2016 President's Message

Together is such a great word. It derives from the Proto-Indo-European verb *ghedh ‘to unite, join, fit’, which developed into *gaduri ‘in a body’ in Proto-Germanic, which finally evolved into the Old English togædere ‘so as to be present in one place, in a group, in an accumulated mass’. The sense of ‘so as to be unified or integrated’ arose during the Middle English period. Somehow, Modern English together manages to unite all of these meanings. My interest in this very special word arises now, as it surfaces as the first word of our newly-revised mission statement:>/

Together we transform the lives of low-income homeowners by improving the health and safety of their homes and revitalizing our communities.

Together in our mission statement refers to all those who have joined into a unified, integrated body to make RTLB a vibrant enterprise: our board, our staff, our active team members, our donors, grantors and sponsors, and our community partners. We are becoming more visible in the area every day, and I am so proud that together, we are making a very real difference in the lives of many Long Beach residents!

This past year, we’ve made concerted efforts to reach out to an array of community partners, organizations and groups which serve populations much like ours but which offer a range of services and programs that complement those of RTLB. Among these partners are Home Ownership for Personal Empowerment (HOPE), The Heart of Ida, Long Beach Community Action Partnership, Green Education Inc., Long Beach Police Department, and numerous departments within the City of Long Beach government. These partnerships allow us opportunity to reach even greater numbers of area residents while producing true community revitalization services in addition to providing safe and healthy homes.

Simultaneously, we’ve changed our focus from doing as many projects as possible on only two work days per year, Saturdays in April and October. Instead, we now operate year-round, although we continue to emphasize National Rebuilding Month (April) and Make a Difference Month (October). This approach allows us – together with our community partners – to take an in-depth approach to each project we undertake and to better serve our community.

While these innovations in the way we conduct business will undoubtedly make a positive difference, clearly they are only part of the solution, as many challenges lie ahead for us and for the great City of Long Beach. You can help us make a difference by contributing (i) your time, by completing a Volunteer Application; and/or (ii) your talent, by completing a Team Participation Commitment form; and/or (iii) your treasury, by making a monetary donation.

I remain confident that, working together, we can overcome many challenges. I look forward to meeting with you so that, together, we can work to ensure that Long Beach becomes an even greater place in which to live, work, learn, and play! We cannot do it without you. But, together, we transform!

In service,
Terri Griffith
President, Board of Directors