Tag Archive: Rebuilding Together Muscatine County

RTMC’s Executive Director is Featured on the National Web Page!

February 5, 2020

Frank Iliff

Frank Iliff, Rebuilding Together Muscatine County’s executive director, keeps an extra shirt in his truck, but not because rebuilding homes is sweaty work. It’s because the shirt he wears is often soaked with tears by the end of the day.

“The homeowners we help will hold me and hug me and cry,” Frank said. “Once, I was hugged by a war veteran after our Rebuilding Together Muscatine County volunteers put a new sidewalk, kitchen sink and bathroom vanity in his home. He’d been so hardened by life, and he just stood there in my arms and cried and cried. It’s that kind of thing that gives me the impetus to carry on.”

Frank has done much more than just carry on. Since he founded Rebuilding Together Muscatine County in 2007, the organization—and Frank—have become fixtures in the local community. Muscatine is both a city and a county stretched along a scenic bend of the Mississippi River on the southeast edge of Iowa. Around 24,000 people live within the city’s borders, and the county has about twice as many residents. Tourists tend to call Muscatine a sleepy town, all while praising its spectacular sunsets and Iowan charm.

“My family and I have lived here for 30 years. Arriving in Muscatine was the first time I felt like I had a real home town. Though I haven’t lived here my whole life, I’m from here now. I’m a Muscatiner.”

Frank had always wanted to devote all his working hours to Rebuilding Together Muscatine County. But with his career set on a different path, he’d instead pressed ahead as its volunteer leader, fitting it into his schedule whenever possible. “Once I turned 66,” he explained, “I could get social security and make it happen.” In 2018, after decades working swing shifts at a local corporation, Frank retired from the private sector. Today, Frank is Rebuilding Together Muscatine County’s full-time executive director and first paid employee.

Now that Frank is free to devote himself fully to Rebuilding Together Muscatine County, his ambitions have grown. In summer 2019, the organization took on its first remodel of an entire building. Frank and his volunteers put in two bedrooms, a full kitchen, laundry room, shower and more into the small former office space. Once the transformation is complete, it will become a new home for a local family in need.

These kind of comprehensive home repairs are sorely needed for Muscatine to flourish. According to a 2017 study, the county’s existing housing is its largest economic asset. However, most of the existing housing is older and needs maintenance and rehabilitation. As a result, Muscatine County doesn’t have enough homes that people earning the lowest incomes can afford. More and more, people over age 55 are leaving Muscatine in part because their homes are not places where they can comfortably and safely grow older.

There’s little chance Frank would ever leave Muscatine.

“What makes me stay is the people. The people are just the best. When there’s a need, they step up. They step up and they go out of their way. They just do. I’ve had hundreds of volunteers show up to fix up their neighbors’ homes just by simply asking for help.”

Frank intends to make Rebuilding Together a household name in Muscatine County and beyond. He explained his plans: “The need in this area is so great. I want to get the word out more in Muscatine County about the work we do. Then I want to bring Rebuilding Together into other counties to help even more people and communities.”

To start on these goals, Frank has already joined the Rotary Club of Muscatine and become an ambassador with the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is sitting down with local corporate leaders to figure out the best way to get them involved in Rebuilding Together Muscatine County’s home repair projects.

Frank also has an eye on the long term in another way. “I have seven grandkids. They’ll sometimes help out on our home rebuilding days. That means I’ve got seven really important people watching me and learning from me.”

Rebuilding Together is really about hard-working, compassionate people helping other people. Volunteer with your local Rebuilding Together affiliate and become a partner in your community.

It’s Bigger Than a Kitchen Sink

March 4, 2019

Sometimes it’s bigger than a kitchen sink.

Sometimes it’s more than a roof that does not leak.

It is about value; Value of the human spirit.

It is about community; Community that makes every one in it better.

In this video, you will see more of what we mean.

Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is in the beginning stages of giving people hope in a different way.

We won’t stop doing what we are doing, but we will expand our reach to more of the people who just need a hand up.

Would you be a part of this? More details to come.

It will be easier when we do it [Re]Build Together.

And besides, “It Just Needs Done”.

 

Impact Neighborhood Model

Partner With US

February 27, 2019
Rebuilding Together: Partner With Us

Coming soon, along with Spring, is one of the most exciting times of the year for Rebuilding Together.

The last Saturday in April -- April 27 -- is

National Rebuilding Together Day

 

Rebuilding Together Muscatine county, along with over 150 other affiliates,

will come together and make a difference in communities all across America.

Please save the date!

 

If you can’t participate with us on the 27th,

we still have much to do during the month to prepare.

 

Please watch for updates as the day approaches --

We cannot do what we do without your help.

And as Frank says;

“It Just Needs Done”.

 

Frank and Jordan talk about Rebuilding Together Muscatine County

January 16, 2019

Frank was able to join Jordan this week on the program “Moving Forward” at the local radio station, the Voice of Muscatine.

“Moving Forward” is a daily program that highlights the happenings of area non-profits.

Frank joins Jordan to talk about Rebuilding Together Muscatine County, Inc. Listen in to find out how you can help!

Moving Forward is brought to you by Muscatine Power & Water

Click the link below Frank’s photo to listen in.

https://bit.ly/2TTdNJe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby It’s Cold Outside!

November 15, 2018

Just because it’s cold outside, it does not mean that the work is has stopped!

There is much going on behind the scenes.

We are making contacts.

We are looking for next years projects, and taking care of emergencies as they arise.

We are also looking for some very specific people. Here is the list;

  • Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is looking to add some new members for our board.
  • Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is looking for people interested in learning how to build our ramps. We will have a workshop  for those who would love to be involved in a “Hands on” sort of way.
  • Rebuilding Together Muscatine County is looking for suitable volunteers to assist our House Captains. This would involve “learning the ropes” to become future House Captains.

If you are interested in any of these things, please contact Frank at 563.260.3143.