Paying It Forward in Minnesota

October 2, 2015

Charter our Community volunteers partnered with Rebuilding Together Twin Cities to improve the living conditions for a family in Rochester, Minnesota. Volunteers spent the weekend landscaping, painting, installing a new front door and building a wheelchair ramp.

The ramp is crucial for Toriano, a teenager who suffers from spina bifida. But Toriano’s medical condition did not stop this young man from participating in the rebuilding of his home.

Toriano and his family worked alongside Charter Communications volunteers throughout the weekend in searing heat. He worked on the ramp while his family ripped up water-damaged carpet from the basement and laid paving stones in the yard.

Toriano and his girlfriend take a break to show us their power tools at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

(R-L) Toriano and his girlfriend take a break to show us their power tools

Paying It Forward

The family was overwhelmed with emotions and expressed their gratitude for the work being done on their home. “Everything that is happening today is what we wanted eight years ago when we first purchased our home.” said homeowner, Jamar. “Life takes its toll and we couldn’t keep up with the repairs. We are very grateful for all of the volunteers and their hard work and plan on paying it forward to others. I would like to personally be involved with the next [Charter our Community] project to help out another family…”

Through this home rebuild, Charter is assisting Rebuilding Together Twin Cities to realize a long term goal of expanding its operations. Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the only Rebuilding Together affiliate in the state of Minnesota and it gets calls all the time from surrounding communities who need help.

“We’ve wanted to branch out and set up offices around the state for a long time,” said Kathy Garner, executive director of Rebuilding Together Twin Cities. “This partnership is allowing us to do that for the first time. We are going to be able to come back to this community and start looking for additional homeowners and doing more projects.”

Charter Communications employees Daryl and Brian Roberts measure and cut wood for the wheelchair ramp at a Paying It Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

(L-R) Charter Communications employees Daryl and Brian Roberts measure and cut wood for the wheelchair ramp

The Importance of Giving Back

Giving back to the communities where employees live and work has always been a Charter priority. Area Vice President Melissa Morris has worked at the company for 24 years and has been involved in a variety of volunteer work. “It’s important for me and the company I work for to give back where our customers are,” said Melissa. “Seeing the passion and dedication from our employees brings me a lot of pride.”

Brian Roberts, Director of the Rochester area call center, said that giving back and participating in the Charter our Community event was a great experience for him as an individual, but also says participation is great for the company, community and homeowners. “Rochester isn’t that big and we all know someone in need,” Roberts said. “In fact, one of the Charter volunteers has children who attend school with Toriano.  We are all a part of this community together, so personally, this makes me feel good too.”

  • Charter Communications employees Kimberly, Melissa and LeeAnn pose for a quick photo with a Rebuilding Together sign at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    (L-R) Charter Communications employees Kimberly, Melissa and LeeAnn pose for a quick photo

  • Volunteers worked hard laying paving stones around the wheelchair ramp at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    Volunteers worked hard laying paving stones around the wheelchair ramp

  • Charter Communications employee Jeff measures lumber and uses the skill saw at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    Charter Communications employee Jeff measures lumber and uses the skill saw

  • Rochester City Council president Randy Staver stops by to see Charter Communications volunteers make a difference in their community at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    Rochester City Council president Randy Staver (second from left) stops by to see Charter Communications volunteers make a difference in their community

  • Toriano stops working for a minute to look at the progress on his wheelchair ramp at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    Toriano stops working for a minute to look at the progress on his wheelchair ramp

  • Charter Communications employees LeeAnn and Tom cut wood for the wheelchair ramp at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    Charter Communications employees LeeAnn and Tom cut wood for the wheelchair ramp

  • Charter Communications employees were all smiles while painting the inside of the family’s home at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    Charter Communications employees were all smiles while painting the inside of the family’s home

  • Despite the 90 degree heat, Charter Communications employees Jeff and Brian continue laying paving stones at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    (L-R) Despite the 90 degree heat, Charter Communications employees Jeff and Brian continue laying paving stones

  • The Charter our Community volunteers at a Paying it Forward Charter our Community-Rebuilding Together event in Rochester, Minnesota

    The Charter our Community volunteers