ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Project Facelift is complete. Thursday afternoon clean up crews held a celebration in the parking lot of the New Zion Baptist Church. For the past three days nearly 200 volunteers from from Joplin, Missouri were in town cleaning up homes along Lincoln Avenue. This is the fourth year for Project Facelift.
Kylie O’Conner-Fry is eager to get her hands dirty, volunteering in Rockford for Project Facelift.
The 12-year-old and 11 members of her youth group from Palos Heights are some of the volunteers who have taken over Lincol Avenue for this year’s clean up.
“As we work together, little things put together to make big things, so I’m hoping this will give the homeowners some pride in their property and more than anything feel the love and care of strangers for them,” said Laura Barkley, the Pastor at Palos Heights, UMC.
Last year’s site was on Salter Avenue. Fast-forward to now, and trash sits in the street and weeds have sprung up at homes that had been worked on. Organizers with Project Facelift acknowledge some of their work was in vain, but it points to a bigger problem across the city.
“There are some houses that had renters in them that are unoccupied, not what have fallen into disrepair. It speaks to the issue of homeownership and building up the percentage of homeowners to renters.”
The adult leaders say the biggest impact of the project may not be on the homes, but on the young volunteers like Kylie.
“If you give them a cause, I haven’t seen anyone work as hard as these young people.”
More than 200 workers from local and out of town church groups are taking part in Project Facelift. If you want to help out, organizers say to stop at New Zion Church on Salter Avenue tomorrow and Thursday and they’ll put you to work.