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Joe Ferlito holds the microphone for a Channel 7 interview with homeowner Anna Solomon during Rebuilding Together Oakland County’s 2013 Rebuild Day. Photo provided by Linda Rogers.

Giving back. Corporate responsibility. Philanthropy. I’m sure these are all words you’ve heard before.

At Franco, we often help our clients identify opportunities to give back to the community. Giving back is not a requirement, but it’s the right thing to do. And we do it too.

Recently, Franco helped Rebuilding Together Oakland County promote its annual Rebuild Day. Each year, RTOC works with volunteers to repair homes and clean up the yards of low-income homeowners who are elderly, disabled or military veterans and unable to do the work themselves. This year more than 1,000 volunteers transformed 45 homes in 12 Oakland County municipalities.

This was a great opportunity to partner with a local nonprofit to help many deserving homeowners. RTOC handled the event planning; we drafted and executed a PR plan to spread the word about the program. We had great media turn out, and in between news crews I was lucky enough to join a group of volunteers to clean up the yard and install a new stove for Anna Solomon in Southfield.

I’ve volunteered in other capacities before, but this project seemed extra special because the homeowner was there watching the transformation of her home. Anna was overjoyed to receive the help; we were overjoyed helping her.

It was so rewarding to see her reaction as the project progressed that I forgot that I was “working” on a Saturday. It didn’t feel like work. We were just doing the right thing to help someone in need.

The RTOC program would not be possible without its sponsors and volunteers. Visit to learn how you can get involved. The website also has information on how homeowners can apply for assistance.

Have you had unique and rewarding volunteer experiences? Share them in the comments section below.

Joe Ferlito is an Account Director and Director of Operations at Franco.

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