The ninth annual Sanford Block Party, a volunteer event aimed at beautifying city neighborhoods, is set for Saturday in the neighborhood surrounding Temple ballpark at Seventh and McIver streets.
The Block Party began in 2011 as a public-private partnership to address blighted areas and by last year boasted more than 200 volunteers and community leaders painting the interior and exterior areas of homes, trimming and landscaping, repairing woodwork and more.
This year’s event is set in a neighborhood in which the city hopes to see revitalized through the incentivization of private owners to reinvest in area properties.
Sanford Community Development Manager Karen Kennedy and John Ramsperger of Sanford Real Estate have been involved with the effort since its first year, and Bill Huggins with Jonesboro United Methodist Church has been involved for the last five. In all, it takes about 6 months of planning and a committee of 10 people to plan and execute.
“The Block Party encourages people in Sanford and Lee County to become involved in their community and volunteer to help each other,” Kennedy said. “Many homes are neglected and the pride of ownership that was once a goal for many has slipped away over the years. Besides the cosmetic work performed on the homes, another goal is to fellowship with the residents and foster a sense of community in the area.”
Volunteers will meet at the ball field around 8 a.m., and work begins by 9. All who participate will be served lunch, and work is usually over by 2 p.m. All ages are welcome, and no skills are required to participate.
Anyone interested in volunteering or donating supplies or money can contact Huggins at (919) 356-5109.