By Mike Robertson and Lan Freitag
Twin Cities Habitat Staff
Bill was using a floor drain in his basement as a toilet because his bathroom floor was caving in due to a plumbing leak. Mary had lived without hot water for two years because her water heater had failed and she didn’t have the money to replace it. Steve and his kids had toilet water dripping into their living room from a leaking upstairs bathroom.
One of the biggest resource challenges A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) faces is dealing with plumbing issues for the low-income homeowners we serve. Plumbing leaks are a serious health and safety issue that can lead to mold, rot and unsanitary conditions. But for these homeowners, hiring a plumber is simply beyond their means. And in most cases, hiring a plumber is too expensive for the program as well.
Enter Mike Wickam and his company, Mr. Rooter. Mike and his crew have donated over $70,000 and hundreds of hours’ worth of labor and materials to help families in need over the past two years. From minor repairs to extensive plumbing overhauls, the generous spirit of Mike and his team is an inspiration. “It’s a great way to bring services to those that really need it” as Mike reflects about his partnership with ABWK.
Mike can’t donate everything, but many of the invoices he sends have a zero at the bottom with the words “God Bless” written beside it, a testament to the faith that drives his generosity. Mike feels it is his obligation to the community, “as a business owner it’s important to not only give back but give your employees an opportunity to volunteer as well.”
Mr. Rooter has a dedicated wall in their office where they post their “volunteer” invoices where employees can see what they’ve donated individually with a running total of what they’ve donated collectively as a team. It’s a constant reminder of ways they have engaged in the community with ABWK/Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
We are incredibly grateful to have Mike and Mr. Rooter as part of our Habitat family; we look forward to a long and productive partnership with them.