When it comes to repairing homes, Don Kirk is the one to have on your team. He’s been volunteering with RTP as a Safe at Home technician and a Rebuilding Days construction captain for several years. And while he’s happy that volunteering with RTP provides him with an opportunity to serve, it also allows him to learn some home repair skills of his own.
Don often works with Frank Tijerina, one of RTP’s Safe at Home technicians, assisting a couple of times a week with odd repair jobs. “Don is skilled in various types of construction work, so he knows what needs to be done as a technician,” Frank said. “I’m happy to have Don working with me because repairs get done much faster. Working alongside Don also makes the job more enjoyable.”
As a construction captain, Don has also taken on a team of unskilled volunteers who help vulnerable homeowners by providing repairs and updates to their property. During [Re]Build Days, repair captains are tasked with providing a safe environment and instruction on how to complete the repairs, including what tools to use and how to use them safely.
Don is quick to point out that the impact on the homeowners is immediate, often resulting in a significant positive change in their daily living. “It’s like a before-and-after photo,” he says. “As a volunteer, you get to experience that kind of satisfaction. In many cases, the work we do is transformative.”