Please enjoy our 2012 Annual Video that highlights the year and records some our homeowner's thoughts. We thank Kim Smithgall, Tom Robinson and Bonnie Minick for their continued support in producing these videos year after year. We appreciate their outstanding talents and skills!
Linda Toohey has been a Trusted Advisor and great supporter to Rebuilding Together Saratoga County. We congratulate her as she moves into another chapter of her life - and one she so generously shares with her community. Thank you Linda and our sincere best wishes!
Editorial: Lead the way, volunteer — Help make a community great
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Great things get done in Saratoga Springs in large part because people volunteer to lead the way. That’s why we have an amazing Saratoga Regional YMCA, with its incredible West Avenue facility and an even bigger fitness center being built in Wilton. Why the Saratoga Performing Arts Center is reaching new audiences and supporters to maintain its commitment to the classical arts. Why Saratoga Hospital continues to improve and expand its services to serve a growing population. And why Skidmore College is integral to the community on so many levels. Strong hands-on leadership is essential within the ranks of successful organizations like the Y, SPAC, Saratoga Hospital and Skidmore. But behind them are the volunteer board members who see opportunities and seize them, and have the ability to organize and motivate people, raise (and donate) money, and make things happen — volunteers like Linda Toohey, who has had more than a hand in the success of all those and other local institutions.
Newly retired after 32 years with the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Toohey has agreed to chair the Skidmore Board of Trustees. She is also on the board of trustees of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and chair of its Membership and Development Committee. And she is a co-chair of a $3 million capital campaign for Saratoga Hospital’s new Community Health Resource Center. Not too long ago, she took on a similar role for the YMCA. A full list of her leadership roles on local boards over the years would fill this column. Toohey is perhaps the quietest squeaky wheel you’ll ever meet. Big influence, little ego. It’s why 300-plus people packed the Hall of Springs Tuesday to honor Toohey on the occasion of her retirement from the chamber, which is also honoring her with a bench at SPAC bearing the inscription “inspires leadership.”
Toohey is extraordinary for her innate abilities and few mortals can accomplish as much. But most people can do a heck of a lot, if they put their mind to it. And for those who could benefit from guidance and training (and who couldn’t?), there is Toohey’s professional legacy, the chamber’s countywide Leadership Saratoga program. Leadership Saratoga (leadershipsaratoga.org), which Toohey introduced in 1985, boasts more than 600 graduates who have served or currently serve on 135 different nonprofit and public service boards, including school boards and municipal boards.
In addition, more than 40 nonprofits have been the beneficiary of projects accomplished by teams of class members who devote about 130 collective hours of volunteer time outside of class time. They have, for example, been responsible for exhibits, videos, websites, physical improvements and public awareness campaigns for organizations like Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services, Rebuilding Together Saratoga, the Wilton Wildlife Preserve, the Salvation Army, Saratoga PLAN, the Children’s Museum and the National Museum of Dance. You don’t have to be a graduate of the Leadership Saratoga program to be a leader in the local volunteer world — but it helps. The well-honed sessions focus on practical matters and address virtually every aspect of volunteer leadership. And beyond the Leadership Saratoga training, there is no underestimating the value of the network of graduates and fellow volunteers.
But more important than the program is the volunteerism itself. So this isn’t really about Toohey, who hates the attention, anyway. It’s about you, and how important it is to give back to the community. “It doesn’t matter whether your volunteer work is serving as a route spotter at a race for charity, raising money for an organization whose mission you support, helping out a child’s sports team, or serving on a board or committee,” Toohey said in a recent Q&A with The Saratogian. “The rewards are enormous.”
Shelters of Saratoga will hold an open house that includes a ribbon-cutting for a new emergency shelter for area homeless persons at 11 a.m. Thursday. The 18-bed SOS at 14 Walworth St., is converting a home at 20 Walworth St., into an emergency shelter to meet a growing need for housing in the area. The facility at 20 Walworth St., will add 13 beds for homeless persons. Renovations could be complete by mid-July, said Peter Whitten, SOS executive director. Founded in 1991, SOS bills itself as the only emergency shelter for both men and women in Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties. It consistently operates at full capacity. It’s provided beds to 137 men and 32 women so far in 2012, and responded to a total of 336 requests for shelter.The Windhover Foundation and Quad/Graphics have supported SOS for several years. “We are pleased to contribute to the Shelter’s most recent expansion, which not only extends its services, but strengthens our community as a whole,” said Betty Quadracci, chairwoman of the Windhover Foundation.
Other contributors included Les Ackerman of Charette Associates Architects, P.C., Michelle Larkin, executive director of Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, and nearly 90 Rebuilding Together volunteers who donated over 560 hours of their time toward the planning and construction of the new shelter.“The generosity of community donors and volunteers has been instrumental in the conversion of 20 Walworth Street into its new chapter,” said Stephen Towne, SOS Board President. “This would not have been possible without their overwhelming support.”
For Immediate Release Contact: Becky Carter Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together Receives Eighth Consecutive Four-Star Charity Rating
WASHINGTON, DC - May 30, 2012 - Rebuilding Together recently earned a 4-star charity rating for the eighth consecutive year from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest charity evaluator.
Rebuilding Together's mission to provide a safe and healthy home for every person revitalizes homes and communities by performing essential renovations for low-income families, the elderly, people with disabilities, and veterans. This mission and work has been recognized by Charity Navigator as being executed in a fiscally exceptional manner, outperforming most other charities in America.
Rebuilding Together reports that for every dollar raised 86.6% is spent on direct program expenses. Rebuilding Together consistently achieves its organizational mission and responsibility to communities and homeowners in-need nationwide, as well as its responsibility to donors, supporters and volunteers.
"Rebuilding Together is pleased to receive another outstanding rating from Charity Navigator; the continued success proves our efficiency and leadership in the nonprofit community," said Gary A. Officer, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. "We always aim to be a fiscally responsible organization while increasing the capacity and outreach of our programs to assist low-income homeowners and communities. The 4-star rating is a testament to our upstanding business practices."
About Rebuilding Together: Rebuilding Together believes in a safe and healthy home for every person. Rebuilding Together provides critical repairs to an existing home, addressing both structural issues and those that affect the health of the homeowners. House by house, block by block, we work with our nearly 200 affiliates, 200,000 volunteers, who are skilled tradespersons, corporate partners and everyday citizens, to repair homes, to stabilize and revitalize communities. For nearly 25 years, we have seen the benefits when people remain in their homes: lives are improved and communities are revived. See the difference we make at www.RebuildingTogether.org.
You can also follow Rebuilding Together on Twitter @rebldgtogthr or become a fan on Facebook at Facebook.com/RebuildingTogether. Media Contact: