Through intentional investments, residents also set up a community shed with shared gardening and landscaping tools and storage space. The Descendants utilized the equipment to create summer jobs for young people in the neighborhood, like providing lawn care and street cleaning. Another local nonprofit, Change Today Change Tomorrow, which helps provide healthy food to the neighborhood and hosts community baby showers, was able to use the shed for storage when they were transitioning to another location.
“What makes us unique is that we’re building that partnership and relationship with grassroots organizations and saying, ‘We trust you. We know that you can do this. We know what you’re already doing, and we want to expand and build on what you’re already doing,’” Readus said.
We also focused on key partnerships with Brown-Forman, Heaven Hill, Louisville Metro Government, and the Center for Neighborhoods to form collective investments and action. We will continue our work with these partners to make sure we are informed and aligned with the plans and that we share and that we wield our power and resources to realize neighborhood aspirations.
All in all, in our first year, Metro United Way invested $516,136 into the California neighborhood. Going forward, 25% of our entire community investment budget will go to neighborhood-centered investments. As laid out above, this approach is rooted in trust-based philanthropy, which recognizes that resident-led grassroots organizations are powerful changemakers in community.
Thriving Kids | Strong Households | Equitable Community