Community Rebuilds interns celebrate a job well done in pre-pandemic times. The organization is raising funds on GivingTuesday (Dec. 1) as it also celebrates 10 years of creating sustainable, affordable housing in Moab.

[Photo courtesy Community Rebuilds]

Happy birthday, Community Rebuilds!

The Moab-based nonprofit dedicated to building sustainable, affordable housing has officially reached the decade mark this month. In that time, it has built 43 homes and educated over 300 participants in its internship program – a key source of labor that keeps home-building costs low.

“We’re grateful for the past decade of clay-streaked smiles and straw-filled hair,” Community Rebuilds said in a press release.

But this year has been tough for the organization, as it has for many others, with the pandemic disrupting normal operations both logistically and financially – and making its housing mission all the more critical. The organization is asking the community to help it “continue to educate the next generation of change-makers and strengthen the health of our communities” by donating money or the supplies on the Community Rebuilds Wish List. The wish list is accessible via the organization’s website and the items may be purchased online directly from the list. The wish list includes many inexpensive items such as spades and trowels as well as somewhat bigger-ticket items like cordless drills and other machinery.

The organization is hoping to raise $5,000 as part of its GivingTuesday campaign, a worldwide movement focused on generosity.

To celebrate its 10th birthday and to raise awareness of its history and vision, Community Rebuilds has made a short (less than three minutes) animated video about the housing problem in Moab and how Community Rebuilds founder, Emily Niehaus, came up with the idea for Community Rebuilds back when she was a loan officer. (After years as Community Rebuilds’ executive director, Niehaus stepped down and is currently serving as mayor of Moab.)

The video says that 67 people are currently on the waitlist for a Community Rebuilds home and the organization plans to build 12 homes in 2021 – the most it has ever built in a single year.

Community Rebuilds Fundraising Coordinator Molly Marie Gurney, who created the video along with video editor August Granath, said she was initially concerned that the difficult times experienced by so many would lead to less giving and a harder time for nonprofits. But, she said, it is turning out that the opposite is true: people see more need, and so they are giving more, even though they may have less themselves.

“It gives me hope,” Gurney said.

She said that any kind of support is appreciated, including volunteering, but “what we really need right now is some new tools so we can complete homes and financial donations to make up for losses we incurred during COVID.”

Niehaus said that, while she is no longer with Community Rebuilds, she still feels a deep connection to the organization that is “her baby.”

“It’s exciting to celebrate, as a founder, the milestones of an organization that I started,” she said. “I’m excited to see all the possibilities of tomorrow for Community Rebuilds.”

Links to make a monetary donation to Community Rebuilds and to purchase from its wish list are available on its website, www.communityrebuilds.org.

For more information, Community Rebuilds may be reached by calling 435- 260-0501 or emailing info@communityrebuilds.org.

“We’re grateful for the past decade of clay-streaked smiles and straw-filled hair.”

– Community Rebuilds

Organization sets fundraising goal for Giving Tuesday

When: Tuesday, Dec. 1 and all the time

Donate: Online at www.communityrebuilds.org/make-a-donation

For more info: 435- 260-0501; info@communityrebuilds.org, www. communityrebuilds.org