Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to ensure that everyone has a decent, safe place to live. Fox Cities Habitat’s Rock the Block program helps us fulfill that mission by providing low-income residents the opportunity to fix up their homes while adding safety features, reducing hazards and increasing pride in their home within the community. These repairs and enhancements are made affordable by reducing costs through volunteer labor and by offering a 0% deferred loan for homeowners.
Homeowners may have the means to pay their mortgage and home utilities, but sometimes lack the funds or physical ability for necessary home maintenance projects. Many residents are elderly and can’t take care of landscaping, maintain porches and railings or even afford new windows which help with energy efficiency and possibly eliminate mold risks.
Community spaces such as parks and nature trails also benefit from this event through landscaping, mulch, gravel and many other green space projects. Our most recent event was held from Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 in Menasha and Fox Crossing. Over 160 volunteers, many who were employees of generous sponsors, put in hundreds of hours working on more than 20 projects throughout the community. They worked side-by-side with homeowners and the Fox Cities Habitat Senior Crew to accomplish these projects.
Watch the video below to see a Rock the Block event in action!
Grace, a Menasha resident, is an 80-year-old widow who has been on her own for the past several years. Her home is well maintained, but her yard had fallen to the wayside. Her little dog had found a way under the fence and became an escape artist. Volunteers worked many hours trimming trees, removing bushes, pulling overgrown weeds and installing much-needed fencing to her current wooden fence, removing any opportunity that her pooch would sneak under the fence for a run around the neighborhood.
Grace started a memorial garden five years ago after her husband passed away from a very brief illness, but was unable to keep up with the weeding. She now has a beautiful sanctuary where she can rest and relax and enjoy her yard while having the peace of mind knowing that her dog can’t find a way to sneak under the old fence.
Emily works at Plexus in Neenah, and had the opportunity to take a day to volunteer at Rock the Block. This was her first time volunteering at Rock the Block, and she wanted a way to honor her father, who had passed away a month ago. She knew he supported Habitat, and she wanted to do something that would make him proud. By donating her time and skills, Emily helped out with several landscaping projects. She said by giving service to someone else, she was able to feel good as well.
Andy has volunteered as a Senior Crew member for four years and helps at Rock the Block because he enjoys meeting the homeowners and getting to work with them, since they may not be able to keep up with the overgrowth of weeds and yard work. It’s rewarding for him to work with the homeowners and volunteers, and he looks forward to many more opportunities.
Rock the Block, and all our programs, wouldn’t be possible without the unwavering support of our volunteers, our donors and sponsors, our homeowners and our staff. We’d like to give a special shout out to the sponsors who support our Rock the Block efforts:
- Community First Credit Union
- Miron Construction Co.
- Theda & Tamblin Clark Smith Family Foundation
- United Way Fox Cities
- David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund*
- Great Northern Corp.
- J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc.
- Amcor Cares Foundation
- Bergstrom Corp.
- Bank of Kaukauna
- Capital Credit Union Charitable Giving Fund*
- Jewelers Mutual Charitable Giving Fund*
- Menasha Corp. Foundation
- Oshkosh Corp. Foundation
- Prospera Foundation Fund*
- Robert and Lynne Keller**
- Seifert Family Fund*
- The Boldt Company
- U.S. Venture/Schmidt Family Foundation, Inc.
- WE Energies Foundation
- Bassett Charitable Fund*
- Charlie and Beverly Goff
- William and Trudy Staskal
- WOW Logistics
- ARC Contracting
- City of Menasha
- The Du Chateau/Pawlowski Fund
- Menasha Utilities
- Village of Fox Crossing
*Funds within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region
What does a Community Foundation do? Glad you asked! Learn more here.