H&R Block and Nextdoor Support 10 Communities Across America Strengthening Social Connections
This year, the two companies are expanding last year’s impact by continuing their partnership with 10 more community-led projects that help neighbors connect
KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 01, 2021 // GLOBE NEWSWIRE // - For the second year in a row, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) and Nextdoor are bringing to life 10 community-nominated projects to connect, improve, and uplift neighborhoods across the country.
When H&R Block and Nextdoor partnered to support the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati in 2020, they worked with the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation and ArtWorks on a street mural project connecting an elementary school with a community garden. The idea for the project came from Gary Dangel, a food access coordinator for the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation. The garden he supports hosts programming for elementary school students and provides local families with access to fresh produce, and he needed a safe way for students to cross the street. A local artist created the artwork, designed to calm busy traffic near the school, and an outdoor volunteer event brought the neighborhood and local businesses together to complete the mural.
"Our Make Every Block Better street mural project has had an ongoing positive impact on our Walnut Hills neighborhood. The students love the mural; it makes them feel seen and that people care about their safety,” said Dangel, a 2020 H&R Block and Nextdoor project nominator.
The positive impact not only inspired new connections between the community and the local businesses involved in the work, but the support also inspired Dangel to seek out other opportunities to improve the neighborhood. “Because of the project, we developed new and stronger working relationships with [the community]. When visitors come to the garden, we tell the story of how H&R Block supported a visible art project to improve safety and promote community. We aim to leverage this example to create an additional mural at a dangerous intersection nearby," said Dangel.
Last year, the two purpose-driven companies launched their partnership along with the first nationwide search for the selection of 10 community projects. The projects created or improved spaces for bringing people together through community gardens, community centers, and the street mural project in Cincinnati. This year, H&R Block and Nextdoor are continuing their partnership with 10 more projects that support social cohesion and help neighbors connect. Residents identified their communities’ needs and submitted project ideas that bring people together and ultimately make their neighbors’ lives better. This years’ community improvement projects were selected from more than 1,500 submissions across all 50 states.
“We know the negative impacts social isolation and loneliness can have on individuals. Finding ways to connect and get to know your neighbors is increasingly important,” said Jeff Jones, president and CEO of H&R Block. “Access to neighborhood spaces increases the likelihood that people will connect with each other and ultimately makes all of our communities better. We’re proud to partner with Nextdoor to increase conversations and drive meaningful connections through these projects.”
“Pride in place, and the renewed importance of all things local, is energizing neighbors across the U.S. to celebrate what they love most about the place they call home,” said Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar. “This continued partnership with H&R Block enables people to form real-world bonds within one of the most important communities in their lives — their neighborhood.”
Throughout the summer, H&R Block and Nextdoor will work with the nominators and local volunteers from the 10 selected neighborhoods to bring the projects to life. The companies will continue to identify and work with professionals and local businesses who are able to help maximize impact to the local community. This year’s projects expand the partnership’s impact to 20 states touching 2.3 million more residents, based on city population in the selected communities.
The newly selected 2021 Make Every Block Better community improvement projects, listed alphabetically by state, are:
- Louisville, Ky. - Creating a communal space for neighbors to gather for barbeques and form stronger connections, submitted by Anna Newman and Kirk Stewart
- Waldorf, Md. - Building new little libraries for the community to use and bringing people together to help design and paint the libraries, submitted by Andrea Stockton Barton
- Omaha, Neb. - Bringing a local community center back to life with exterior improvements, submitted by Nichole Schumacher
- Gilmanton, N.H. - Building a new youth basketball court to connect families through sports, submitted by Katie Bass
- West Milford, N.J. - Upgrading a 50-year-old playground to create a better space for local families to enjoy and connect, submitted by Diane Jansson
- Wilmington, N.C. - Building a community garden to create a space for five local neighborhoods to come together, submitted by Jordan Timpy
- Del Valle, Texas - Building a new community garden with ground and raised beds to create an accessible space for residents to gather, submitted by Patricia Burton
- Seattle, Wash. - Creating a community-centric mural that brings people together and improves the adjacent park, submitted by Phil Scroggs
- Madison, Wisc. - Upgrading a local park with seating and garden beds creating a space for neighbors to congregate, submitted by Jennifer Ondrejka
- Huntington, W.V. - Transforming a plot of land in the center of the town into a community space for movie nights, farmers markets, and more, submitted by Holly Mount
Through Make Every Block Better, H&R Block has a goal of bringing positive change to 500 communities in all 50 states by 2025 by investing in programs supporting small businesses and helping communities thrive and connect. H&R Block’s Make Every Block Better helps reduce social isolation and loneliness through community connectedness and impactful partnerships. Learn more about the selected projects and involvement by local organizations, community members, and small businesses on the H&R Block + Nextdoor nomination site.
SOURCE H&R Block
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