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Neighborhoods Day changes Detroit with rakes, shovels, weedwackers, paint brushes, music, grit, determination, guts and volunteers

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity of Detroit go over strategy at a home build on the east side of Detroit

Saying “thank you” is not good enough to express our appreciation for the thousands of folks across Detroit who helped make the 8th annual ARISE Detroit! Neighborhoods Day on August 2 our biggest and best ever.

Volunteers tackle high grass on the east side of Detroit

Volunteers tackle high grass on the east side of Detroit

With a record number of 225 registrations, a record number of sponsors and extensive media coverage, Neighborhoods Day literally rose to a new level this year with the support of hundreds of churches, block clubs, community groups and businesses.  And with additional support from Dallas-based Rippling Hope and Richmond, Va.-based Rebuild America, which brought in hundreds of volunteers from 13 states and Canada, Neighborhoods Day went national and international.

Neighborhoods Day celebrates all the great work block clubs, churches, schools  community groups and local businesses do throughout the year in the effort to create a better Detroit. Neighborhoods Day events are  held all over the city on the same day, from midtown to downtown, from the west side to the east side.

As I traveled the city, hope, work and change were all on display from downtown to midtown, from the east side to the west side in the scores of community service and improvement projects of every description.

Detroit, we are building something great with this!

We are doing with it rakes, shovels and weedwackers.

We are doing it with grit, determination and guts.

We are doing with music, heart and soul.

Detroit City Chess Club competition

Detroit City Chess Club competition

I saw it wherever I went … in the faces and the spirit all over the city … at the Gratiot Splash, at Life Church on Davison near Livernois, at the Russell Woods-Sullivan Association get together on the west side, Jazz on the Ave on Livernois, at Palmer Park at the Heal Detroit Rally, at the Hollywood Golf Institute youth tournament, at the Bringing In Change Festival on Eight Mile, and the Stafford House community garage sale on Woodward near Belmont.

“It’s all about hope,” said Pat Bosch, of the Nortown Community Development Association, involved in an east side neighborhood cleanup. “Neighborhoods Day lets people know that all is not lost.”

Detroit resident Richard Brown said he saw evidence of the impact of ARISE Detroit! and Neighborhoods Day groups repeatedly as he drove around the city.

“It was almost like you could see the city changing literally right before your eyes,” he said. “You could see blight going down and gardens growing up. It was a great thing.”

Over on Lakewood on the city’s east side, Thelma Hall of the Lakewood Block Club was delighted to find folks from other blocks coming out to join them joined them in sprucing up the neighborhood. “We’re getting more people involved each year because of Neighborhoods Day,” she said. “People are helping each other.”

Rebecca Willis, creator of Bleeding Heart Design, works on a mural project on East State Fair at John R in northeast Detroit

Rebecca Willis, creator of Bleeding Heart Design, works on a mural project on East State Fair at John R in northeast Detroit

The Promised Land Network helped out at Carsten Elementary School with a neighborhood festival and Ethel Schroeder, community coordinator for the group, had this to say:  “Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 8th Annual Neighborhoods Day. What a great time!  We met so many residents. The neighbors came and volunteered.  This was our first year.  We served more than 250 students and residents with book bags with supplies, uniforms, shoes, plants and treats for seniors, balloons for children, food for everybody fun, fun, fun. Thank you again!”

No, Ethel.

Thank you and thank you, Detroit!

Luther Keith is executive director of ARISE Detroit!

Detroit City Chess Club players match wits in front of Chrysler Elementary School

Detroit City Chess Club players match wits in front of Chrysler Elementary School

 

riends of Detroit City Airport hosted this event at City Airport to encourage youths to learn how to fly airplanes

riends of Detroit City Airport hosted this event at City Airport to encourage youths to learn how to fly airplanes

he Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle club made a presentation at the Bringing In Change Festival in the Belmont Shopping Center

The Friends of Detroit City Airport and The Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle club made a presentation at the Bringing In Change Festival in the Belmont Shopping Center

Vendors at the Bringing in Change Festival, Belmont Shopping Center

Vendors at the Bringing in Change Festival, Belmont Shopping Center

 

DJ at Backpack Music Festival on Belle Isle

DJ at Backpack Music Festival on Belle Isle

WXYZ TV reporter Julie Banovic interviews Felicia Andrews of Team 313 at the Gratiot Splash

WXYZ TV reporter Julie Banovic interviews Felicia Andrews of Team 313 at the Gratiot Splash

Young artists sign the Art of Resilience chalk board at the Gratiot Splash

Young artists sign the Art of Resilience chalk board at the Gratiot Splash

 

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2 comments on “Neighborhoods Day changes Detroit with rakes, shovels, weedwackers, paint brushes, music, grit, determination, guts and volunteers

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