Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Caring about Braddock United Way Volunteers Focus Efforts on Beautifying Borough

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Caring about Braddock United Way Volunteers Focus Efforts on Beautifying Borough

Article excerpt

Last week, when Linda White complained to Braddock council about the overgrown weeds in the lot next to her, council President Jesse Brown was able to say it would be cleaned the next day.

It really was.

Of course, as borough officials conceded privately, it will be grown over again in two months, but for now and the next couple of weeks, the big vacant lot between Corey Avenue and Center Street, which is owned by Habitat for Humanity, looks great.

So do a few others as a result of volunteers who were in the borough last Wednesday as part of the Day of Caring, a kickoff to the United Way's fund-raising campaign. This year the Day of Caring focused on Braddock.

One of this year's projects was to build a picnic area for residents of the Turtle Creek Valley Mental Health/Mental Retardation's apartment building on Braddock Avenue.

The picnic area is on land behind a condemned building at 731 Braddock Ave., which is listed as belonging to Lester Roth and is slated for demolition.

David Shapira, the chairman of Giant Eagle, and his wife, Karen Shapira, who are the co-chairs of this year's United Way fund- raising campaign, were wearing their Day of Caring 2003 T-shirts and work gloves as they stood in the alley behind the abandoned building. Karen Shapira had handed her blazer to the spokesman for Giant Eagle, Rob Borella, who held it while she and David Shapira were videotaped talking about how important it is to give to the United Way.

By the end of the morning, volunteers had filled a huge metal trash bin with weeds and debris from the lot and were installing the new fence to surround the picnic area on Roth's land.

John Brooks, who lives in one of the apartments that will benefit from the picnic area, spent part of the morning in a hall outside of his front door. Inside, the room was filled with Pittsburgh movers and shakers such as the Shapiras; John Friel, Medrad's chief executive officer; Ralph Papa, president of Citizen's Bank's western region; and United Way President Bill Meyer. …

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