For the fifth year, Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity will run a Rock the Block program beginning August 2, but this one will be considerably bigger than the last four — in fact, it’ll be the biggest in American history. Rather than impacting about 25-30 homes, this year’s Rock the Block will provide repairs and upgrades to 100.
The vision is to transform a significant portion of Menasha by improving neighborhoods and engaging communities on a larger scale, according to a press release..
The Menasha School District has the highest percentage of youth living below poverty in the Fox Cities, coming in at 57 percent of its school population. Rock the Block aims to help families and youth improve their quality of life and it’s all done through donated dollars and volunteers.
The price tag to affect those 100 homes is about $1.2 million, according to the press release. John Bergstrom, CEO of Bergstrom Corporation, is leading the fundraising efforts. To reach the goal, $300,000 is still needed before Rock the Block begins on August 2, 2019 to positively impact hundreds of people. All funds raised here stay in the Fox Valley to benefit Habitat for Humanity and its Rock the Block initiative. As with each Rock the Block, volunteers are also needed.
“We know this is an ambitious goal, but we are talking about literally improving the lives of our friends and neighbors,” Bergstrom said in a statement. “Kids in this community deserve better, families deserve better and we can be the change that lifts up our entire community. We are asking for the community’s support to make this happen, we need funds as well as volunteers, especially in the construction trades.”
According to data from past Rock the Block work in Menasha, there were measurable decreases in police calls related to drugs, code violations and even theft.
“Rock the Block transforms neighborhoods and changes lives,” Chief Timothy Styka of the Menasha Police Department said in a statement. “During the Rock the Block renovation process neighbors create relationships with each other that may not have existed previously and as a result they watch out for each other, improving overall crime rates in the area.”
Community members can donate or sign up to volunteer at http://www.foxcitieshabitat.org/.