Selbyville invited to Rock the Block projects and party

Saturday will be a celebration of community in downtown Selbyville. Rock the Block will be a full day of volunteerism, home improvement and a block-party barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity and Mountaire Farms are partnering to present this two-part event: The volunteer projects are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a community block party and free barbecue from 1 to 3 p.m. at Mountaire. The public can participate in either activity, or both.

Local volunteers will be providing free chores and outdoor maintenance to local homeowners (registration for homeowners, through Habitat, ended Wednesday afternoon).

After the morning work is done, all neighbors will be invited to a free Block Party from 1 to 3 p.m., hosted at the Mountaire Farms warehouse on Railroad Avenue. It is open to the public as a follow-up to the morning chores.

There will be music, games and free barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans.

“We’re going to meet at 8 and then work ’til about 1, and then we’re going to have a little block party at our facility and warehouse,” said Mountaire’s Cathy Bassett.

“Our feedmill teams are going to be cooking, and they can cook some pretty good chicken,” said Bassett. “Hopefully, it’ll be smelling really good that day.”

Habitat has done Rock the Block in many communities across Sussex County. They host the clean-up, and the community typically adds a party afterward (in this case, sponsored by Mountaire). In fact, Habitat and Mountaire will host this event simultaneously in Selbyville and in a North Carolina that day.

“I just think these events are fun and the community really does get involved. … It’s just something extra you can do for your community,” said Courtney Tull of Sussx County Habitat for Humanity. “In the future, we would love if people just started these events on their own.”

 

Building community through shared projects

 

Rock the Block is a free event that brings volunteers and neighbors together to complete light outdoor projects, including powerwashing, landscaping, minor painting, repairs and waste hauling. Volunteers will not be entering the houses.

“Really, it’s open to everyone who maybe needs some extra assistance,” whether the person has medical issues, is a single parent or is a working professional who just needs help on a maintenance project.

“It’s really just a community thing, [even] if you’re perfectly well and able, and you think you just need some help powerwashing,” Tull said.

The geographic range of the work will be downtown Selbyville, nearer to Mountaire. The house must be homeowner-occupied.

Volunteers will meet at 8 a.m., be teamed up and then go to their assigned projects. Homeowners will sign a waiver allowing volunteers to come on to their property. Homeowners would ideally join in, but only if they are physically able.

The deadline to request services was Sept. 18. For additional information, contact Courtney at (302) 855-1153, ext. 217, or Courtney@sussexcountyhabitat.org. Right now, there are plenty of volunteers from both the community and Mountaire, she said.

Habitat for Humanity is known for helping people to become homeowners, and the group is currently finishing a house in Selbyville. The program is not a hand-out. Families must donate “sweat equity” hours to Habitat projects, and they’ll still pay a mortgage.

“Habitat’s mission is to bring people together to build homes, communities and hope,” Tull said. “We are in Selbyville trying to build houses, but we are trying to be in the neighborhood to encourage people to know each other and … do a good thing and help out the community.”

Beautification also increases pride in the neighborhood. Everyone benefits from an attractive block.

 

By Laura Walter

Staff Reporter