By LESLIE COLLINS
March 13, 2013
The Sheffield neighborhood will receive a little extra help this Saturday for its neighborhood clean-up. Eight team members of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) are partnering with the neighborhood to focus on three clean-up areas within a five block radius.
AmeriCorps NCCC participants traveled from the Southwest Region campus in Denver, Colo., to Kansas City in January and are working with the Kansas City CASH Coalition to provide free tax preparation assistance for residents whose annual income totals $51,000 or less.
Part of the AmeriCorps NCCC program also includes organizing service day projects, and cleaning up the Sheffield neighborhood was one of them. The group of 18 to 24-year-olds will complete about four major projects, like the tax preparation assistance, over the course of 10 months and projects focus on rehabilitating low-income housing, providing aid following a natural disaster, urban and rural development, environmental stewardship, among others.
While in Kansas City, the team members have been assisting with recycling at Bridging the Gap, where they met Sheffield Neighborhood Association President Mark Morales.
When the group mentioned they needed to organize a service day project, Morales knew he could help.
“My eyeballs were opening up… I’m like, ‘Hey, we’ve got a chore for you,’” Morales said. “They are such a dynamic group. It’s been a great relationship with them since I met them. They were so enthusiastic and willing to work.”
Jacob Atkins, media representative and AmeriCorps NCCC team member, said they were thankful for Morales’ assistance in organizing a service day project.
While working with AmeriCorps, Atkins said he noticed not all residents take pride in their community and hopes the Sheffield clean-up will spark additional community pride by beautifying the neighborhood.
“We’re trying to make these locations more aesthetically pleasing,” Atkins said.
All are invited to assist with the Sheffield clean-up, which will be held March 16 from 8 a.m. to noon. Clean-up volunteers should meet at the first project location, 5724 E. 12th St., where they will be divided into groups to clean up the designated locations. The first project location will be the future site of the Sheffield community garden and volunteers will clear out brush and small trees in preparation for installing raised beds this spring and fall. Hand tools, such as loppers and hand saws, will be provided. Morales said the neighborhood is hoping for in-kind donations and other volunteer work throughout the year to establish and maintain the garden. For more information about the community garden and how to volunteer, contact Morales, (816) 231-2009.
The second project site is located at Sheffield Park, 1004 Newton, where litter has accumulated due to the park’s low elevation. The third site is located at 6700 Wilson Rd., where volunteers will remove debris and paint over graffiti underneath the railroad underpasses.
Donuts will be available in the morning and lunch will be provided following the clean-up, Morales said.
“They’re (AmeriCorps NCCC) coming in and improving our quality of life by cleaning up the area, cleaning up the grime,” Morales said. “We just want to make the neighborhoods a little more aesthetically pleasing, clean up the trash and hopefully put some more murals up, like at 9th and Hardesty.”
March 16 8 a.m. to noon
Meet at 5724 East 12th St., KCMO
•Work supplies, donuts and lunch will be provided
•Types of work: graffiti abatement, litter removal and brush removal
•All are invited to help