El Paso refinery partners with RTEP to rehabilitate homes, lives

Community News

El Paso, Texas, Foundation
A variety of repairs and improvements for low-income homeowners have been completed through efforts involving Rebuilding Together El Paso and employee volunteers from MPC’s El Paso refinery, including the team shown above (L-R): Andrea Martinez, Olivia Fino, Hector Aguirre, Kevin Goode, Jeff Montminy, Mike Archuleta and Brandon Bielamowicz.
  • A chapter of the nonprofit Rebuilding Together is continuing a partnership with Marathon Petroleum in 2024 to rehabilitate the homes of low-income residents in El Paso, Texas.
  • Employee volunteers from the company’s El Paso refinery will make safety and health-related repairs and improvements in connection with a $50,000 grant the company provided.
  • In 2023, volunteer teams from the refinery helped carry out projects at 15 homes, which included creating wheelchair-accessible spaces and fixing leak-damaged ceilings.
El Paso refinery employee Ryan Dohmen at one of 15 repair and improvement projects MPC volunteers helped complete for low-income homeowners in 2023.

A handwritten letter of gratitude illustrates the impact of Rebuilding Together El Paso (RTEP). “My home is safe from mold. Repairs needed for years now, due to water damage, are good as new,” the letter reads. “God bless you and all involved in this very important work.”

This homeowner, an elderly woman who is disabled and lives alone, is among over 2,000 El Paso, Texas, residents RTEP has assisted over the past 30 years. The nonprofit organization provides free, safety and health-related repairs and improvements for low-income homeowners by collaborating with contractors and volunteers from local supporters such as Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC) El Paso refinery.

“There is a very big demand to fix homes and little capacity to fix all homes,” said RTEP Marketing Assistant Cristina Zuniga. “It is great to be able to expand our services to more people in the community by working together with Marathon’s employee volunteers.”

“My home is safe from mold. Repairs needed for years now, due to water damage, are good as new. God bless you and all involved in this very important work.”

Employee volunteers like Ester Perez (above) have helped MPC maintain a multi-year partnership with RTEP, which is continuing in 2024.

In 2024, MPC will complete its third year of partnering with RTEP, sending refinery employee volunteers to work on homes in relation to a $50,000 grant the company provided this past September. In 2023, refinery volunteers helped finish projects at 15 homes. The repairs and improvements ranged from creating wheelchair-accessible spaces, converting bathtubs into showers and installing grab bars to replacing doors, fixing leak-damaged ceilings and painting exterior walls.

“It’s rewarding to do more work that improves the lives of our community members,” said MPC Maintenance Department Manager Brandon Bielamowicz, who organizes the refinery’s volunteer teams and serves as RTEP’s Board President. “I’m always impressed by our employees’ willingness and desire to give back to the community. I am frequently asked when our next event is happening because they want to participate.”

Zuniga characterized the efforts of RTEP and its supporters as life-changing, noting projects can enhance both the physical and mental health of homeowners. She added that RTEP staff members gain additional motivation to continue their mission when residents like the elderly woman take time to put their thanks in writing.

“It's like fuel for the soul, and it feels so encouraging that we want to do more homes,” Zuniga said.