For 19 years the Youngstown, Ohio United Way Chapter has conducted an annual Day of Caring where volunteer work to make neighborhood better around Youngstown. At their most recent event, over 700 people came to help by boarding up and cleaning close to 80 hours on the city’s Market Street Corridor.
According to Roxann Sebest, “At the end of the day the homes are cleaner, trash is picked up and thrown away, vacant houses are boarded up, and the neighborhoods are safer.”
Seventh Ward Council member Anita Davis observed that this projects lifts the spirit of local residents to know that people care about them. Also, once they see what can be, it becomes easier for them to believe that it can always be this way.
Victoria Allen, a resident of a neighborhood from last year, said that getting rid of the blight meant that people were less likely to commit a crime in that neighborhood.
Moreover, both adults and kids feel more positive about their neighborhood and this type of event teaches youth at a young age to care for their local community.