December 3, 2014

Backed by an army more than 80 volunteers, DPR’s recent Rebuilding Together volunteer day at Foothill Unity Center in Monrovia, CA, made a major impact on a vital community center that serves thousands of needy families in the San Gabriel Valley each year.

A wide range of volunteers, from DPR self-perform craftsmen to administrative personnel, family members and subcontractors and suppliers, all turned out in force for a daylong renovation effort that brought a new shine to a nonprofit’s administrative and warehouse buildings.

Culminating months of planning, the rebuilding day served to functionally and aesthetically improve the center, just in time for its 35th anniversary in January. Founded in 1980, Foothill Unity Center has grown to serve some 4,000 families totaling more than 10,000 individuals across 11 San Gabriel Valley cities in Los Angeles County. The Center is the region’s primary provider of food, case management/crisis help and access to health care resources to a service base that has more than tripled over the last five years.

The Center was overdue for a major facelift when DPR reached out with the offer to help – and the planni​ng began. Major work components that volunteers tackled during the rebuilding workday included:

  • installation of repurposed pallet racking from a local DPR project for Kaiser Permanente in the Center’s warehouse to hold food and supplies; 
  • installation of a new flat-screen TV in the administrative center’s lobby, as well as new appliances and new large bulletin boards;
  • subcontractor donated electrical re-wiring, plumbing fixtures, exterior painting of the buildings and new flooring;
  • sorting of major donations of shoes, office supplies and toys in the Center’s warehouse by many of the volunteers families.

Betty McWilliams, Foothill Unity Center Director, said the organization was first heartened when DPR offered the project, and then amazed at the work completed and the impact it has had on everyone associated with the Center.

“It has just overwhelmingly increased our staff’s, our volunteers’, our clients’, and even our donors’ morale,” she commented. “Having such a wonderful facelift just does something for your being. It makes you feel like the community cares.”

McWilliams also noted that the positive attitude volunteers brought with them spoke volumes about the company behind it. “We’re used to having a lot of good volunteers here,” she said. “But just the level of volunteerism DPR brought was wonderful. It’s a real community of DPR and their families coming together and helping our community and our group. It was a beautiful match.”