Volunteers help spruce up a dozen homes in first ‘Rock the Block’ event in KCK

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- About 200 volunteers revitalized a dozen homes in Kansas City, Kansas, on Wednesday. The projects were part of Habitat for Humanity's "Rock the Block" event.

Wednesday was the fourth annual event and the first time the organization brought the event to Wyandotte County.

Realtors, law enforcement officers, city/county officials and volunteers painted, did yard work and fixed broken windows to help neighbors near South 17th Street and Lowell Avenue.

Gerri Hale moved into her KCK home in 1993. But over the years, she just couldn't keep up with the maintenance.

"When I was working at Cabella's or even the hotels, sometimes I didn't have the money to do what I had to do," Gerri Hale said. "And I'm retired now, so I need someone to help me."

Help came in the form of volunteers from Habitat for Humanity and a metro realtors group. They repaired a dozen homes Wednesday.

"They've been painting," Hale said. "They put on a new door for me in the back."

From landscaping to porch repairs, more than 200 volunteers spent their day doing all sorts of home maintenance on Hale's block.

"It means a whole lot to me," Hale said. "I'm not capable of doing it. My children work all the time, and I can't get them to stay home long enough to do it. Some of the work I can't even do myself."

If they can, the homeowners help out, too. Organizers with Habitat for Humanity said projects like this go a long way.

"We hope to bring a sense of hope to these homeowners," said Kellen Jenkins, with Habitat for Humanity. "When you restore someone's pride in home ownership it really can be inspiring. We're happy to come here and lend a hand."

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