Renovation was Good to the Last Drop!
We couldn’t have asked for a better team of people to make this project a success! There’s no way we can thank everyone (from the inkind sponsors, to the churches, to the parking assistance, to many others who quickly agreed to help out), but there are a few who need recognition. First up in our timeline of success: Rebuilding Together of the Carolinas Executive Director Amy Gough. Amy prepared the grant application for us and took many hours to understand our neighbors, our services, and our needs. Over the course of five months, Amy became our best advocate, always reminding others of the project purpose and impact of decisions on our neighbors.
Next and likely the very most crucial team: the Charlotte community and the dedicated ‘horde’ of people who voted for UMC in the Maxwell House Drops of Good Community Project contest. We are still hearing stories about people who voted for us – many asked not by us, but by other advocates for UMC and the homeless. We cannot thank YOU enough for making this happen! We had people vote while on vacation in Australia, from all over the U.S., and I’m sure we will continue to learn of those who played a part in a renovation that was very local, but may have happened because of a global effort. (thanks again!)
Our thanks also to the local Rebuilding Together of the Carolinas Board of Directors who embody the definition of a ‘working board.’ Their dedication, experience, time, and resources made the project go incredibly smoothly. One of their newest members, Robert Price, took the lead, and provided the confidence and leadership everyone needed to accomplish an extensive work scope.
The Rebuilding Together national staff provided wonderful support, gentle guidance and lots of experience with such a large, public project. We also have to thank Maxwell House for taking such interest and providing so much support to community centers across the U.S. Follow their Drops of Good Truck as it moves around the country delivering much needed financial support to centers providing opportunity and hope to a diverse population of children, American Indians, the elderly, and more.
And Trace Adkins volunteering at the Urb--how cool was that?!
Finally, our thanks to the volunteers who came and spent hours (and even days in many cases) in the hot sun helping us to improve our century old Depot building, community garden, and grounds. They did so with smiles on their faces and kindness in their hearts as they tore down, built up, hauled, dug, spread, hammered, and painted, painted, painted!
As a result of this renovation, the Depot is more energy efficient (six sets of doors replaced!) and has had a great interior facelift (paint, floors, bathroom upgrades). ArtWorks 945 has space that no longer looks like the old soup kitchen, but is fit for storing large canvases, precious works of art, and organized supplies. GardenWorks 945 has the opportunity to serve a larger population with table-high raised beds and a vertical garden, the opportunity to extend its growing season with new cold frames, a vehicle for education with a new garden sign, and an opportunity to contribute even more to the Common Grounds Farm Stand with the installation of 10 hydrangea bushes. Not to mention, how great it looks and how inviting the garden feels now! I could go on, there are benches, a new pergola, and more. . .but a picture's worth a thousand words: check out the pics on both the Urban Ministry Center, Charlotte and Rebuilding Together of the Carolinas Facebook pages.
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