When Ginny Merrifield, Executive Director for the Gary and Mary West Foundation, was introduced to the Good Will YouthBuild Program, she had an idea. The idea was one that would benefit two organizations.
YouthBuild Omaha is a program for young adults between the ages of 16-24 years who do not have a high school diploma. Participants will spend time in the classroom earning their GED while learning construction skills and build and restore homes in low-income neighborhoods. Participants learn basic construction skills, tool identification, and blue print reading.
The West Foundation has been a supporter of Rebuilding Together Omaha since 2011. Their support has allowed us to expand our program and serve more homeowners. Ms. Merrifield’s idea was to have the participants of YouthBuild help Rebuilding Together Omaha by providing services that they have been taught such as hanging dry wall and painting. Not only does it help the YouthBuild participants acquire their service hour requirements, it allows them to work directly with the homeowner’s they are helping. They are seeing firsthand the impact they are having on helping the people their community.
As for Rebuilding Together Omaha, this collaboration allow us to help more homeowners. We are always in need of skilled volunteers to help repair homes. Having access to this group of young people allows us to say yes to more homeowners. A win-win for all!