6 weeks have gone by since the last entry? Wow, time has flown. Going forward, we will provide you with updates every 2 weeks (minimum) as we are getting very close to commencing with several projects including the volunteer event. This is indeed an exciting time, and it is amazing to see the passion and generosity being displayed by the members of RFMA. Below are some updates on the project we wanted to share with you:
What are some items we still need leads or support on?
The support we have received for this event is great. As stated before, there have been many generous commitments made by others that we look forward to sharing with you as their portion of work commences. We do, however, still have many needs we are looking to fill in order to reach our goals with this event. Key items we would love your help with are:
- Stainless steel tables - we do need some custom s/s tables for the cook line modifications we are looking to do.
- Double stack convection oven - the current unit ECTLC uses is old and on its last leg. This piece of equipment is very important as they use it for the majority of their cooking currently occurs.
- Playground area support - we are currently looking to replace their current equipment and turf in this area as it is very unsafe. This is not necessarily RFMA's area of expertise, but we know our members can come together and help us find a way to make this happen.
- Exterior Walkin Freezer box - we have a lead on the refrigeration system and install of the box, but need the box still. This unit will be used to eradicate bed bugs as this is a large issue for ECTLC. They currently only have a trunk style freezer which is too small to meet their demand, and as a result, most of the incoming luggage and materials cannot be treated before new residents check in. This new box will eliminate that issue all together.
- Parking lot work - the center recently received a grant to make major repairs to 1/2 of their parking lot. Unfortunately, the other 1/2 is still in need of repairs and a seal coat in order to extend the life of the area. This will also ensure ECTLC doesn't have to use operating funds to make these critical repairs down the road.
- Volunteers for the volunteer event - we anticipate having many things to do at this event. As a result, we will need your help in gathering as many people as possible to assist us. See below for more details.
If you would like to learn more about how you may be able to help with these needs or some others not listed, please contact Jeff Dover or me at your convenience.
When will the volunteer event be?
The event is tentatively being scheduled for Saturday October 25th and Sunday October 26th. A notification will be sent out shortly confirming these dates. In addition, we will be doing some pre-work the entire week leading up to the volunteer weekend. Therefore, if you cant make it during the weekend, please set aside sometime during the week as we would love your help during this time.
What will we be doing at the volunteer event?
Painting. A lot of painting. In addition, we will be doing other improvements and projects at the site. More details to follow....
What are some cool things already happening at ECTLC?
- DWM filming - DWM Facilities Maintenance has volunteered their services for the creation of our RFMA Gives video. They have a local individual so they will be there often, and will be able to capture the progress of our various sub-projects as well as be onsite for our volunteer event.
- Room renovations - CGP Construction is wrapping up the renovations of some rooms that needed repairs. In addition, they have completely renovated 2 rooms that were unable to be occupied due to plumbing issues. We look forward to sharing completed pictures soon as this work should be completed this week.
- Ice machine replacement - Billy To at Panda Express has lead the charge with his team and got their vendor to step up and replace ECTLC's ailing ice machine with a complete new unit and bin. This is occurring soon.
- Lobby remodel - Bill Lynn from Starbucks and his partner CGP Construction (who is also doing room renovations) have gathered their resources and are taking on the task of redesigning and remodeling the office and lobby areas. This is where all first impressions are made, and we cant wait to see what they do for ECTLC.
- Pest control visit by Ecolab - representatives were onsite to gauge the level of pest control issues that ECTLC is currently struggling with. Ecolab is preparing to volunteer their services to help eradicate the issue and cover the costs to do this.
- Lighting assessment by Peak Lighting - this company visited the site and performed an assessment of current interior and exterior lighting. This will assist us in strategically seeking donations and support for lighting improvements that will maximize the impact and energy efficiency at the center.
- Parking lot assessment by Southwestern Paving - this company visited the site and performed an assessment of parking lot needs. This will assist us with strategically seeking donations that will help improve the parking lot at ECTLC.
- Field visit by Facility Solutions, Inc- their team made a visit to the site this past week and toured the facility to see how they can help the center.
Get to know someone at ECTLC
During this blog entry, i'd like to take the time and introduce you to someone at the center. I'd like to introduce you to Tony. Tony is a resident at ECTLC. He volunteers in the kitchen while he is staying at the center. Tony made his imprint on me from the first time I met him. The first 2 times we met, it was merely a cordial hello that we exchanged. His outgoing personality and warm spirit caught my attention immediately. By the 3rd visit and hello exchanged with Tony, I quickly realized our new friendship had graduated to hugs becoming the required hello and goodbye protocol. It was a large hug to say the least (see attached picture and you will understand that statement better). Honestly, this is not typical of my personality to connect with others so quickly and easily. That is why I wanted to share this with you. Tony is just one of the many warm and welcoming personalities at ECTLC, and I am thankful that we have become friends. I am also thankful that he is showing me how it is good to get to know strangers more easily, and it is also ok to greet a new friend with a big hug and a smile.
This is what is so great about what we are doing. Fixing and improving this facility is but a small part. The bigger part of what we are doing is connecting with others. We are showing the team at ECTLC that what they do matters. We are also showing the residents of ECTLC that they matter, and we want to help make their journey and struggle in life easier. We can do this by not only improving their facility and environment, but also by getting to know them. Please join us in getting to know the folks at ECTLC. You can do this by following the blog. You can also do this by coming to their center and learning more about them. They love the opportunity to provide tours to RFMA members. They would also welcome the opportunity to get to know all of you at our upcoming volunteer event. Will you be there?
FYI - Why is Tony at ECTLC? Was he homeless, a recovering addict, or? No, he was a person in need of help. Tony is a well-established chef who has led a very successful career. Unfortunately, he found himself in a position where life's events and his struggle with depression had put him at a very low point where he essentially hit rock bottom. What helped him through that? The folks at ECTLC did. Today, he is the warm, welcoming gentlemen I mentioned above. Also, he is the man helping lead the wonderful culinary and cooking efforts going on at ECTLC.
Thanks for your time! We welcome any help you can provide.