Republic Services finds innovative ways to support neighbourhood revitalization amid pandemic
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Republic Services is finding innovative ways to support neighbourhood revitalization efforts across the country through its charitable foundation's National Neighborhood Promise (NNP) program.
In February, the Republic Services Charitable Foundation announced $2 million in grants to a total of 24 projects in communities where the company's employees live and work.
"During this unprecedented time, it's more important to us than ever to take care of the communities we serve," said Catharine Ellingsen, Republic Services executive vice president and president of the Republic Services Charitable Foundation. "Our National Neighborhood Promise projects may look different today compared to how we planned them, but we remain committed to helping revitalize places and spaces in need."
Through the NNP program, the foundation partners with select nonprofit organizations to directly support neighborhood revitalization work. The foundation supports these efforts through granted funds, donated products and services, and, traditionally, volunteer opportunities for employees.
Examples of Republic's impact this year through NNP include:
- In Houston, Avenue Community Development Corp. is working to revitalize eight schools in the Northline neighborhood. Originally, a workday was planned for 100-plus volunteers, however the organization quickly shifted gears and subcontractors agreed to safely complete many of the projects during the necessary timeframe. When it's safe to return to in-person schooling, students will be welcomed by new landscaping, outdoor learning spaces with a pergola and tables, and a Monarch butterfly habitat, as well as lessons in recycling and recyclable art.
- Rebuilding Together Metro Chicago is supporting Chicago Youth Programs (CYP) through its NNP project, with a renovation of the Community Center of Washington Park/Englewood, a facility that serves 400 at-risk youth. Subcontractors have removed and replaced the deteriorated gymnasium floor, removed an unused stage structure and built a gym storage room; outside, they've repaired the fence and security gate. When it's safe for volunteers to gather, the Republic team will work on landscaping and refinishing picnic tables as well as interior painting.
- In Revere, Mass., The Neighborhood Developers (TND) redirected some of its funding into emergency assistance for local residents affected by the pandemic. Families received support for rent, utility payments or other essential needs. The majority of the NNP support will still be focused on TND's planned improvements to Sandler Square, the heart of a multicultural neighborhood that aims to host a Moroccan-inspired nighttime market.
- In Daly City, Calif., Rebuilding Together Peninsula worked with subcontractors to install an accessibility ramp and adaptable walkways at General Pershing State Preschool, which provides pre-kindergarten programs for young children. These improvements will improve accessibility to classrooms and the playground for wheelchairs and strollers. A garden and landscaping project with Republic Services volunteers is planned for the spring.
- Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun in Phoenix reacted to the urgent need by providing care kits to 350 families in the Estrella neighborhood. These kits included reusable masks, paper goods and cleaning supplies to help families stay safe during the pandemic. In the spring, improvements are planned to Heart of Isaac Community Center, including creation of a youth computer lab that will help with remote learning. Republic Services volunteers also will renovate and restock the center's food pantry.