Rebuilding Together 2011 was a big success!

To all the Knights, parishioners and friends of the St, Elizabeth Church community,

I want to extend my sincerest thanks to all who participated both physically and financially to this year’s Rebuilding Together project day. If you were involved last year, or in prior years, you know this house was a far cry from washing windows and throwing on some paint. There were major plumbing, roofing and rot issues that we simply couldn’t handle, but we did the best we could with what we had. The homeowner and her “kids” (who are older than my grandparents) were amazingly appreciative and grateful for what we did for them. And if you didn’t know, the family is indeed Catholic, and Hannah, the homeowner, has seen both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict in mass!
We were able to repaint 2 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, a hall and, of course, the entire exterior (except the front which they already had done). We recuperated her copper plumbing and got her master shower back in working order (thanks Joe Stewart!). In addition, a last-minute helper took on the task of repairing the rotten porch roof and installing a proper railing into the basement. And who can forget taking out the stinky, rotten freezer (still with old meat inside) from the basement to the dump truck. If I recall, we filled up at least 4 large dump trucks with all the trash, trimmings and old furniture, and there was still a pile remaining!
As House Captain, I found this home to be almost overwhelming with needs, and paired with our low budget I had to figure out how we could do more that “put lipstick on a pig” or “a band-aid on a lost limb” as some of us put it. In the end, we left the house warmer, safer and dryer than when we arrived, which is all that Rebuilding Together asks.
Some criticisms of the day, and learning experiences for next year, would be that we need people to clean up after themselves better. Throughout the day, and especially at the end, we kept finding abandoned paint brushes, cups, and rollers lying in the yard. Because the paint had time to dry, we had to toss perfectly good brushes and rollers, wasting well over $100 dollars in supplies. Just be mindful of such things when working on your own home or another renovation project, please! I also noticed “butt marks” along the hallway from people sliding past and smearing the paint, and that will require another coat of paint.


In the end, we slid in just under the $1200 budget, and within the extra allottment provided by the church from donations (final tallies forthcoming after I return items to Home Depot and get amounts from other purchasers). I did provide some paint supplies and a gallon of unopened paint to Raymond (the older son) to put down a second coat in the hall and master bath as he saw fit.


I have a ton of photos from before the job, and look forward to receiving the remainder from Roberta Reed, our photographer for the day, in due time. I’m personally still recovering from doing at least 8 trips to the home and at least 50 hours of prework and shopping (not counting the planning and coordination time. and the day-of!). I really did enjoy being House Captain, and I was able to get my hands dirty this year unlike last, but if anyone else would like to give it a try next year, let me know now! You’ll have my full support and partnership so you won’t be going it alone!

Post Work:

We do have a donor that is willing to take on the effort of replacing the carpeting in at least the hall, living room and kitchen. This is at least a $2000 job, so if anyone is willing to donate even a few dollars, please contact the parish office with your intent. If you donate through the church, it can be tax-deductible. If sent to the donor, myself or the Knights, it is not.

How to be More Involved:

Wonder how you can be more involved with charity projects, your community and your church? Well, get involved with the Knights of Columbus here at St. Elizabeth’s Church! Contact me directly if you’re interested in becoming a member (18+ Catholic men), regardless of the amount of time you think you can contribute. An hour per year is all I ask! How hard is that??? It’s the largest Catholic organization in the world and I’ve found, in my 8+ years of membership, that you get to meet many more families in your community than you ever would just getting donuts after mass (although I do love donuts!). Shoot me an email at and I’ll get right back to you! And for you wives, this is an excellent way to get your husbands out of the house and involved in something that provides you with a clear conscience 🙂

Your Feedback:

I’d like to hear your feedback, both good and bad, about the project so that I can utilize it for next year’s effort. Be open, honest and forthcoming in what you loved, liked, and loathed, and please try to include constructive feedback to help me plan better.
Thanks again to all!
Mike Townsend
Grand Knight/House Captain
St. Elizabeth Knights of Columbus #12796

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