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Rotary of Skokie Valley volunteers for Rebuilding Together

Bob Samson of the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley

Bob Samson of the Rotary Club of Skokie Valley

Rotary of Skokie Valley volunteers converged on a home on Crawford in Skokie for Rebuilding Together. Rebuilding Together’s mission is to preserve and revitalize houses and communities so that the elderly, disabled and others facing hardships can live in warmth and safety.

Rebuilding Together provides an organized way for neighbors to help neighbors. Like many good endeavors, the organization started small by working on one home a year with a dedicated crew of community volunteers.

That national program, Rebuilding Together (formerly known as Christmas in April), is still alive and well. It performs home repair and maintenance services at no charge for low-income homeowners and nonprofit facilities. The organization, pushed along for many years by sponsorship from the National Football League, stretches to reach the elderly, disabled and families with children in an attempt to help them remain warm, safe and independent in their homes.

Every year, the last Saturday in April across America hundreds of volunteer laborers with donated supplies together to add grab bars, fix electrical outlets, replace windows – just about any minor repair or improvement.

Safety is the key. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 60 percent of the deaths of people over age 65 are the result of a fall in the home. Each year, more than 11 million senior citizens fall – that’s one out of every three people over 65. Treatment of the injuries and complications associated with falls costs more than $20 billion a year.

According to Rebuilding Together, there are about 3.7 million lower-income households with a disabled person – two-thirds of whom are also elderly. While an enormous segment of the population owns their homes, many cannot afford, or are physically unable, to maintain them. With the population of Americans 65 and older projected to rise from 33 million in 1995 to 62 million in 2025, the number of elderly and disabled also will skyrocket.

Rebuilding Together relies on donations of cash, labor and materials from businesses and community groups before molding its schedule of projects. As the population ages and the economy struggles, the services are needed more and more. Not just by the homeowners, but also by the neighborhoods, cities and counties in which they live.
Keeping the aging citizens independent in their homes will help relieve society of a burden that will be increasingly felt as the year’s progress.

Rotary Club of Skokie Valley's Bob Samson heads-up the efforts in Skokie and has been involved for many years. Bob’s finds volunteers and assigns duties to those willing to help. “The gratitude of the home-owner is very satisfying,” Samson said.

The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley meets every Tuesday at 12:15 at McCormick & Schmick's Restaurant at Old Orchard Shopping Center. The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley serves Niles, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood and Skokie.

The Rotary Club of Skokie Valley helps local organizations like, THE ARC, A Just Harvest Soup Kitchen, American Cancer Society, Metropolitan Family Service, Orchard Village, Golf Marine Park District, Summer Foundation, VITA and more.

For information on joining Rotary, visit the Rotary website at or on facebook at

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