Milwaukee Volunteers Work to Revitalize a Community

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Community Renewal
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Parts of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor in the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently got a bit of a face lift. Nearly 40 volunteers donned gloves, grabbed shovels and rakes, and hauled trash bag after trash bag to dumpsters in an effort to clean up streets, alleys, and abandoned properties in the area. “This is a great chance for community members to work with their neighbors and have fun while beautifying their neighborhood,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “This event will make the neighborhood, and the city, stronger.”

A collaborative effort between the City of Milwaukee, Next Door Foundation, North Avenue Community Development Corporation, Safe and Sound, The Corridor and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the event drew volunteers of all ages, some as young as seven. The volunteers worked with the neighborhood residents to clean up the area. Many of the youth volunteers were part of Earn and Learn, the city’s summer youth internship program. Fifteen AmeriCorps*VISTA members took time out of their regular, full time service, to spend the morning helping to revitalize the neighborhood. Volunteers from the City of Milwaukee also joined the cadre of people serving in the neighborhood.

One of the youngest volunteers, Dominic, who lives near the Corridor, came with his sisters and aunt to help. The family worked together to fill trash bags. “It was hard work, but the street looks so much better now,” said Cathy, Dominic’s aunt as they looked over the street after hauling the trash bags to a dumpster. Residents expressed their appreciation for volunteer’s hard work, “It’s nice to see people helping out. Some of us are physically unable to do this work anymore. I appreciate being able to look out and see a nice clean yard”, one of the residents commented.

This event was organized in answer to United We Serve, President Obama’s call to service. United We Serve is a national effort by President Barack Obama to engage more Americans in serving their communities this summer. The event aligns with the community renewal focus area of the President’s program. Due to its location on a rail line, the Corridor historically has been a popular place to build factories. Many of the industrial sites today are underutilized and beautification projects such as the clean-up can help attract new businesses and revitalize the community.

Use a toolkit to start a cleanup project in your community or find an existing service opportunity in your area of searching keyword: “street cleanup” “trash cleanup” “litter removal”

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