On a cloudy Saturday morning, over 350 volunteers gathered at the Lockland Church of the Nazarene to get their assignments. They fanned out into the community, braving the threat of rain, to clear weeds and brush, clean up trash, scrape and paint porches, and make repairs to neighborhood houses. They came from all over Cincinnati to work alongside Lockland residents during Habit For Humanity’s Rock The Block event. “There were lots of Wyoming families there and Lockland families too,” says Margee Moore of Wyoming, co-founder of Lockland Rising. “Plus tons of Miami students, UC students, people from Mason, West Chester and all over.” Wyoming residents played a critical role to the success of the project, providing lunches for the volunteers as well as working in the field.
Rock The Block is an annual neighborhood cleanup day put on by Habitat For Humanity of Greater Cincinnati in partnership with area businesses. “We had four cleanup zones, five neighborhood projects, fifteen residential repairs, and over 300 volunteers,” said Rob Konkol, RepairCorps Coordinator for HFHGC. The repairs and projects were selected from applicants who needed help to spruce up their homes and yards with minor repairs, painting, or landscaping. Volunteers combed the area and disposed of trash and unwanted items. The families whose homes received aid were right alongside the Habitat volunteers as well, working to make the community they want.
Moore says, “The families in the habitat houses have mortgages just like everyone else. We enjoyed seeing a new family with two young daughters take on their new home. That area of Lockland is growing to be a safe and vibrant place for her to raise her kids.”
While some Wyoming volunteers were out getting their hands dirty, many were back in the kitchen at Ascension and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, putting together lunches for everyone…no small task with so many hungry mouths to feed. “It took about twenty people to assemble enough turkey wraps, chips, bananas and bottled water into 360 bagged lunches,” said Don Schmidt, one of the organizers from A&HT. “It was a wonderful time, with everyone working together to help our neighbors. I’m glad A&HT had the resources to help make this event a success.”
Eric Miller, the Rector of A&HT, agreed. “We’ve got a lot going for us in Wyoming, and it’s important that we share that,” he said. “I really enjoy getting outside and putting my feet where my heart is.”
Although the rain began early in the afternoon, Rock The Block achieved its goals for the day, and Margee Moore believes it is a sign of good things to come. “It was a really heartwarming and amazing experience,” she says. “Big things are happening in Lockland.”