TAKE 5: Sanford Block Party bent on beautification

Apr. 24, 2014 @ 05:02 AM

Today, we Take 5 with Chad Spivey about the Sanford Block Party, a cleanup event set for Saturday. Spivey, a Nationwide Insurance associate agent, is the project coordinator for this year’s cleanup, which will focus on nine homes along Hawkins Avenue from Weatherspoon Street to Hill Avenue. Spivey is also a member of First Baptist Church, serves as a board member for Communities in Schools and Parks and Recreation and is a Jonesboro Rotarian.

What was the genesis for the idea to work on beautification in East Sanford?

Former mayor Cornelia Olive wanted to see more people in Sanford getting involved in their community and volunteering to help each other. She wanted to foster neighbors helping neighbors and ultimately assembled a housing task force to include community leaders to accomplish this task. The avenues are significant corridors for Sanford, and we want to portray a good impression for those visiting the area. This is expected to be an event that will improve the community and change lives in a positive way. Besides the cosmetic work performed on the homes, we want to fellowship with the residents and foster a sense of community.


Who’s involved in the Sanford Block Party?

The city’s housing task force comprised of many community leaders and approximately 100 volunteers will participate in the neighborhood cleanup, which will begin at 8 a.m. and end by 3 p.m. on Saturday. Jimmy Tucker, Cleo Blue and I are coordinating the event. Volunteers will meet at Love, Faith and Fellowship Deliverance Center next to the Hawkins Avenue Grill at 8 a.m. that morning. Representatives of Love, Faith, and Fellowship Deliverance Center, First Presbyterian Church and the Salvation Army have met with the residents of Hawkins Avenue to get to know them, ask them about any spiritual needs and let them know about the event. They are also to participate during the event.

In addition, the city’s Code Enforcement staff contacted property owners and occupants about the event. The section of Hawkins Avenue from Weatherspoon Street to Hill Avenue will be blocked off by the city’s street department and local law enforcement. There will also be barricades at McGill Street.

First Baptist Church will provide a light breakfast at 8 a.m. Lunch will be provided for the workers and residents, too. The food has been donated by several local businesses. In addition, many local businesses donated items for the event — including plants, shrubs, gravel, wood, paint, food and drinks.

If you would like to be a part of this event, contact me at (919) 774-1677 or come on out at 8 on Saturday morning. No specific skills are needed to volunteer, just a willingness to help others. Please bring basic yard tools such as a shovel, rake, weed eater, etc. All other materials will be provided. All ages are welcome at the event.


What kinds of work will be performed on Saturday?

We’ll do the landscaping (trimming, planting new bushes, planting trees, etc.), minor rehab work on houses (replacing railings, steps), and exterior painting.


What responsibility do the homeowners and residents have as the work’s done?

We have invited the property owners and residents to participate in the event. Both are encouraged to keep up their homes to maintain the hard work volunteers put into them. One thing we learned from previous years is that the residents need to water the new plants so they take root and survive the hot summer and take pride in the houses that they call home!


What’s next for this task force?

We hope to continue our efforts next spring on other Sanford streets and/or specifically target a few houses for a more extensive project.