Rebuilding Day By Stanley Oswalt

Mountain contractors and local volunteer teams reached out across the mountain communities to repair and rehabilitate homes of five citizens on the annual Rebuilding Day, organized by Rebuilding Together, Mountain Communities. Our local Rebuilding Together, formerly known as Christmas in April, originally begun by local contractors in 1995, is a way for local contracting trade volunteers, and non-trade helpers, to get involved with their communities, assuring that people in need can experience the organization’s motto, “Warm, Safe & Dry.” This was an especially important year for Rebuilding Day, since so many Crestline homes suffered damage in the snow storm. “We are a local affiliate of a national organization, with over one hundred affiliates nationwide,” said Susan Parks, secretary of the local Rebuilding Together. Parks tells how Rebuilding Together began with a single Sunday school class in Midland, Texas in the late 1980’s and spread across the country. The local chapter started when a contractor and his wife were involved in a Rebuilding Together project down the hill, and suggested to the Association of Building Contractors, San Bernardino Mountains, that this would be a great way for local people in the trade to give back and get involved their communities. So our local Rebuilding Together grew out of the Association of Building Contractors, but remains a separate entity.

For 2023, five homes of seniors or people with disabilities were selected for repairs. Several citizens applied for help, and the selection team of Rebuilding Together chose this year’s recipients, based on ten criteria. Prominent local contractors, all members of the Association of Building Contractors (ABC), were appointed House Captains. Each captain led a team of trade and non-trade volunteers from mountain communities to complete assigned tasks, with the professional lending any skills and advice, sometimes bringing other professionals for specific tasks. The contractors were assisted by non-trade coordinators to help supervise the volunteers.

“These guys have been working for weeks already on their projects, and they have recruited so many of their co-workers, and they’re going to hit it hard today,” said Parks.

The day began at the Twin Peaks Community Center, with registration, and food provided by Jensen’s, the Lake Arrowhead Resort, and Rebuilding Together. Each participant received a special logo t-shirt before reporting to their job site. “I’ve been doing this for six years now, and it is quite an operation to watch,” remarked Tim Clarke, ABC board member. “These people are like a swarm of bees all over these houses.” As the teams scattered to the job sites, the food preparation squad began preparation of individual sack lunches, with sandwiches from RB Steakhouse, to be carried to the houses at lunch time. The Depot at Rim Forest, Village Market in Running Springs, and Shell Five Points all supplied ice to the jobs.

House #1

The first house was Julie Holbert’s house in the Valley of the Moon neighborhood of Crestline. The team, led by House Captain Dave Bennett, and non-trade coordinator (NTC) Cyndi Bennett, were pouring a concrete ramp for wheelchair access to Holbert’s deck, and constructing railing along the rear of the deck, so she could safely view the back of her property, which overlooks the actively flowing Dart Creek. Team members also cleared brush between the house and property line. The house sponsors were the Ted Roy Foundation, and Supervisor Dawn Rowe.

House #2

Donna Foley is the occupant of the second house, in Valley of Enchantment. House Captain Matt Brule and NTC Allison Banner supervised the dismantling and replacement of Foley’s wooden deck and stair treads. The House sponsors were Running Springs Area Golden Oaks, and Mountain Storage. Foley, an active gardener was grateful for the restoration work.

House #3

At Nancy Laughlin’s house, in the Arrowhead Highlands area, the House Captain was Gary Poarch, and the NTC was John Moore. “We removed and replaced two French door units with two Milgard patio sliders. And we replaced the bathtub with a roll-in handicapped access shower,” reported Poarch. “Copp roofing is supplying a new roof.”  The deck was rebuilt, and other team members were clearing brush and splitting logs. With the help of a log-splitter provided by Lake Arrowhead Rentals, two and one half cords of wood were split. Laughlin was pleased that most of the volunteers were from her church, including Rev. Bill Stanley, and his wife, Carol. The sponsors at House #3 were Lake Arrowhead Community Presbyterian Church, and Mountain Storage.

House #4

Kat Swanson’s house was the only house this year not in Crestline. The crew at the Running Springs address was captained by William Kanayan, and the NTC was Kimberly Marcelletta. Among the tasks the crew performed was replacing flooring, installing safer handrails on the exterior stairs, replacing the kitchen sink, and exterior painting. Kanayan ponted out that Rick Miller Plumbing, Wickes Heating, Apple Valley Insulation, Lowe’s, and Roy’s Painting contributed to the rehabilitation of this house. Three bins of discarded items were removed from the property. The sponsors of House Four were Mountain Sunrise Rotary, Sky Forest Elks, DiCarlo Trust, and Triple Edge FS.

