Last month, The Hagerman Group once again sponsored and participated in Rebuilding Together Indianapolis’ Union Build Day on April 13 and Spring Rebuild Day on April 27. Now in its 20th year, Rebuilding Together Indianapolis provides assistance—at to no-cost to the homeowner—to people who, because of physical limitations or low income, are struggling to cover the costs of needed home repairs. This year, volunteers worked in the Twin Aire neighborhood in southeast Indianapolis. Leaders of The Hagerman Group’s volunteer team—Casey Flood, project engineer, and Eric Robinson, estimator/project manager—share some thoughts about the organization and what it means to them.
What is it that you enjoy about Rebuilding Together Indianapolis?
Casey: It is really about the opportunity to make a tangible difference in someone’s life. Many times, people donate to causes without really giving their time and or talent to make a difference. Rebuilding Together is a “one another” kind of giving back—caring for one another, helping one another, listening to one another, and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Eric: Doing good things for nice people is always enjoyable. We also meet new volunteers each year and have fun bonding over a common goal.
What’s a stand-out memory you have of Rebuilding Together Indianapolis?
Casey: The way our team made the homeowner feel. She told me that it felt like she had a whole crew of friends that just came to help her out. It was about more than getting the work done—she felt like she was heard and valued.
Eric: Last year, my wife met the homeowner, and they hit it off immediately. It seemed to put the homeowner at ease, with all of the people and the work happening around and inside of the house. The volunteers can be quite a force sometimes, with only one day to complete many repairs. It’s easy to forget that others aren’t used to the commotion the way we are, and they certainly aren’t accustomed to a group of strangers crawling all over their homes. At the end of the day, the homeowner hugged my wife, thanked us, and was nearly in tears. It was definitely a rewarding and memorable experience.
Why do you think Rebuilding Together’s work is important?
Casey: Our culture has become so “me”-centered that we often overlook the immediate needs of our neighbors. People used to rely on their neighbors to weather some of the hard times, and the younger generations would take care of the elderly in the community. This just doesn’t seem to happen as much anymore—Rebuilding Together brings awareness to those needs.
Eric: It is nice to feel the trust that we are given by total strangers to come into their homes and make big changes. This speaks volumes to the people who have the first contact and coordinate the projects before we tradespeople even show up.
What else would you like to share about The Hagerman Group’s involvement in Rebuilding Together Indianapolis?
Casey: I’m proud to be a part of an organization that values giving back to the community and using our time, talent, and treasure to make a difference. Rebuilding Together Indianapolis is one of the only organizations that I know of that uses many resources, including skilled labor from the local unions, to take on some larger, more complicated work. The tasks we accomplished literally created a safe and secure environment for folks in the community, and I am very proud to be part of that.
Eric: Three years ago, at my first Rebuilding Together Indianapolis experience, the weather on Spring Rebuild Day was dangerously bad, so the work was called off. To ensure the work got done, The Hagerman Group supported several of the staff as we spent a workday there. What started as a rainout became a testament to Hagerman’s commitment to the organization and the community.