(Photos by Ryan Holloway / Miami-Dade County)

County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava partnered with Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade to sponsor National Rebuilding Day 2018 in South Dade on Saturday, April 28.  Nearly 200 volunteers answered the call to service and joined forces to make critical repairs to 17 homes of veterans and seniors, and to help revitalize the Leisure City neighborhood.

“Building on the work we began during last year’s National Rebuilding Day, I am thrilled to again partner with Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade to continue to safeguard affordable home ownership and to invest in revitalizing this wonderful community,” said Commissioner Levine Cava. “I extend my heartfelt thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, corporate and community partners, Miami-Dade County departments, and especially the Rebuilding Together team for creating transformative change in the lives of so many Leisure City residents. When our community comes together, we all thrive.”

The all-day event was filled with home repair projects including roof replacements, kitchen renovations, ADA bathroom modifications, contaminated flooring replacements, plumbing and electrical upgrades, water-damaged dry wall repairs and more. “I am very grateful for your project to help low income seniors like me,” said homeowner Tomas Martinez who stood with Commissioner Cava and addressed the crowd of volunteers. “I cannot repair my home because I am 81 years old, a cancer patient and my house was falling apart.”

The volunteers also repaired and painted an extensive community wall, landscaped the neighborhood parks and planted an edible forest of fruit trees that were donated by Pine Island Nursery and Going Bananas.

Employees from five Miami-Dade County departments were on hand to assist with the homes, as well as the heavy equipment used to demolish unsafe structures and cleanup a large vacant lot. Participating departments included: Regulatory and Economic Resources; Transportation and Public Works; Solid Waste Management; Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces; and Miami-Dade Police.

“I was excited for the opportunity to partner, once again, with Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava to provide critical home repairs for 17 vulnerable homeowners in Leisure City,” said Rebuilding Together Executive Director Travis Renville. National Rebuilding Day is a labor of love and would not be possible without hundreds of community volunteers and dozens of generous community partners. Thanks to everyone involved, these families now have safe, healthy, and accessible homes to age in place, independently.”

Commissioner Levine Cava awarded $150,000 to Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade to invest in much-needed neighborhood beautification and repairs to the Leisure City community.

National Rebuilding Day, celebrated annually on the last Saturday of April, is the culmination of a year of planning, training, and mobilizing thousands of community volunteers across the country. The transformative service project is embraced by community leaders and corporate partners as a way of bringing immediate, large-scale impact to communities across America in a single day.

Among the major corporate sponsors that made the South Dade event possible were BAC Florida Bank, Booz Allen Hamilton, UPS Foundation and Wells Fargo.