House #5

The occupant of the fifth house, again in the Arrowhead Highlands, was the mother-in-law of the House Captain, Scott Markovich, and mother of the NTC, Susan Marcovich. Elizabeth Allen also had several loads of unused items removed from her deck and house. Allen also had a new water heater installed. The sponsors for this house were Pali/Granite Summit, and Lake Arrowhead Rotary.

Every recipient was presented with a special commemorative quilt from Dr. Ginger Gabriel and the quilting club. All of the crews were supplied with toilets from Goering Mountain Portable Toilets, and trash bins from Burrtec.

At the end of the day, all participants were treated to a spaghetti dinner prepared by Mountain Sunrise Rotary, including beer and wine service. Over one hundred local volunteers were involved in the community-wide project.

If you are aware next year of someone who needs repair help that they may not be able to afford, refer them to Rebuilding Together so they can apply for next year’s event. Rebuilding Together also has an Emergency Repair program and a Safety program that are available all year. Homeowners who qualify can get help with problems such as furnace or electrical repairs, or with assistive devices such as grab bars or hand rails. The organization performed 22 emergency projects in 2022.

Rebuilding Together is a non-profit, 501c3 organization. To make a contribution, or apply for repairs, call (909) 336-3910. Most contractors in the organization are also members of The Association of Building Contractors San Bernardino Mountains, Inc. These licensed professionals are listed in the 2023 Membership Directory, a free publication distributed by Mountain News through several kiosks around the communities. ABC also has a website at


Article By Stanley Oswalt (Thank you Stan!) June 28, 2023 reposted with permission from the Mountain News

Snow Melt Reveals Damage By Tim Clarke

It seems a little like Alice down the rabbit hole these days as we emerge from the snow and see and hear of the damages. We’re able to joke about some of these things just a little bit now as we face new living circumstances and repair costs under a sunny sky.

One casualty is the traditional date of Rebuilding Day. This year the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities has postponed it to June 24th . It was felt this would give our mountain contractors more time to take care of storm damage repairs in the community.

Some can overcome the damage to their property out of their own funds or FEMA low interest loans. However, there are those who don’t know what to do and have increasing anxiety about their outlook. To those that own their homes but are of low-income, we want to help with minor home repairs. We hope to get more donations and grants to cover the costs of those needs and help more neighbors on an emergency repair basis. Now that the snow is melting, and the new date has been set for Rebuilding Day it’s time to get out your calendars and circle the 24th of June and start signing up as a community volunteer. To help out, click the sign up button above.

Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities

P.O. Box 3540

Blue Jay Ca 92317


Help us spread the word!

Attention Rebuilding Together Volunteers!!

Help us spread the word!

In consideration of the recent storms and mountain conditions in general, the Rebuilding Together Board of Directors has voted to postpone the Rebuilding Day event until Saturday, June 24, 2023.

Have Questions?  Call our office at 909 336-3910 or click the sign-up button above to volunteer on Saturday, June 24th.

Get Ready For Rebuilding Day by Tim Clarke

Congratulations to the community of building contractors and community volunteers for stepping up and filling all the house captain and non-trade coordinator positions! We can now start the organization and logistical process to insure a successful Rebuilding Day for our mountain communities. A robust community volunteer network is coalescing, and we need you to ask your groups, family members, church groups, corporate teams and individuals to go to our website, click the sign-up button, and be the powerhouse behind the spirit of giving to others on Rebuilding Day June 24th.

Rebuilding Day is the signature event of the year where we all get to help our neighbors in need stay warm, safe, and dry in their own homes with a day of donated labor from all involved and material supplied by Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities. But there is a larger program of Emergency Repairs that performs repairs year around by using paid contractor services funded by RTMC. This program of emergency repairs helps about 6 times the number of homeowners each year as are helped on Rebuilding Day at a substantially greater cost. So, you know what is coming, a request for donations. Like all non-profits we need funds to continue each year as we enter our 30th year. So, dust off those check books or click the donate button above and give what you can, remember the amount isn’t as important as the act of giving.

