Rocking the Block crews fix up homes
Published 9:32 am Monday, August 12, 2013
Shinefest is this week in Albert Lea
Volunteers kicked off a week full of service in the community Saturday with renovations at one Albert Lea home.
As part of Rocking the Block and Shinefest week, crews began taking off old shingles on the roof of a garage on Frank Hall Drive belonging to Patti Groe, a mother of three children ages 9, 13 and 17.
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Crews will be at three other houses — on St. Joseph Avenue, S.E. Marshall Street and James Avenue — this week as well.
“I’m definitely excited, and I’m so glad,” Groe said. “It’s absolutely amazing how people come together and help other people.”
The housing projects, called Rocking the Block, are made possible through a collaboration with Shinefest, the Albert Hea Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the United Way of Freeborn County and Habitat for Humanity.
Groe said she found out she was selected for the project about three or four months ago. She had applied for a Small Cities Development grant through the HRA, but when the HRA did not receive funding for the program this year, someone told her about the Rocking the Block initiative. The HRA and the United Way selected the families to benefit based on need.
Chuck Avery, project manager of the Frank Hall Drive renovations, said volunteers will be shingling the family’s unattached garage, tearing off gutters and replacing soffit and facia, painting the side of the house and installing a few new windows on the southwest corner of the house.
They are trying to resolve a mold problem that Groe has been facing inside the house.
Avery said the projects are made possible through several donations from area businesses in the community, along with volunteers who are donating labor.
In addition to the housing projects, there are a half dozen other projects taking place this week for Shinefest.
“It’s very fulfilling,” said organizer Jim Troe. “To show the love of Christ in practical ways is easy for people to understand.”
This past Saturday, there was a Community Sew Day at the Senior Center at Skyline Plaza, where community members were invited to bring their sewing machines to make quilts that will be given out at a neighborhood picnic on Saturday.
This coming Saturday, there will be a blood drive, a back-to-school shop and a free oil change for families in need at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds.
The blood drive begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Fairlane Building.
The back-to-school shop will include clothes sizes 6 through high school and will run from 9 a.m. to noon.
Oil changes will also be from 9 a.m. to noon at the fairgrounds. The oil changes are free of charge but people must bring their own filter.
The week concludes Saturday with a neighborhood picnic at Frank Hall Park from 4 to 8 p.m.
Troe encouraged people to participate and exercise their talents to help others in need in the community.
“It’s a ministry that speaks a lot louder than the ministry that goes on inside the church,” he said.
To volunteer, call the United Way of Freeborn County at 373-8670.
• Blood drive: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Fairlane Building, Freeborn County Fairgrounds.
• Back-to-school shop: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Freeborn County Fairgrounds. Donated clothes size 6 through high school age will be given free of charge.
• Oil changes: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Freeborn County Fairgrounds.
• Neighborhood picnic: 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Frank Hall Park. Family games from 4 to 5:30 p.m., a hog roast from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and a worship service from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• Rocking the Block: All week at four locations across town. Call the United Way of Freeborn County at 373-8670 to sign up to volunteer.