FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
North Braddock Boards Up Blight with 40 Student Volunteers
NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa., April 09, 2015 – North Braddock’s local Community Development Corporation (CDC), North Braddock Cares, Inc. (NBC), will host 30 student volunteers from Slippery Rock University (SRU) and 10 from Penn State University (PSU) Greater Allegheny Campus for a day of service on Saturday, April 18, 2015. The students will take part in NBC’s “Board Up” project, an effort to clean up properties that are in violation of Borough Codes.
In partnership with the North Braddock Code Enforcement Officer, the Volunteer Fire Department and Borough Council, NBC has accessed a list of vacant or abandoned properties that are in violation of Borough Codes and need to be cleaned up and secured. SRU and PSU students will work to board up and beautify the properties in teams throughout the day, pulling up weeds and overgrowth and securing doors and windows with wooden boards.
“With over 300 vacant homes in North Braddock, volunteer weekends like these are crucial to making progress toward securing the properties,” said NBC Board Member and North Braddock resident, Terry Stell. “On April 18, our group of volunteers will tackle over 40 properties to make sure weeds are removed and boards are securing all windows and doors.”
NBC has cultivated strong borough support for the Board Up project, collecting numerous donations from borough entities, including $200 from the Volunteer Fire Department, $500 from Borough Council, and donations of wooden boards from several sources. These funds will supplement the remaining funds from a PNC grant previously awarded to NBC for the Board Up project.
The relationship with SRU and community service organizations date back to 1998 as SRU professor Dick Wukich looked to develop a relationship between his university and his hometown. From the beginning, Terry and Denise Stell have spearheaded organizing bi-annual Mini “CareBreaks” in the community. This spring, the Stells are working with Alex Rizzutto at SRU and Erin O’Malley at PSU to plan a successful service day.
“Participating in this service day means a lot to me because I’m from Pittsburgh,” said Tori Hill, freshman at SRU. “It’s a great opportunity to be able to give back to my city.”
NBC looks for projects that will not only have a significant impact on the community, but will also hold significance for the students who give freely of themselves for a weekend to help better our communities. They want the students to feel that they are making a difference and that they will want to return to help again in the future.
“I have been volunteering in North Braddock for two years now,” said Emily Murasso, sophomore at SRU. “It is an excellent opportunity to build and be part of a community.”
Materials and tools still needed include: drills, weed whackers, eye protection, screws, and more wood. If you are interested in donating any of these items, please contact Terry Stell at 412-719-5103 to make arrangements.
Students will be working on the Board Up project from approximately 10AM to 5PM on Saturday, April 18.
About North Braddock Cares, Inc.
North Braddock Cares, Inc. (NBC) is Community Development Corporation consisting of citizens, public officials, and business owners who are working to revitalize North Braddock. NBC knows that people are the strength of any community, and their monthly meetings provide an open environment for members to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the area and to harness the energy needed to bring about positive change. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-Braddock-Cares-Inc/111488438928227?fref=ts
Terry Stell, Board Member
North Braddock Cares, Inc.