Sign Up for Free! | Forward to a Friend  | May 25, 2007




Paul Schweitzer Can Paint!


With everyone so busy these days, our usual expressions of charity seem to come in networking galas.  Amazingly, some good Samaritans are also finding the time to do old-fashioned manual labor to help others.

That’s the case with the Jewish Federation’s real estate group that last month deployed some of its members to help out the non-denominational “Rebuilding Together” program in Washington that aims to repair homes of those in need.  The focus was a month-long home renovation project of a family on the 1600 block of D St. NE, near RFK, led by Studley’s Paul Schweitzer, GSA’s Toby Gottesman, and First Washington’s Jeff Distenfeld.  20 volunteers spent two weekends and several weekdays sanding and painting walls, hanging shower rods, fixing screen doors, replacing medicine cabinets, caulking windows, etc.


Look at these guys—Lakritz Adler’s Josh Adler, First Washington’s Jeff Distenfeld, and WCI’s Sonny Small.  Don’t they just look like they know what they’re doing?  Although my wife would never have let me wear such spotless jeans.  



Above, Crosstown Properties’ Garrett Stackman shows his technique. Man, they even smile while they’re working. 



Here, Mike Knauss of Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking apparently knows enough not to electrocute himself.



First Washington’s Jim Blumenthal.  Will the workers stop smiling, already?  They’re making it look too easy.

Rand Construction
arranged for four drywall techs from Form Construction to replace the basement ceiling; Forest City got Thunderhill Electric to send two electricians to rewire parts of the house and install new light fixtures and smoke detectors; Jendell Construction sent two carpenters to fix an unsafe landing outside the backdoor, frame doorways, install stair handrails, and hang shelves in a closet with leftover lumber; and Shapiro & Duncan helped install a donated furnace, and replace bathroom vanities and shower faucets.  Sonny and Tina Small and LaKritz/Adler also acted as generous overall sponsors.



Above, Tina Small, homeowner Janice Fleming, and Toby Gottesman celebrating Janice’s son’s 12th birthday.  The construction crew went out and got an inscribed cake when they learned it was his birthday.  Wow.  We’re getting a little verklempt here, as Mike Myers would say.

Says Paul Schweitzer:  “It's always easy to write a check. What people or organizations need in many cases is actual help. Whether it's physical labor and construction skills, mentoring young kids, friendship for senior citizens, anything that requires your time is just as important as sending money.  Two of my boys worked at the house last Saturday and it gave them the opportunity to see the world is not all Potomac. Now they want to do more things like this...helping in ways that may be outside our comfort zone.”

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