Keep Martin Beautiful, Port Salerno, FL

Extreme Martin Makeover revitalizes 25 homes in Port Salerno

The New Monrovia neighborhood of Port Salerno, Florida, has a fresh new look after 25 homes received extreme facelifts. Habitat Angel, in partnership with Keep Martin Beautiful, worked to paint, landscape, and repair homes in desperate need of restoration. This huge undertaking was accomplished with the help of more than 350 volunteers from 14 different groups.

Despite a work delay due to inclement weather, the dedicated volunteers came together on weekends from Feb. 7 through April 18 to finish the job. After devoting over 1,500 hours to the project, volunteers painted 25 houses, repaired the roofs of three homes, and made minor exterior repairs to several homes at no charge to the occupants.

“An event like this requires a tremendous amount of coordination and Habitat Angel has been leading this effort for seven years,” said Jim Dragseth, president of Keep Martin Beautiful. “KMB helps provide supplies, promotion of the event and some additional volunteer resources, but Extreme Martin Makeover would not be the success it is without the dedication and passion of Habitat Angel and its ability to mobilize such a significant amount of people to make real and lasting improvements in these communities.”

“Our volunteers and the community really came together and put their hearts into fixing up these homes,” said Hank Meira of Habitat Angel. “It’s so gratifying to see the fruits of our labors and the smiles on the residents’ faces.”

One beneficiary of the Extreme Martin Makeover was Barbara Kerstein, a New Monrovia resident and single grandmother living with three grandchildren and a 3-year-old great granddaughter. This year, volunteers donated time and materials to paint the exterior of her home, make repairs to her roof as well as an interior wall that was collapsing.

“It brought tears to my eyes to have the community come together with Habitat Angel and make a real difference in our neighborhood and to my home,” said Barbara. “Without the volunteers’ help we would have never been able to get all of these repairs done.

“My grandkids will be joining in Extreme Martin Makeover as volunteers next year,” added Barbara. “Even my 3-year-old great granddaughter grabbed a paintbrush to help!”

Valspar paint, in association with Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush of Kindness” program, donated about 400 gallons of paint for the exterior of the 25 homes. Other sponsors included: Keep Martin Beautiful; Capps Roofing Inc.; Remax of Stuart; Martin County; Mighty Mattress; Tidy Coast Event Services; Redeemer Lutheran; Waste Management; Habitat for Humanity; Tent Logix; the Ciferri Group; Lowe’s; St. Mary’s Episcopal; Jimmy Smith’s BBQ, Christ Fellowship Church, Victory Garden International, City Church, Peter’s Hardware, JBHS Basketball, Port Salerno Church of God, Florida Power and Light, Coastal Life Church, The Firefly Group, Iglesia Cristiana Nueva Vi.

Montgomery Clean City Commission, AL

Montgomery Clean City Commission (MCCC) has been busy, busy, busy during the months of October and November working on preparations for the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Voting March. In March 2015, the eyes of the world will be on Montgomery, Ala., as the capital city celebrates this historic event. MCCC is doing everything in its power ensure Montgomery is looking good.

With the help of a KAB/Lowe’s Community Partners Grant, one of our projects was painting and roofing a home along historic Oak Street and providing the Loveless Community Center with a facelift. To further enhance the streetscape of Oak Street, the path the marchers took into Montgomery from the St. Jude’s campsite, 35 red bud trees have been planted along the street, also a component of the Lowe’s/KAB grant.

This work was done with the help of volunteers from all walks of life: students, military, community service workers, City of Montgomery employees, staff from House to House and members of Rebuilding Together. Just as the citizens of Montgomery are pulling together to celebrate this momentous event, the citizens of Montgomery pulled together to realize the dream of beautifying and uplifting this significant neighborhood.

Montgomery Clean City Commission is grateful for the help and inspiration provided by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.