On Saturday, March 9th, the Love My Neighbor! Grassroots Grantmaking Comittee (GGC) and Neighborhood Allies Staff had the opportunity to visit each of the neighborhoods that we serve. The excursion allowed GGC members and staff alike to become re-energized by the work taking place already and focus on the continuing needs of our communities as Love My Neighbor! grant applications continue rolling in.
With Josette Fitzgibbons, Neighborhood Business District Manager at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), as our guide, we learned about the history, past and present revitalization efforts, challenges, and assets of each unique neighborhood as we made our way across the city on one of Molly’s famous trolleys. In addition, each GGC member shared invaluable community knowledge about their own neighborhoods with the group, bringing to light the wonderful grassroots efforts taking place. Because the GGC is comprised of a wide variety of engaged residents from each of our target geographies, their expertise allows them to make decisions on Love My Neighbor! grant submissions that are truly by residents, for residents. Further, they bring value to the Neighborhood Allies team that is unmatched, inspiring us to make resident-informed investments in all of our grantmaking processes.
“The true need, will, and desire of the communities shines through in the grants that are submitted to our Love My Neighbor! program. The GGC is well equipped to review and make decisions based on extensive neighborhood knowledge, small grantmaking experience, and never-ending passion for creating positive change in our communities.”
– Stephanie Chernay, Chief Operating Officer
During our tour, we also stopped in at Everday Cafe in Homewood and the Millvale Community Library in Millvale, two vital community gathering spaces where long-time residents, grassroots leaders, and other community members meet to share ideas, spark engagement, and encourage community ownership over neighborhood change.
Overall, this immersive learning experience will aid the GGC in making resident-informed decisions on Love My Neighbor! applications and will push our team to continue building and maintaining healthy neighborhoods by supporting the people, organizations and partnerships striving to make it happen.