SAGINAW (WJRT) - (06/26/18) - Volunteers from around the Great Lakes Bay Region have converged on an East Side Saginaw neighborhood to make a big impact in a short amount of time.
The effort is called, "One Week, One Street". It began after Tamara Klida of Auburn made a trip to Saginaw High School for a sports camp for her son. Around the same time they had gone to Tennessee for a mission trip.
Klida said she realized there was a need for volunteer work close to home.
"It's not just cosmetic. I think it's a spirit work too. And it provides hope and let's people know that the community cares about them," Klida said. "The turnout is incredible. I love how so many people love their neighbors."
This year's focus is on Webber Street leading up to Saginaw High School.
Juanita Drake has noticed the transformation throughout the entire neighborhood. On a regular basis she works to make the neighborhood more beautiful and safer as part of the Fairground Neighborhood Association.
Drake has volunteered with the "One Week, One Street" effort for a few years. "Someone has to start and that's all that's needed. Someone to start and then the other work will just follow," she said.
Jeri Hawkins volunteered for the first time last year.
This year her home is getting some much needed TLC.
"Just them trimming that, that's probably about $3,000 or $4,000 right there. Didn't have it," Hawkins said.
Trimming the tree and hauling it to the curb, together with the kindness of strangers, gave her a whole new perspective. "It's going to transform the way we think about out neighborhood," Hawkins said.
The hope is to unite neighbors, possibly reduce crime, and create a new sense of pride.
"It means a lot. So when I come outside I can say they didn't do it, we did it," Hawkins said.
Throughout the week Klida and other organizers expect bout 500 volunteers, many who volunteer each day. A number of the volunteers come from churches around the region.