Jamie Friling is one of those volunteer dynamos that every organization wishes they had: a devoted member of the Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP) family for ten years, Jamie is also a co-founder of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia’s annual Run to Rebuild. Now in its 9th year, this 5K run/2 mile walk continues to be driven by Jamie’s energy and excitement as well as other dedicated members of the R2R committee.
“I wish more people could ...experience the positive impact to the homeowners.”
“It’s inspirational to be a part of the life changing safe and healthy home improvements.”
“The best part of [the Run to Rebuild] committee is watching other people get passionate and energized for RTP.”
Jamie was introduced to RTP in 2009 when he attended a yoga fundraiser. “I had never done yoga before and thought I was in pretty good shape. How hard could it be? I was wrong! I learned a lot about yoga and RTP that day.” Motivated by what he had learned about RTP (and perhaps a bit blissed out from the yoga), Jamie was immediately thinking about how he could give back: “I was so inspired and energized that I was wondering what I could do that could help RTP make a larger impact. I started to think how I could leverage my energy and support all the volunteers in a different way. I thought how I could help broaden their exposure as well as provide a means for RTP to do more of what they do. I just finished training and running the Broad Street Run when the idea came to me. I spoke with Jennifer Shropshire, who, after being convinced by a complete stranger to RTP that he wanted to attempt to put on a 5K fundraiser, jumped on board. She took a leap of faith and we got to work.”
In sharing what attracted him to RTP, Jamie explains, “I looked into [other] large organizations but they seemed too impersonal ... I like getting my hands dirty, throwing a hammer or laying flooring. RTP provides for our communities by helping our neighbors and that's what drew me in.” He adds, “I wish more people could see the before and after photos of the work that RTP does and experience the positive impact to the homeowners first hand. Its inspirational to be a part of the life changing safe and healthy home improvements.”
Since this May will mark the 9th R2R, we had to ask Jamie how it’s been to watch it grow from the very beginning to what it is now. “Amazing! It’s the only word that comes to mind.” Despite the rain on the day of the first Run, about 72 people showed up in Fairmount Park that morning to support the cause. “We were so thankful for those participants and volunteers that braved the weather to provide the encouragement for us to keep the event going for years to come. As of last year, we have been able to grow the event over four times in size and have raised over $100,000 through the event since its inception.”
Jamie remains a member of the R2R committee, helping with various aspects of planning the event, including sponsor outreach, team recruitment and promotion. “The best part of being a part of this committee is watching other people get passionate and energized for RTP. We had a core committee for the first five or six years of myself, Jennifer Shropshire, Erika Rothenberger, and Julie Beale. We learned so much and we have been able to pass that on to the next generation committee that comes to the table with enlivened energy and fresh ideas. I love how things have gone and couldn't be prouder of the current committee that has taken this on as their own.”
When he isn’t volunteering or managing the operations of Mulhern + Kulp Structural Engineering, you can probably find Jamie outdoors. “I'm a very active person. I can be found working on my house and yard (often replacing the need for the gym), wake surfing, snowboarding, hiking, and traveling.”
Thanks for keeping RTP running, Jamie!