« Back to news

National Poverty Center helps 'makeover' Detroit

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On a rainy Saturday morning in May, nine National Poverty Center (NPC) staff, faculty, and friends met at Detroit's Bushnell Congregational Church for a day of muddy, but fun, volunteer service. Shawn Pelak, a regular Detroit volunteer and program manager for the NPC, recruited her co-workers as part of the Motor City Makeover, an annual event organized by the city of Detroit during which volunteers clean up local neighborhoods.

The NPC group joined other volunteers in an effort organized by the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation, a non-profit group of community members dedicated to improving the area's physical environment to help create a stronger and more vital community. The Makeover volunteers were assigned tasks to help beautify the grounds of the church, which hosts a weekly farmers' market. Through the drizzle, NPC volunteers cleaned landscaping beds, dug trenches for mulch, trimmed shrubs, mowed lawns, and pulled weeds.

Detroit has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, and the NPC often conducts research in Detroit and the surrounding areas. As Pelak explained, "this was a great opportunity for us to help a community that our research touches and we look forward to next year."

  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/01-Greg-Levine.jpg

    Greg Levine

    Greg Levine
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/02-Sarah-Burgard-and-Sheldon-Danziger.jpg

    Sarah Burgard and Sheldon Danziger

    Sarah Burgard and Sheldon Danziger
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/03-Victor-Fanucchi.jpg

    Victor Fanucchi

    Victor Fanucchi
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/04-Patrick-Wightman.jpg

    Patrick Wightman

    Patrick Wightman
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/05-Sheldon-Danziger-and-David-Parent.jpg

    Sheldon Danziger and David Parent

    Sheldon Danziger and David Parent
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/06-Kristin-Seefeldt.jpg

    Kristin Seefeldt

    Kristin Seefeldt
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/07-The-pastor-of-Bushnell-Congregational-Church-and-Sandy-Danziger.jpg

    The pastor of Bushnell Congregational Church and Sandy Danziger

    The pastor of Bushnell Congregational Church and Sandy Danziger
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/08-Sheldon-Danziger.jpg

    Sheldon Danziger

    Sheldon Danziger
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/09-Parking-lot-of-Bushnell-Congregational-Church,-home-of-a-Thursday-farmers-market.jpg

    Parking lot of Bushnell Congregational Church, home of a Thursday farmers market

    Parking lot of Bushnell Congregational Church, home of a Thursday farmers market
  • /images/slideshows/10-npc-volunteer/10-The-National-Poverty-Center-and-friends.jpg

    The National Poverty Center and friends

    The National Poverty Center and friends