Archive for May, 2014

It’s Not Summer Yet! Sukkot in Spring Continues with Tremendous Work in the Mahmoud Home and St. Paul’s Community Center

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

The weather has been feeling a lot like summer lately, but Sukkot in Spring continues! This past weekend, volunteers from Temple Micah, Temple Sinai, Fabrangen, and Tifereth Israel transformed the Mahmoud home and St. Paul’s community center.

Ms. Mahmoud Cooking Lunch for the Volunteers

Ms. Hadia Mahmoud lives in the Benning Heights neighborhood of Southeast DC. Her four children are between the ages of 11 and 18, and she is working hard as a special education assistant at a local school to support them. One of her neighbors is a handyman, and with his help she has been able to make some repairs in the home over the years. Always with a smile on her face and a positive attitude in the face of adversity, her hard work to keep up the home nevertheless was unable to address major repair needs. A leaking roof caused a hole in the kitchen ceiling and a leak in the master bedroom’s closet, and there were several other spots where drywall patching was needed. Electrical and plumbing throughout the home was also in disrepair. The family was living without a working oven or stove, and Ms. Mahmoud was feeding her large family by cooking on a hot plate.

After doing an initial inspection in the home, Yachad was quickly able to locate a new oven and stove for the family, thanks to Yachad’s longtime supporter and construction manager, Richard Feldman, thereby allowing the family to more easily cook nutritious meals. Soon, skilled roof work was also completed in the home. This past Sunday, volunteers from Temple Micah and Temple Sinai took the lead on continuing a significant amount of work in the home. They repaired and replaced electrical circuits and fixtures, replaced insulation, repaired drywall, and installed a new vanity in the downstairs bathroom. Many of the volunteers were seasoned pros, as this is the 20th year of Temple Micah’s participation in Sukkot in Spring.

Photo Courtesy of Lloyd Wolf

Also on Sunday, Fabrangen and Tifereth Israel volunteers were busy painting rooms in St. Paul AME Church’s community center. After extensive, professional drywall repairs had been completed by Millennium Painting in the community center, it was time to cover up the repairs and freshen up the rooms in the process. The volunteers from Fabrangen and Tifereth Israel did a tremendous job brightening up the space.

Thank you, thank you to Temple Micah, Temple Sinai, Fabrangen, and Tifereth Israel for their hard work this past weekend and for their commitment to preserving affordable homes in DC.

Full House and Gilmore Girls: Sukkot in Spring’s Made for TV Special

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Sukkot in Spring continued this past weekend with repair projects in Northwest and Southeast DC. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue’s “Not Your Bubbe’s Sisterhood” and a local Girl Scout troupe repaired a community center on Sunday. The space, operated by St. Paul’s AME Church, is a large, converted home that provides tutoring for youth, a free, professional clothing boutique, and other services for the community.

A leaking roof caused damage throughout the home, and Sunday’s volunteers patched a great deal of drywall in order to restore some of the walls. The Girl Scouts and Sixth & I volunteers also did a fabulous job painting; by the end of the day, the space was shining anew with a fresh coat of paint and newly patched walls.

Thank you so much to the dedicated volunteers from Sixth & I, as well as the enthusiastic Girl Scouts. Another big thank you goes out to construction manager Justin Barrows for his hard work leading the project.

Elsewhere in DC, volunteers from Adas Israel Congregation were diligently repairing and painting the Gilmore home. Ms. Anna Gilmore lives with her daughter of the same name, and the senior Ms. Gilmore has lived in her home for thirty-five years. Ms. Gilmore’s daughter moved in with her to serve as her home health aide, and the junior Ms. Gilmore’s young son also lives with them.

Yachad sent in skilled professionals to complete initial work in the home, including extensive drywall and roofing work to fix holes caused by the leaking roof. Adas Israel volunteers removed old, crumbling wallpaper, cleaned and stained cabinets, and painted throughout the home. The space now looks brand new.

The Adas Israel volunteers were seasoned workers; this year marks the 20th year of Adas Israel Congregation’s participation in Sukkot in Spring! Other Yachad volunteers also joined in to make the project a success, and Yachad construction manager Robin Renner once again did a wonderful job managing the worksite. Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially to Adas Israel for their continued support of Yachad’s work.

Washington Hebrew + Power Tools = A Transformed Home

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

This past weekend, twenty-one volunteers from Washington Hebrew Congregation’s 2239 young professional group wielded hammers and crowbars, saws and drills, as they went to work at the home of the McKeever family in Historic Anacostia.

You may remember the McKeever family from past Sukkot in Spring projects. Building upon Adat Shalom’s earlier work in the home, Washington Hebrew volunteers spent their Mitzvah Day pulling up old, dirty carpets, demolishing drywall, building new porch steps, pulling up weeds and doing other yard work, and removing unsafe flooring.

It is evident from the below pictures how much work was accomplished in the home on Sunday. Just imagine how much Washington Hebrew Congregation’s volunteers have completed over their past 20 years of working on Sukkot in Spring projects!

Thank you to Washington Hebrew Congregation and the WHC volunteers, construction managers John Collier and Robin Renner who expertly ran the project, and the McKeever family for welcoming us into their home. We look forward to the changes yet to come in the home, including replacing flooring, fixing plumbing and installing a new toilet, and weatherproofing the back porch.