The 313 Project seeks volunteers

Founded in 2009 as a service-based student coalition at Wayne State University Law School, The 313 Project became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2011. The group's mission is to connect the legal community to Detroit's underserved areas through pro bono, service, and charitable efforts. The 313 Project's monthly service series, "Motion to Makeover," allows volunteers to partake in community service projects around Detroit, from working on urban gardens to serving meals to homeless veterans. In July, The 313 Project will host two "Motion to Makeover" events: Organizers are seeking 300 community volunteers for the Romanowski Park Beautification Event.

On Thursday, July 12 starting at 8 a.m., The 313 Project will host a day-long community service event to beautify Southwest Detroit's Romanowski Park, located at 4795 Lonyo in Detroit. Although the park is heavily used by children of the surrounding communities -- a diverse neighborhood of black, white, Latino, and Arabic residents -- it is in great need of repair: There are no trash cans; the play structure has been burnt and vandalized; all swing sets have been taken for scrap metal; and a portion of the park has been used as a dumping ground. The 313 Project's renovations to the 26-acre park -- amounting to approximately $20,000 worth of improvements -- will include: Removal of graffiti; installation of trash bins, picnic tables, bleachers, and new playground equipment; improvements to the athletic courts and fields; planting of flowers and grasses; repainting of park structures; and overall clean-up and park maintenance. In addition, the group will restore the park flag-pole, which holds special significance because the park is named after Sgt. Stanley Romanowski, a Detroit native killed in action during World War II. Romanowski Park was founded in honor of Southwest Detroit U.S. soldiers who gave their lives for their country. The event will feature children's outdoor craft stations, and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds -- particularly members of the Southwest Detroit communities -- are welcome. Organizers view this not only as a one-day event, but as the kick-off for a reenergized community commitment to take care of Romanowski Park and make sure children have a safe, clean and thriving space to play.

On Saturday, July 14, The 313 Project will host a free summer BBQ luncheon and legal aid service event for the homeless veterans of Detroit's Piquette Square Center, located at 6221 Brush Street. In addition to providing job training, Piquette Square shelters homeless veterans as they reintegrate and get back on their feet. In addition to preparing a summer luncheon for the veterans, The 313 Project attorneys will provide legal aid to veterans facing legal issues that prevent them from reentering the community; such issues involve disability benefits, child support, and records expungement. Oakwood Healthcare will also be present to give the veterans complimentary health screenings. Lastly, general volunteers will clean up the grounds surrounding Piquette Square. The 313 Project served a pancake breakfast and hosted a legal aid clinic at Piquette Square in January, and all who participated had a fantastic time.

The 313 Project is built on the energy, passion, and commitment to Detroit of its volunteers. For more information on these events or The 313 Project, call (248) 752-7085 or email the313project@gmail.com.

Published: Tue, Jul 3, 2012

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