Neighborhood Revitalization: A Happy Ending
By: Melissa Adler, Community Outreach Development Associate, HFHS
When Adrianna and Scott bought their house, they inherited a mound of displaced dirt from sewer line repair and a large pile of brush in the backyard. They were excited to get help removing it on April 8 as part of Rock the Block in Woodland Heights. But when a volunteer crew from Life 360 Church and Messiah Lutheran Church arrived, Adrianna sent them to Debbie’s house first, a neighbor who needed more help.
Volunteers disassembled a rusty swing set and a trampoline that was damaged in a storm. They also bagged leaves and cleared out a pile of old roofing material. Adrianna and Scott assisted several times with their leaf blower. When everything had been loaded into the truck, the volunteers backtracked to Adrianna’s house. Time was short. After clearing just the brush pile, the volunteers were instructed to go to the next address. Adrianna was disappointed but gracious.
If the day had ended that way, Adrianna would have simply been thankful that the pile of brush was gone. She and her husband Scott showed neighborly kindness that events like Rock the Block hope to encourage in our focus neighborhood. Building a sense of community is the foundation of Neighborhood Revitalization.
Habitat for Humanity of Springfield created a Faith Coalition to engage churches in Neighborhood Revitalization. This was the first project for the coalition. In four hours, more than 100 volunteers from eight churches cleaned up 11 yards and painted three houses.
There is a happy ending to Adrianna’s story. A second volunteer group finished its projects early and walked all the way back to where Rock the Block began that morning – at Adrianna and Scott’s house. The volunteers worked on the backyard and then cleaned a space by the garage that wasn’t even on the to-do list.
For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO’s partnership with Woodland Heights and Neighborhood Revitalization, contact Melissa Adler at 417-829-4001 x 116.