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Volunteers abound in home restoration project

Lisa Schultz | Monday, April 18, 2005

As part of an April tradition, members of the Notre Dame community joined forces with South Bend residents to help preserve low-income housing areas for the national project called Rebuilding Together.”I believe offering 800 able bodied and well intentioned students, faculty and staff makes a very clear statement that the University community is very interested in making a positive contribution to the South Bend community,” said Darrell Paulsen, assistant director of Campus Ministry who is the volunteer coordinator for the Rebuilding Together Steering Committee.Rebuilding Together, which used to be known as ‘Christmas in April,’ changed its name in 2000 due to expanding its efforts to aid low-income homeowners year round with housing rehabilitation and revitalization remaining the focus.In one day, which began at 7 a.m. and finished around 3 p.m., volunteers completed projects like replacing ceiling panels, painting inside and outside of homes and planting flowers. The work done depended on the needs of each home and the requests of the owners.Paulsen sites the one-day commitment as a draw for such great involvement.”Sometimes we are not able volunteer as we would like, due to school work and other commitments, to make a much greater time commitment to a service project,” Paulsen said. “And this one day event allows for many more to be able to step up to the plate. People like the opportunity to be able to participate in an event that has such clear goals and rewards.”Volunteers were able to see the rewards of their labor making an impact in the Miami Village neighborhood, this year’s target area for St. Joseph County.”What appealed to me was the idea of helping others,” volunteer freshman Meaghan Mooney said, “especially with things around the home that they otherwise would not be able to do.”Other than volunteers, the University supplied all of the food. ND Transportation offers two vans and drivers for the day as well.