Grants and employee volunteers coordinated through the El Paso refinery are making it possible for low-income elderly and disabled residents of two communities to live in safer, healthier home environments. Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) recently gave more than $50,000 to the non-profit organization Rebuilding Together to support repairs and enhancements to homes in El Paso, Texas, and Sandoval County, New Mexico, north of Albuquerque.
More demand than supply
Rebuilding Together works with contractors and volunteers in cities across the country to manage rehabilitation projects for low-income homeowners, which often involve roof and plumbing repairs, pest control, ventilation, insulation, replacing windows, bathroom renovations and installing grab bars and stairs. The Rebuilding Together El Paso (RTEP) affiliate has invested $4 million in the community since 1991, benefiting more than 2,300 homeowners and their family members.
“We can cover only about 50 percent of the applications we receive for help, so a grant like we received from MPC allows us to expand our services and help more people,” said RTEP Executive Director Roger de Moor.
One example of RTEP’s transformational power involved a man who lost a leg and was using a wheelchair. He could not enter his bathroom in the wheelchair because of its width, so Rebuilding Together expanded access to the bathroom, took out the bathtub and installed a wheelchair-accessible shower and a new toilet.
MPC’s partnership with RTEP goes beyond financial assistance. Refinery employee volunteers will be directly involved in ma
ny future projects, especially efforts in residential areas immediately surrounding the refinery. Additionally, the refinery’s Engineering Department Manager Brandon Bielamowicz has joined RTEP’s 10-member board of directors.
“This organization’s mission aligns with MPC’s core values and my personal beliefs about the need to invest in local communities to strengthen them and make people’s lives better,” Bielamowicz said.
Rebuilding in New Mexico
MPC’s support of Rebuilding Together Sandoval County (RTSC) came about through MPLX Right-of-Way Supervisor Michelle Gaillour. She identified an opportunity to complete repairs and renovations at a home in Placitas where she manages MPLX’s pipeline right-of-way work.
“Our company always strives to make sure the communities where we operate improve because of our presence,” Gaillour said. “This kind of work allows us to make an immediate and lasting impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable local residents.”