Through Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan, Eaton Employee-Volunteers “Paws” to Help Southfield Animal Rescue Organization
For 10 years, Eaton Corporation, a Southfield City Centre-based power management company, has teamed up with nonprofit service organization Rebuilding Together Oakland County to maintain, clean, and improve parks in Southfield.
In addition to providing funding support for Rebuilding Together, each year Eaton chooses a couple of days in April or May and gathers 30 to 60 employee volunteers at one of the city’s public parks to groom trails, install trailhead signs, paint trash receptacles and picnic tables, and spread mulch. This effort leaves Southfield’s parks that much more pleasant for everyone.
This year, changes are afoot. Or maybe the changes are a-paw.
On May 9 and 10, Eaton employees will dedicate their efforts to the Southfield-based Almost Home Animal Rescue, a nonprofit no-kill pet rescue organization. Eaton volunteers were offered three choices for their project, and they chose to work on the rescue, according to Halie Black, executive director of Rebuilding Together. Black met with Eaton volunteer coordinators, walked the site, and discussed what repair needs the rescue had that could be completed during the two-day project.
“Eaton volunteers will do some exterior work that the organization needs, and also next door at a training course for police dogs,” says Black. “It’s run down, so they will fix it up and waterproof the obstacles. It’s definitely a great before and after shot.”
Oakland County, Wayne County, and Macomb County police use the course to for dog training, according to Black.
For Eaton, the opportunity to do productive work in the community is a chance for employee volunteers to interact with Southfield on a new level.
“Eaton is all about giving back to the communities where we work and live. The relationship and history with Rebuilding Together is a great example of the responsibility Eaton accepts as a member of the Southfield community. Our employees look forward to this event every year and are very much looking forward to helping out at the Southfield Animal Rescue Organization,” says Larry Bennett, director of vehicle technologies and innovation for Eaton’s Vehicle Group.
Rebuilding Together has undergone its own changes in the past year. The organization, which once solely supported Oakland County, has expanded to include the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood of Detroit, and has joined up with the Macomb County branch to form Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan.
Rebuilding Together is preparing for its National Rebuild Day on Saturday, April 27, when it will join sister organizations across the country to revitalize neighborhoods and make homes safer and more functional. This important work allows homeowners to stay in their homes to maintain stable, affordable housing for those in need.
This year, Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan will put teams of volunteers to work to provide repairs to three homes in Southfield on April 27, plus work on an additional four or five Southfield homes in May and June.
The coordinated effort is a boon to neighborhoods, according to Rick Lampi, operations specialist with the City of Southfield. The work that helps income-challenged homeowners take care of their residences often beautifies the whole street, lifting the spirits of everyone in the neighborhood.
“It’s a win-win. At the end of the day, the homeowner is happy and the volunteers feel good about doing something good for others. Sometimes volunteers even get a kick out of having a reason to buy a new tool for volunteer day,” he says.
Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan is always seeking corporate sponsors and individual volunteers, as well as homeowner applications for repairs and improvements that will keep homes safe and healthy for families.
Learn more at Rebuilding Together Southeast Michigan, or call 248-482-8061.