For sign up information and/or donation information contact us at:


P.O. Box 3540

Blue Jay Ca 92317


First Foundation Bank Officers Meet with Rebuilding Together Board by Tim Clarke

On Thursday October 13, 2022, members of the board of directors of Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities had lunch with Sylva Figueroa and Emily Sukman from First Financial Bank, the first face to face chat since Covid that didn’t involve a computer. Sylva and Emily work in the community investment and charitable giving side of the bank and came to offer any assistance that they could to our organization, in addition to their giving a grant in 2021. We had a lovely time learning about each other and where we all came from, with a lot of laughing and joking thrown in for good measure. They wanted to know how the last Rebuilding Day came off and we were excited to share with them work that was done and homeowner stories. We told them that we are in the planning stages of Rebuilding Day 2023 next April, and we are hoping that a group representing the bank can come and share the Rebuilding Day experience. When it was time to part, we stood wide eyed as a giant check appeared for a renewed donation of $10,000 for the Emergency Repair Program. It was smiles and thank yous all around. Emily put it best when she said it was nice to be on the softer side of banking…. giving to others.
Well, Hats off to First Foundation Bank for a relationship we hope will last for years to come!


Rebuilding Together would like to greatly thank all our volunteers, trades people, local businesses, and donors for their support this year. We had a wonderful Rebuilding Day Saturday April 30th 2022 and were able to help 6 homeowners stay “Warm, Safe, and Dry” in their homes. Our hope is that through the hard work of our generous community on this Rebuilding Day, the lives of everyone involved will be changed for the better. We look forward to seeing you all again next year! Please see this year’s pictures here: 2022 Rebuilding Day

Thank You Arrowhead Credit Union

Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities would like to thank Arrowhead Credit Union for their generous donation of durable medical equipment and senior hygiene products pictured here with Stefanie Villalobos (Executive Director ArrowHeart Foundation) center, and Sam and Amanda at ACU in Crestline. This donation will help some of our elderly neighbors keep Safe, Warm, and Dry on Rebuilding Day Saturday April 30th, 2022.

The ArrowHeart Foundation is a community service effort established by Arrowhead Credit Union in 2013. Through ArrowHeart, they have made the promise to always give back to the community that they serve. They strongly believe in the philosophy of “people helping people.”




Success Requires a Strong “Foundation” by Tim Clarke

Teresa Weber, the Branch Manager of First Foundation Bank in Running Springs, recently contacted their main office in El Segundo recommending Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities as a worthy cause for the banks support. We were touched by their two-year commitment of $10,000 a year to be used in our year-round Emergency Repair program. What a blessing!

After the trauma of the past two years, so many non-profits like ours have struggled, making these types of gifts so appreciated and enable us to continue. Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities is one of the smallest chapters of the national organization, but one which has been in continuous operation for 27 years. This is a record we are proud of and is reflected by our all-volunteer board of directors.

So, it is with the utmost gratitude we say “thank you, First Foundation Bank” for your support in keeping mountain communities neighbors in need to stay Safe, Warm and Dry in their own homes. With the help of First Foundation and others we look forward to a great Rebuilding Day on April 30tt. In the meantime, we will be looking for trade and non-trade volunteers. You can call 909 336-3910 to sign up.

Don’t forget if you know someone that needs immediate help, contact us now. Home-ownership and financial qualifications apply as in Rebuilding Day. Our Emergency Repair Program enables us to help neighbors in need with minor repairs year round. Repairs are performed by paid mountain contractors and reimbursed by RTMC.

Another of our programs is Home Modifications which has to do with installing grab bars and hand rails for slip and fall prevention. Call before you fall!

We are always looking for new board members. So, if you like the process of organization and making things happen for others, contact us. We are looking for people who are committed to the community. Come along with us to help others.

Contact us at:

Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities

P. O. Box 3540

Blue Jay, CA. 92317


Thank You Janice Rutherford

Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities would like to thank San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford and Lewis Murray, the District Representative for the Rim of the World Mountain Communities for recognizing the work of RTMC and asking us to apply for a generous county grant. The grant was approved and the funds are already being used to help our mountain neighbors. Though grants such as these help us perform larger jobs that would normally be beyond our scope, we still very much rely on both the financial and volunteer support from local businesses and individuals in our community to conduct our Emergency Repair program and of course our annual Rebuilding Day event. If you would like to help this year, please click on the donate button and/or download a volunteer application.

Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities

P.O. Box 3540

Blue Jay Ca 92317


The Rock of Rebuilding Together Mountain Communities by Tim Clarke