Neighborhood Trash Becomes Treasures

You know the old saying, “One man's trash is another man’s treasure?”

Well, according to this story in Elevation DC, one neighborhood’s trash has truly become treasure for a local artist residing in Shaw.

This inspiring story details how one DC neighborhood resident has helped his community in a unique way. Instead of simply accepting the trash-filled parks, he went out and did something about it-- he made art out of the trash he collected. Here at DC Action for Children, our 2012 DC KIDS COUNT data book is based on this similar philosophy of a neighborhood focus to improve outcomes for children and families. This story is evidence that something as simple as picking up litter on the playground across the street has the potential to result in something beautiful -- such as this man’s art and clean playgrounds for children.

Some DC neighborhoods have many assets that enrich children’s lives. Children can safely play outside, go to the library and enjoy a healthy dinner from a nearby restaurant. However, other DC neighborhoods are characterized by high poverty and the many challenges that come with it, including poorer performing schools, more violent crime and less access to resources like healthy food, safe libraries and clean parks. In order to improve the chances for current health, safety and well-being of all of our children, we must make sure every neighborhood has the necessary assets for children to thrive.

Now we’re not asking you to go pick up trash, but there are other ways you can help all of DC’s children:

Step 1: Look at your neighborhood.

Does it have these places to learn, play, get healthy, and do business available for children? These places include safe schools, libraries, parks, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, banks, shops and restaurants.

Step 2: If not, do something about it.

•    If you’re a nonprofit service provider, can you maintain or expand your services in areas that need them most?

•    If you’re a politician or city leader, can you allocate funds for investment in these neighborhoods that will create the needed assets? Can you provide incentives for private investors and businesses to come into these neighborhoods?

•    If you’re an advocate, whether you work with a nonprofit or just on behalf of your community, look at your own neighborhood and figure out what assets it needs. Use our data to advocate with city leaders, nonprofits, the school board, businesses, or others to build what you need in your neighborhood.

Step 3: Join us in our efforts.

DC Action for Children is leading the way by creating an innovative neighborhood-based approach and producing data in a way that can be easily understood.

We would love to have your support.

Leave us a comment and tell us what neighborhood you live in.                                       

What types of assets does your neighborhood have? What is lacking? 

                                                                                                                                   

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