NeighborWorks Week is here! Staff members at NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley are in agreement that this year’s signature week holds special significance. If the last year and a half has left any lasting impressions on us here in Little Rhody, it’s the importance of personal relationships and community.
Facing a global pandemic for the first time since 1918 reinvigorated the nation’s spirit of neighbors helping neighbors. While systemic issues of crime, racism, and poverty have plagued us for decades, the emergence of COVID-19 was an unknown that the world had no updated guide book on how to navigate. Families, individuals, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community members, all had nowhere to turn—except to one another.
“When neighborhoods and communities can rise above their differences, to rally and unite,” NWBRV Director of Resource Development and Communications Meg Rego said, “Massive global and nationwide issues that can feel abstract and overwhelming become tangible, approachable problems. That’s why all of us at NWBRV look forward each year to NeighborWorks Week. It’s such an affirmation of what communities can accomplish when they come together as one.”
Founded in 1983, NeighborWorks Week is an annual week of service where NWBRV and other nationally recognized NeighborWorks organizations across the United States highlight neighborhood change and awareness by hosting a variety of events aimed towards education and training.
From June 5 to June 12 NWBRV will hold a number of events in to celebrate this important week including a Millrace Music Series concert on Friday, June 11 at 6 pm. Taking place at 40 South Main Street in Woonsocket, this outdoor, family friendly, free concert will feature the Eastern Medicine Singers, a local Algonquin drum group dedicated to keeping the Eastern Woodlands American Indian culture alive. During intermission, concert goers can enjoy a free, family friendly raffle, and will as the first to hear our lineup for the 2021 Levitt AMP Woonsocket Music Series.
“As a celebration and thank you to our neighbors we’ll be holding a free raffle,” Resident Service Coordinator and Americorp Member Jamila Ramos explained. “The first two are $25 gift cards. One is to Walmart, the other is to Ollies Pizzeria. The other three baskets will be worth of up to $50 and are geared towards family and the great outdoors!”
Event attendees can also take advantage of an indoor Pfizer vaccine clinic for ages 12 and up, which will be hosted by the RI Department of Health and National Guard.
A Fast Track to HomeOwnership Class, offered by the HOC, will be held Saturday, June 12. Ideal for first time home buyers, this informative two-session series runs participants through all the basics of home ownership. Class materials will be provided upon registration and payment.
Here at NWBRV, we recognize that NeighborWorks Week is a time to both give back and engage with our incredible communities, as well as recognize the thousands of individuals and groups who continuously aid us in our mission. It’s often the unsung heroes who embody the spirit of NeighborWorks Week the most, this year being no exception. At a time when construction material costs have increased exponentially, the folks at Douglas Lumber have proven themselves to be no less than affordable housing heroes.
“Holding materials pricing, even when it takes months to get an affordable housing project into construction, and then being patient as we run a bureaucratic gauntlet to pay those bills, may not be the most lucrative business model, but it is certainly helping to produce more affordable housing in Northern Rhode Island” shared Joe Garlick, Executive Director of NWBRV. “I can’t say enough about Douglas Lumber’s commitment to our work and helping us fulfill our mission to make affordable housing opportunities available throughout the Region.”