Today’s guest bloggers are Simone Sampson and Charles Dannett of the City Year New York Civic Engagement (NYCE) Team. They are current service leaders and alumni of the City Year New York corps. The NYCE Team supports our corps members’ work with students in schools by planning and implementing physical service events for corporate and community groups.
It’s October, the leaves are changing, and the weather has started to become more brisk. People are ready to dress up for Halloween and the holiday season is just around the corner. Another exciting aspect of October is Alcoa’s Worldwide Month of Service! It’s an exciting time, where thousands of Alcoa employees give their time to make a difference in communities all over the world. Alcoa, a mining, manufacturing and innovation company, has supported City Year’s mission for 8 years and sponsors two teams, PS 48 and MS 424 in the Hunts Point community of the South Bronx.
In the spirit of Alcoa’s month of service, Alcoa employees joined City Year for an impactful day of volunteerism. Yesterday, Alcoa partnered with City Year and the students from MS 424. Together they provided over 54 hours of service to transform a local park.
The service event took place at the Bedrock Park which is a recreational area and garden that is owned by the Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY). MHANY is an organization committed to increasing affordable housing opportunities for low and moderate income families. The organization not only assists families to obtain housing but also works with current residents of their buildings to improve community conditions and increase neighborhood participation.
Bedrock Park was unkempt and housed a deteriorating playground that was deemed too dangerous for children to play on. Alcoa provided the people power necessary to transform the park by constructing planter boxes, tree guards, painting chess boards on community tables, landscaping, and installing two barbeque pits. After their hard work, the park was much improved and ready for use. However, there still remained the issue of the deteriorating playground.
During his closing remarks, Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa announced a surprise donation from Alcoa Foundation to MHANY, providing them with the opportunity to purchase a new playground. “Partnering with City Year is a source of great pride for Alcoa, and we are excited to contribute our time and dollars to create a fun and safe place to play for the children of MS 424,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, who presented the $10,000 generous gift to MHANY. Alcoa was able to not only transform a park but also assist MHANY in one of its organizational goals to unite residents and improve a community. The BBQ pit, chess boards and playground will provide a place for residents to join together as a community. The planter boxes provide extra gardening space for the residents of the MHANY housing development.