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September Change for Change: Building Blocks of Kalamazoo

September's Change for Change supported Building Blocks of Kalamazoo. When you rounded up your purchase at PFC throughout the month of September, your change went toward creating opportunities one block at a time for residents to reclaim and revitalize their neighborhood in areas that experience challenges associated with poverty and disinvestment. Building Blocks provides resident leader training, project seed money, networking opportunities, and on-going organizing to support resident action. Together, PFC shoppers raised $1,057 for Building Blocks of Kalamazoo!

At the heart of Building Blocks is a commitment to empowering residents to take ownership through new connections to resources, community organizations, neighbors, and the government to make things happen. They hope to help facilitate the strengthening of the collective capacity of a resident group in areas and with residents who have been underrepresented in the conversations and decisions surrounding community development. 

They work in the Eastside, Edison, Northside, Oakwood, and Vine neighborhoods of Kalamazoo.

A couple of highlights from their programming:

  • Residents on a Sustained Program site in the Vine Neighborhood established a community garden in 2014 (still active) which has 16 raised beds serving approximately 14 households each year who steward their own plot and two raised beds committed to communal use for anyone passing by or living on the street.

  • Residents on a Sustained Program site in the Eastside Neighborhood helped each other to install solar yard lights in their yards to increase street safety and curb appeal.

For more information on Building Blocks, please visit their website.