Published on The Akronist
“Neighborhood Reborn,” is part of United Way’s annual Day of Action, which will take place this year on June 17. United Way’s annual Day of Action mobilizes and inspires corporate and individual volunteers on the same day in June, across Summit County and in a highly visible way, to channel passion into action. An additional 500-plus United Way volunteers will be undertaking community improvement projects across Summit County.
As a key partner in the “Neighborhood Reborn” project, United Way is providing major funding, both from its own coffers and from a significant grant from Depend.
United Way has also secured more than 100 volunteers from its corporate partners to help give the block a much-needed facelift on June 17. United Way corporate volunteers will work to visually transform the neighborhood through landscaping, repairs and general cleanup.
Additionally, in conjunction with United Way, volunteers from A. Shulman on Saturday, June 4 will design and pre-paint the plywood panels that will be installed on vacant houses on June 17 to look like real windows.
United Way supports all of the activities of Neighborhood Network of University Park, including “Neighborhood Reborn” as its fiscal sponsor and largest funder.
The proceeds of the $25,000 Depend grant secured by United Way will be invested in both the Neighborhood Reborn project and United Way’s first ever playground build in partnership with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to giving kids the childhood they deserve by bringing play to those who need it most. The new playground will be constructed at Suddieth Park in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood, named for John L. Suddieth, the first African-American officer hired by the Akron Police Department.
Two hundred volunteers will take part in constructing the playground on Saturday, June 18. Additional volunteers will help with site preparation on Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17.
“What United Way wants to do as a partner in the Neighborhood Reborn project is add value to this community,” said United Way President and CEO Jim Mullen. “Having a safe home in a thriving neighborhood is vital to the financial stability of every family. United Way is committed to bringing that stability to low-income families throughout Summit County.”
For United Way, events such as Neighborhood Reborn demonstrate the power of collective impact — how individuals and organizations can come together to enact long-term solutions to the problems that plague their communities.
And most importantly, by encouraging further social and economic engagement with neglected parts of Akron, projects like “Neighborhood Reborn” can have a lasting effect well beyond a handful of city blocks.
The response to “Neighborhood Reborn” has been overwhelmingly positive. With Day of Action still weeks away, the project has met its recruitment goal and is now closed to new volunteers. The KaBOOM! playground build project is still in need of volunteers. Readers can find out more and sign-up to volunteer at www.uwsummit.org/kaboom.