ARISE Detroit!’s annual Neighborhoods Day will look a little different this year.
The theme for the Saturday, August 1 event is “Stay Safe: Create in Your Space.” The 14th annual community involvement day will emphasize public safety while still offering churches, block clubs and community groups the opportunity to celebrate their neighborhood pride.
It will promote social distancing with front porch events and small volunteer projects and will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in neighborhoods all over Detroit.
Traditionally, the massive community service day features more than 100 events that draw large crowds, including volunteer projects, art and music festivals, school supply giveaways, and much more.
However, due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the nonprofit coalition of community groups has come up with a plan that will still draw the community together and lift the spirits of Detroiters during a time when it is so critically needed.
Under the Stay Safe: Create In Your Space theme, ARISE Detroit! is urging residents to move their events to their homes — on front porches, lawns, sidewalks or driveways.
Musicians can play music on their front porch. Artists can display their work on the sidewalk. Kids can play chalk games or have other activities in their driveways or backyards. School supplies can be given away on a drive-through and curbside pickup basis. Individual blight removal and beautification of homes and businesses will be limited to no more than 10 volunteers who practice social distancing with face masks and gloves.
Neighborhoods Day is particularly significant this year because of the current health environment and the concerns about social justice sweeping the nation, according to ARISE Detroit! Executive Director Luther Keith.
“We need to uplift our neighborhoods now more than ever,” says Keith. “We’ve seen how much power people have when they pull together for a cause – whether it’s unifying to support their neighbors and businesses in the wake of COVID-19 or unifying to declare that black lives matter. Detroiters have been and can be the change they wish to see. This Neighborhoods Day event is a reminder that our communities are most powerful when they are united. Detroiters deserve a chance to celebrate and enhance the beauty and resilience of their city.”
Groups can register for Neighborhoods Day for $25 at www.arisedetroit.org. Registered groups will receive custom made yard signs with the names of their organizations, cleanup bags for blight removal projects, marketing support and other incentives. The registration deadline is July 15.
Neighborhoods Day participants are urged to practice social distancing and refrain from events that would draw large crowds. Churches, block clubs and community groups can register and have their neighborhood networks engage in a variety of activities, many of them in their own spaces, homes, businesses, etc. This can be done without crowds.
Examples of possible Neighborhoods Day activities include:
- Individual blight removal and beautification of homes and businesses with no more than 10 volunteers practicing social distancing with face masks and gloves
- Homeowners spruce up and beautification projects, such as painting, mowing lawns, and planting trees, flowers or shrubs
- Giveaways of school supplies using curbside pickups, instead of groups gathering to distribute supplies
- Front porch, front lawn or backyard parties, barbecues, picnics and celebrations
- Musicians’ Challenge: Neighborhood musicians playing on front porches or lawns, and DJs playing music on front porches
- Children’s sidewalk games, chalk drawing, or other activities at home
- Neighborhood block dancing to music in front of homes or in driveways
- Artists’ Challenge: Local artists can display their paintings, sculptures and other artwork in front of homes and businesses
- Serve A Senior: Young people and others can perform a service for a senior citizen, such as painting their house, sprucing up their garden, food delivery, etc.
- Social distance bicycle rides
- Concerts with attendees in cars, like drive-in movie theaters
Now is a great time to sign up, make a difference and create a safe neighborhood environment. Register here.