When you go looking for it, it just starts finding you anywhere you might be

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So you know, my whole drive to encourage personal initiative thing that has been going on lately on this very blog? Well a funny thing started to happen lately. Before I’d scour the internet for a long time to get stories that would really ‘get’ to me. But now, not only I stumble across many an inspiring story, but they have started randomly (or not) popping in my inbox. Some are, of course, courtesy of Sahar’s Blog readers (speaking of which, thank you Tanya!) but some are really the most random things, decorating my inbox with jewels of beautiful human stories, shining the light of hope brighter and brighter.

Like this little story:

In its remarkable 18 year history, Motor City Blight Busters in conjunction with its coalition of community partners can proudly claim 120,000 volunteers, who have contributed more than 658,000 volunteer hours to paint 684 homes, board up and secure 379 abandoned buildings, renovate 176 houses and build 114 new ones to make suitable housing for 1,160 people.

In the process, they used 21,000 gallons of paint, 15,500 pounds of nails and 15,470 sheets of plywood.

They demolished 113 houses with sledgehammers and people power and undertook 3,850 neighborhood clean-ups, that resulted in 1,550 dumpsters of trash and 70,000 garbage bags.

Over the years, 3,900 neighborhood residents have participated in Angel’s Night patrols from the Motor City Blightbusters headquarters. City officials have expanded the program and last year it attracted more than 65,000 volunteers city-wide.

Blight Busters fed 350 people at its first annual Thanksgiving dinner, provided space for 300 students to learn building trades and culinary arts at ACCOSS Training Center in the Motor City Resource Center and offered free health screening to 500 citizens.

Always working to bridge the gap between groups, Motor City Blightbusters has hosted more than 500 suburban teens over the last two years who volunteered for inner city projects through the “Summer in the City” program, brought together 150 people in the JACOB (the Jewish and Chaldean Opportunity Builders) to assist in projects and helped 20
urban teen-age girls find fun and healthy activities in another Motor City Blight Busters program, Girlfriendz.

Motor City Blight Busters Founder, John J. George, has been awarded the “Points of Light” award by President Clinton. This award honors people who have done outstanding volunteer work.

How amazing is that? To go from a situation commonly associated to ‘no hope’ to this? Absolutely heart warming (which is this winter weather, we all need).

Ah, the joy and warmth of hope.

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