Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Volunteering: The Gift of Giving

The holidays are a time of year a lot of people reflect on what they have and what they are thankful for. (After all, Thanksgiving has the word “thanks” in the name!) Christmas and Hannukah have always symbolized the gift of giving to loved ones and spending quality time with them. One of the greatest gifts I can think of is the gift of giving. Not only do I work for Titus Contracting LLC, I volunteer with several area charities, and one of my favorites is the Life Hurts program at Hosanna! Church in Lakeville, MN.

Life Hurts is a youth-oriented program that meets once a week at Hosanna! Church. This support group centers around at-risk teens and youths who need a strong guiding hand to stay on the right path in life. The issues these young ones are dealing with are everything from divorcing parents to eating disorders to abuse and addiction. We meet and talk about what they are going through, and the end result is healing and hope. This program is one of the main reasons I believe in the gift of giving. Sure, I am giving these youths the gift of my time and myself, but, really I feel like I am the one receiving a gift. These teens are going through some very rough times, and I want to be there to support them and show them healthy coping strategies.

There is an event Life Hurts hosts called the “Feed My Starving Children” program. Other volunteers and I made more than 13,000 meals that will help feed 30 hungry children for one year! An hour and a half of our time made a huge difference in 30 lives: that thought makes my head spin sometimes!

You can extend the gift of giving in many ways. You can volunteer like I do, but even something as simple as giving a homeless person a sandwich or cup of coffee can help immensely – possibly even more than you can see with your naked eye. Or if a friend or family member looks depressed or upset, lend an ear. Sometimes, just sitting with a person and listening to him or her vent is more than enough. I have learned through my work with the Life Hurts program that sometimes the simple act of listening is the gift that keeps on giving.

Scott Rajavuori is the manager of design, sales and marketing for Titus Contracting LLC, a commercial and home remodeling company located in Savage, Minn.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… for Indoor Home Improvement!

It’s cold outside and nice and toasty in your house. Why bother setting foot outdoors when there is so much to do indoors? Now is the perfect time to take a look at the inside of your home and spruce it up a bit. There is still plenty of time to get all of this done before Christmas. And if you get started now, you could have a few of these knocked off of your to-do list before Thanksgiving! As your favorite Twin Cities remodeling expert, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • ·         Make your home more energy-efficient: there are several ways of saving some money on your utility bills this winter. One of the easiest ways is to make sure your air filters in your heating system are new and clean. Take a few minutes to inspect your air filters. Are they dirty and covered in dust? If so, venture out into the cold and go buy some new ones. They usually don’t cost a lot of money and installing them should only take a few minutes of your time. Another thing to consider is installing a new thermostat. Look into buying a set back thermostat, which is a digital and programmable thermostat. You can program it to warm your house while you’re there and keep the temperatures a bit cooler when you’re not there. When you’re ready to install it, just turn off the power at your house and follow the instructions – it’s usually pretty easy to do!
  • ·         Update your indoor lighting: since it’s getting dark outside earlier and earlier, one of the easiest ways to keep your house well-lit and cheerful is with new indoor lighting. You don’t have to break the bank on this either. A lot of lovely indoor lights don’t cost an arm and a leg. You can choose the type of light you want plus what kind of bulb you want to use in it. The most common type of lightbulb is tungsten, but there are also halogen bulbs, fluorescent lights and more.
  • ·         Clean up your kitchen: even the smallest change can make the biggest difference! Clean out your cabinets, wash the front of them and consider getting new handles for the doors. New handles won’t cost a lot of money but can really make a difference to the room as a whole.
Scott Rajavuori is the manager of design, sales and marketing for Titus Contracting LLC, a commercial and home remodeling company located in Savage, Minn.

If you're in need of home remodeling services, contact Titus Contracting today by calling 952-746-7817 or contact us online.