By Kiersten Diekmann
The week of October 3rd-7th, Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County (HFHNCC) launched its first community-wide clean up event called “Rock the Block” on the Eastside of Wilmington. Lowe’s awarded HFHNCC a $70,000 grant to help revitalize the Eastside community.
On Tuesday, October 3rd, we kicked off the week-long project with 60 employees from Lowe’s as a part of their Lowe’s Centric Day. The Lowe’s Heroes completed the front exterior painting of 2 homes, fenced in, mulched, planted and beautified a vacant lot and started pulling out cabinets and carpet from a woman’s home to replace with new flooring, appliances, cabinets, and countertops. Throughout the week, we had over 150 volunteers painting the front exterior of 3 additional homes, mulching and cleaning up the local garden at 10th and Pine and one other vacant lot, mulched around Bancroft and Stubbs elementary, helped Central Baptist Church with a house they own and intend on renting, with removal of debris and old flooring and painted interior walls and provided dumpsters around the community to discard any trash or unwanted materials.
On Saturday, October 7th, we finished out the week with the clean-up event. Eastside residents, HFHNCC’s Young Professionals, HFHNCC staff, Central Baptist CDC and other community volunteers gathered at Kirkwood Park at 8 am with brooms, shovels, trash bags and other clean-up materials and dispersed into the community in groups to pick up trash and debris on Church St, Bennett and Spruce Streets from E. 11th to E. 7th Street. A few HFHNCC employees stayed behind to clean up Kirkwood Park, stock water and ice for volunteers and set up for lunch.
Rock the Block was truly a success, the community responded with nothing but positivity. Many said “thank you,” “you have exceeded my expectations” and “thank you for taking the time to show that you care about our community.” Many people saw us throughout the week and started cleaning up their own homes, picking up trash in front of their houses and even grabbed shovels and brooms to help us.
We would like to say thank you to our sponsor, Lowe’s for their commitment and hard work during this event. We would also like to thank individuals from Bank of America, Capital One, Thomson Reuters, Berkshire & Hathaway, Central Baptist Church/CDC, WaWa, Kenny Family Foundation, Councilwoman Harlee and Councilwoman Oliver, HFHNCC retired regulars, and the HFHNCC Young Professionals. A very special thank you to the Eastside for allowing us to make this event possible, thank you for your leadership and your partnership.
Please look for updates regarding Rock the Block phase 2 on the Eastside in the Spring of 2018, we have received another grant that will allow us to continue our Neighborhood Revitalization efforts. If you have any questions, you can contact Kiersten Diekmann at firstname.lastname@example.org