Rebuilding Neighborhoods | In the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the Twin Cities, Urban Homeworks focuses the combined resources of individuals, churches, businesses, government entities and other nonprofits to transform foreclosed, condemned or boarded properties into dignified, quality places to live.
On a sunny July day, a team of Thomson Reuters employees, led by group leader and Urban Homeworks champion Denise Grosse, worked to make the world a brighter (and greener) place by volunteering with UHW for the 5th straight year. The company strives to leverage their volunteer time and giving through matching company funds, encouraging volunteerism in their community. This year, they directed their efforts toward painting the exterior of a single family home on Knox Ave, but their dedication didn’t stop at the home’s surface.
For the second year in a row, volunteer Kathy Miles went the extra mile by transplanting a flavor of her home into the yard of anothers’. She donated plants split from her own garden to add the touch of refinement the property was needing. The positive impact of this new home on its block will blossom in the form of Purple Iris, Tiger Lilies, Hostas, and Japanese Iris. Her beautiful repeat generosity can also be seen at the Thomson Reuter 2013 volunteer site – which, at that time, was just a property under construction.
After finishing the volunteer day, the group drove by the former volunteer site and were met by the Wilson family, who’d recently moved in and turned that property into their home. The fruit of Kathy’s kindness, the hostas and lilies she’d put in the year before, were now thriving...and so was the family. The Wilsons eagerly smiled and waved as they bustled into the car, excited to get to a birthday party for one of their boys. As they drove off, they encouraged us to take as many pictures as we wanted, proud to share the beauty of their home.
It’s a small step, but that’s how it works. Every day, remarkable creativity, dedication and generosity from volunteers leads us to more positive, hope filled communities. Thank you to all our volunteers for your enduring devotion.
Click here for photos of the Thompson Reuters' Volunteer Day and the Wilson Family's beautiful landscaping.