Youth Volunteer Spotlight - Leo Katowitz
Meet Leo Katowitz, one of Rebuilding Together Philadelphia’s young and dedicated Rebuilders. Since last year, he has volunteered at two Block Builds and participated in the Run to Rebuild (R2R). Even at his young age, Leo has inspired people close to him to give back. With the support of his family, friends and rabbi, Leo wants to continue to encourage people to get involved within the community. As part of his Bar Mitzvah project, Leo started a fundraiser in support of RTP. “When you are going to be Bar Mitzvahed you typically do a “Mitzvah Project”, which is something that you do to help others. One of the reasons I choose to support Rebuilding Together Philadelphia is because my Bar Mitzvah took place during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Sukkot is a harvest celebration that lasts eight days. Traditionally, each family builds a temporary structure called a “Sukka.” During those eight days, you eat in the Sukka and invite others to join you. The main themes of Sukkot are: shelter, welcome, hospitality, abundance, and home. RTP represents all the themes of Sukkot.” “My friends and family donated hundreds of dollars to reach a large goal. It was amazing! It felt better than good. I felt proud, not only of myself, but also of my friends and my family.”
He adds that he would encourage people to get involved with R2R whether they run, walk or create a team because “It funds an amazing organization that restores people’s homes so families can be safe.” In addition to fundraising, Leo has volunteered at the Belmont and Haddington Block Builds, where he air sealed ductwork with the weatherization team and built planter boxes. “Block Builds are the best way to be up front in the action. It's fun to experience it. You meet new people, build and repair things, and you feel good after it. Everyone I met was fun and supportive. It didn’t matter how much expertise you had, there are jobs for every level of ability.” He adds, “I would love to do another Block Build, and maybe bring some friends.” In his free time, Leo loves browsing the internet, reading and spending time with his seven cats. And using some of the skills he picked up from volunteering at the Block Builds; Leo enjoys building things.
Thank you, Leo!