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Rebuild Upstate Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Mar 16, 2018 09:40AM ● Published by Emily Stevenson

More than 1,400 volunteers helped Rebuild Upstate change lives in 2017 by working on 477 projects in 160 homes in four counties.

These numbers come from Rebuild Upstate’s 2017 Impact Report, which was created in part to honor the agency’s 10th anniversary last fall.

Chris Manley, Rebuild Upstate’s founder and executive director, said those 160 homes only tell part of the story. The real story was about making people’s lives better through safer housing. Some of the projects Rebuild Upstate staff and volunteers performed in 2017 included:  installing 83 ramps, repairing 65 floors, 61 roof replacements, 44 grab bars installed and 44 plumbing repairs.

In addition, 83 different groups (representing 1,400 people) along with 89 skilled volunteers did projects in 2017, Manley said. This amounted to 21,740 volunteer hours.

While celebrating its past accomplishments, Rebuild Upstate is also planning for the future. One way the group hopes to expand in upcoming years is by doing more repairs in surrounding counties. Most repairs are currently completed in Greenville County due to sponsor and volunteer availability. The agency also serves Pickens, Oconee and Anderson counties.

“The more local involvement we have from a community, the easier it is for us to do repairs there,” Manley said. “Volunteers provide knowledge, labor, and passion; donors help with supply costs and potential home repair locations.  In order to expand into surrounding communities, Rebuild Upstate needs both. Right now we have a lot of support in Greenville, but not as much in other counties.”

Through its work, the organization hopes to raise awareness of the need for more affordable housing in upstate communities. Potential volunteers and sponsors can find more information at www.rebuildupstate.org.

“We’ve seen exponential growth in a decade,” Manley said. “The hope is to continue that growth into the future and complete 400 home rehabilitations and 1000 home repairs in 2020.”

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