ST. LOUIS – Rebuilding Together celebrated 30 years by repairing 19 homes throughout the St. Louis area. With the sound of the saw, the clock started for a one-day repair on a home that’s been at the mercy of wear and tear for years.

Tools in hand, volunteers with Rebuilding Together helped a homeowner in south St. Louis. One of the 19 homes that got fixed up for free on Saturday was part of their mission to help low income and disabled community members.

“We’ve all come together, and our passion is to help these homeowners safe and comfortable in their own home, and we do it with joy because that’s what we love and that’s our mission,” Rebuilding Together Board of Directors member Priscilla Visintine said.

For the non-profit’s 30th anniversary, each of the 300 volunteers were women – giving girl power a new meaning. Going from “rebuild,” to “SHEbuild.”

“Our plan is to put in new flooring because she had carpet squares that were coming up, so it’s a tripping hazard, and it’s not safe,” Rebuilding Together volunteer, Lea Wright shared.

The front steps and upstairs bathroom also got a fresh new life. For the homeowner, repairs are a long time coming. The July floods only intensified the need.

“It put me financially in a bad spot because I’m on a fixed income,” homeowner June Labarbera explained. “So I had to take loans out, which I shouldn’t have done, but I had to get the house fixed, FEMA helped a little but not enough.”

The shame she felt with others, lifted by the Rebuilding Together crew.

“I am so grateful and thankful, I didn’t think this was going to happen for me,” Labarbera said. “These ladies coming in here like angels.”

Fixing not only the floors but homeowners’ concerns as well. The 19 homes fixed up on Saturday just make up 29 homes that will be repaired during the spring.

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