Rebuilding Together Duneland is an organization that gets personal with its community. On April 30, 498 volunteers gathered at Westchester Middle School in Chesterton for their annual series of remodeling projects. Each team would go to an individual home or public site and make it into a better place to be.
Their board reviewed several places throughout Duneland that were in need, and settled on 13 homes and 11 community places, like the Lakeland Park in Burns Harbor and the Duneland Diamond Ball Park.
“Getting 500 people into a room like this inspires people,” said Rebuilding Together Duneland President, and Chief Compliance Officer for Lakeside Wealth Management, Jocelyn Hibshman. “It gets energy into the town, it shows that we cannot do this alone. We need to help our neighbors.”
Every location has its own plan of action. Miss Claudia’s home in Porter Beach needed a new roof and additional flooring. Many of the homes needed electrical and plumbing work done, and all of them received updated fire and carbon monoxide detectors donated by the Porter Fire Department.
“Many people have house issues that you may not know about,” said Darlene Manozzi, who has been a work site sponsor with her late husband, Nick, for a long time.
Since his passing, she and her family have continued to volunteer and donate in his honor.
“You may not see them, unless you have walked in their shoes like we have,” Manozzi added.
Operations Manager, Tim Short, said, “It’s good to give back to the community. We employ a lot of people in the region. This is a chance to share our skill and expertise with those who can’t do this on their own.”
Volunteer Elise Brack of Porter thought rebuilding her town would be a cool way to share her saturday.
“It’s good for people who aren’t normally doing anything on weekends to come out and help,” Brack said.
This project also marked Hibshman’s last year as President before passing the torch to Tiffany Watson. But as Hibshman told IIMM, Rebuilding Together will be in good hands for years to come.
“Tiffany is coming in with a construction background. She’ll have a whole new perspective on how [Rebuilding Together Duneland] should be run. I’m really excited to be handing it to her.”
To learn more about Rebuilding Together Duneland and President, Jocelyn Hibshman, click here.