The originally thought was to mow a vacant lot, pick up debris, and board up a few vacant houses on a single block of Campbell Street. What ended up happening surprised us.
It began when Detroit firefighters stationed in the area learned of a house being renovated by Nicole Curtis for her show Rehab Addict (which airs on HGTV and DIY Network). When you look at the area surrounding Nicole’s house you see a neighborhood that is still connected, still trying to hold on. Neighbors there know each other. They do their best to keep grass mowed and debris out of vacant lots. This is a neighborhood that has not given up, a neighborhood that just needed a boost.
This is just one of the reasons we choose this neighborhood. Residents here are working hard to maintain a sense of community pride.
Detroit Firemen’s Fund and DFDLegacy.com started spreading the word of the need for volunteers to help this southwest Detroit neighborhood. Help came in so many ways. Detroit and surrounding area firefighters, business that donated time and items, local media who helped highlight what items we needed, and most importantly, residents of the area came to help.
One of the best parts of this project was seeing young people from the area get involved. Several local kids jumped in without prompting from adults. They grabbed a pair of work gloves and started hauling brush to dumpsters. Although I know the brush can get out of control, and grass can grow long again, I am confident that the positive impression made on these young people will not soon fade.
We set out with the small goal of mowing a vacant lot and securing vacant houses on a single block, and together, we accomplished so much more than we had originally planned.
|Overview of project accomplishments:
- 15 Vacant houses secured
- Smoke detectors installed
- Entire block’s sidewalks edged & weeds removed
- 4 vacant lots – removed debris & mowed
- 5- 30 yard dumpsters of debris removed
- Trimmed tree branches that could cause injury or damage in a storm
- Community garden area restored – removed logs, debris & mowed so the garden can be expanded next year
- Cut overgrown brush and trees from a corner lot making sidewalks useable again and improved visibility for vehicle traffic at the intersection.
The true heros of this project are our volunteers. Without the hard work and sweat equity they gave, nothing could have been accomplished.
Our volunteers included:
- Over 40 Firefighters from:
- Local residents – including many children and young adults
- People from several other comunities
- Crews provided with specialized equipment from our donors.
- Over 70 people total (we did not get the name of everyone involved, so a true total is not available. We think we were closer to 100 volunteers)
Donations of much needed items were provided by the following:
If the opportunity arises to support the companies that have supported us, we ask you to please do so. Their selfless dedication to community service makes them stand out amongst their competition.
On our first day, Thursday, we tackled the yard and surrounding sidewalk of a vacant home at the corner of Horatio and Campbell.
The view as we began clearing overgrown brush. There’s a sidewalk in there, somewhere.
Brush and trees were so overgrown that the sidewalks were unusable. By the end of the day, a neighbor who lived on the
Continue Reading »