door, repairing fixtures or adding grab bars in bathrooms—any repairs that will help the homeowner within his or her home.
GLS Companies focuses on two projects a year. Along with the volunteer time and donated materials, as an added incentive, GLS records the time the volunteers work and provides the charity a donation of $20 for each hour worked that day, up to $10,000 annually. GLS participated in its first project of the year this month. Thirty-two employees and family members volunteered their time to help repair the home of a resident who lived near GLS' St. Paul, Minn. plant. In addition to the repairs to the home, GLS provided a check to the local Rebuilding Together Twin Cities chapter for $4,160 to buy materials that will help on more projects. Garner said that GLS is planning its fall project with Rebuilding Together Twin Cities.