SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Revitalize CDC’s #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild pep rally was held in Springfield on Saturday. The organizations goal is to rebuild and improve homes for people in Springfield.
“It’s nice for us to take the time out of our day and help the people who need it,” expressed Conrad Swanson, a Western New England University Football Player.
According to a news release sent to 22News from Revitalize Community Development Corporation (CDC), their #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild will work on 12 homes and will improve one park in Memorial Square with the help of hundreds of volunteers and 75 supporters all in just one day.
There will also be community resource tables will be set up in the park. Two of the homes that are being helped are owned by military veterans, one who served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War era and a second in the US Army during the Cold War. Five of the homes are owned by families with children and four are owned by seniors.
One of the recipients is David Rios and his family. They recently achieved a long-time dream of buying their own home in Springfield. The family of six consists of David, his wife Jacqueline, and their four daughters with special needs: Kiara, Jada, Valerie Anne, and Iris Edith, and they have been working towards this goal for years.
Another recipient is Elizabeth Meyers, who says she looks forward to improvements with her yard, “Just cleaning up, they have been wonderful! Every one of them is just working their tails off!”
Mayor Domenic Sarno will join Revitalize CDC President and CEO Colleen Loveless and her staff and volunteers at the event at Calhoun Park in the North End neighborhood on Saturday. The event began at 8:30 a.m., according to a news release from the City of Springfield.
Mayor Sarno states, “I want to thank Colleen Loveless, Ethel Griffin, and the dedicated team at Revitalize for the tremendous work they do for our community. My administration is proud to support their great community-focused programs that help our residents and open spaces. This annual GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild program not only helps our low-income residents with home repairs but also cleans up vacant lots, community gardens, and parks, while also bringing together over 2,000 volunteers.”
Revitalize CDC’s mission is making meaningful improvements on homes to help reduce energy use, save money, and create a safe, healthy, and sustainable living environment for residents and the community.
Improvements that they offer include installing or retrofitting HVAC systems, new roofs, energy-efficient windows, doors appliances, water-saving plumbing fixtures, electrical upgrades, mold remediation, lead abatement, pest control, interior and exterior painting, and modifying homes for aging or disabled homeowners, like building exterior access ramps.
The CEO of Revitalize CDC, Colleen Loveless said they are taking on tasks that some residents might not be able to do on their own, “We’re working on front porches, really unsafe and unstable, adding hand railings. We’re doing windows on one house, a lot of yard work, a lot of clean up. Landscaping, all sorts of things across here.”
Since its inception in 1992– Revitalize CDC invested about $54 million dollars into Western Massachusetts. Loveless said it really takes a village to be able to make repairs and improve these homes.
“We were just trying to do some community service, really help out the community, just clean it up, and do a good deed for the day,” added Swanson.
While this is the organizations first time back since COVID, Loveless said about 400 people still came out in the rain to help fix up the Springfield homes.