Greater Toledo Community Foundation (GTCF) sponsored a Rock the Block and Roofing Event in conjunction with Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity and Historic South Initiative on August 19, 2023, as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration. The event primarily took place on South Avenue between Broadway and Sumner Street, and included work at the Sofia Quintero Art & Cultural Center and Ashley Park.

Rock the Blocks are a one-day event that brings people together to lift up a neighborhood and celebrate community. Volunteers gather to complete projects like cleaning up parks, brush trimming, planting flowers and light exterior repair projects. An estimated 100 volunteers from Greater Toledo Community Foundation, Lourdes University and Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity joined together in this work, and completed 17 projects in the neighborhood, which included exterior home maintenance projects at no cost to the homeowners.

“We are incredibly grateful for the partnership and support shown by Greater Toledo Community Foundation and Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity in bringing this project to fruition. This collaboration exemplifies the true spirit of community and demonstrates how we can achieve remarkable impact when we unite for a common cause,” stated Carl Wagner, president of the Board of Historic South Initiative.  “Together, we are empowering the residents of this underserved neighborhood to build a foundation of hope and opportunity, providing them with the tools to transform their lives for the better. This partnership serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to join us in our mission to uplift and revitalize our community, one project at a time.”

In addition, during August and September, GTCF is sponsoring roofing projects where an estimated 20-25 roofs will be replaced, at no cost to homeowners, in this same neighborhood as well as two in the Old West End neighborhood. The roofing project is a collaborative effort among Greater Toledo Community Foundation, Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity and Historic South Initiative. Funds from individual donors, government grants, and in-kind donations will be used to support the project.

“Greater Toledo Community Foundation firmly believes that access to safe and decent housing is a fundamental human right, and it is our responsibility to support communities in need. We are excited about this partnership with Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity and Historic South Initiative as, together, we aim to create transformative change and empower families to build a brighter future for themselves,” said Keith Burwell, president of Greater Toledo Community Foundation. “By working together, we can break the cycle of poverty and help cultivate thriving neighborhoods where every individual can flourish.”

“Preserving homes and creating vibrant livable neighborhoods is critical work that needs to be done in our community,” said Michael McIntyre, executive director of Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity. “We are proud to work alongside the Greater Toledo Community Foundation and the Historic South Initiative who are ensuring revitalization continues in South Toledo and across the entire city. Street by street, block by block, this impactful work makes such a difference.”