FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Several members of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC), including a family of five, volunteered recently to rehabilitate hurricane-damaged homes for low-income Gulf Coast homeowners. The program was part of Rebuilding Together's Rebuild 1000 campaign to restore 1,000 affected homes in the hurricane region.

PHCC representatives renovated the plumbing systems in three homes in New Orleans. The volunteers updated baths and kitchens and replaced water heaters, waste and vent systems, and major portions of water lines.

Cordia Plumbing Inc., Richmond Heights, Mo., had five family members participate: Parents Bonnie and Stephen, and their children Joseph, Shelly, and Beth. Bonnie Cordia said that plumbers Stephen and Joseph roughed in bathrooms, with "plumber's helper" assistance from Bonnie, Shelly, and Beth.

"I think the most rewarding part of the experience was just to know that you are helping somebody. The people in that area are pretty desperate," Bonnie Cordia said. "Plus, it was nice to do this as a family. We all know each other and how each other works."

PHCC Vice President Jim Finley, C.N. Finley Inc., New Orleans, was the PHCC coordinator of the project, doing advance and on-site work. Other PHCC companies donating their time to the project were: Bienvenu Brothers Enterprises, Metairie, La.; Citizens Mechanical Services, Indianapolis; Cordia Plumbing, Richmond Heights, Mo.; Hennessey Plumbing Services, Milford, Conn.; and Northwestern Plumbing Co., Los Angeles.

PHCC has a partnership with Rebuilding Together to help repair the homes of low-income homeowners around the country. Rebuilding Together is a national, nonprofit, volunteer organization whose mission is to preserve and revitalize homes and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly and disabled and families with children, live in warmth, safety, and independence. For more information, visit www.rebuildingtogether.org.

Publication date: 08/14/2006