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Meet the GGC

Grassroots Grantmaking Committee (GGC)

Each of the neighbors on the GGC were selected to be on the committee because of they are budding stewards and weavers.

STEWARD: A neighbor that knows and believes that their neighbors have valuable and untapped ideas, skills, and knowledge. Stewards work to support and grow these assets with resources, connections, and information. They realize that the work of building communities is bigger than themselves and believe that the way to make positive and effective changes is by building upon what’s working, what neighbors are already doing.

WEAVER: A neighbor learns about new learnings, ideas, resources, and opportunities and shares—or weaves—them with the relevant people and associations in their neighborhoods.

By engaging with a curriculum prior to their grantmaking experience, GGC members are eager to learn new and different ways to strategically invest and solve challenging problems in communities.

HILL DISTRICT

This position is open!

Hill District

What makes your community so special?
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?

HILLTOP

Kevin Alton

Beltzhoover

What makes your community so special?
My community was a great place when I was growing up and it slowly started taking a turn for the worse due to schools closing, violence, the closing of businesses, people moving away, houses getting torn down. I want to help it get back to what it was at one point in time. That’s where my passion comes in. I LOVE MY NEIGHBORHOOD.
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
Everything that Love My Neighbor! represents is everything that drives me to continue to do the work that I do to uplift my community to be great again.
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
This program gives people with ideas an avenue to bring those ideas to life.
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?
I’m currently the President of the Youth Football and Cheerleading program and I’m also the co-director for our Summer camp for children in K-8th grade I’m also the Founder of The Way Organization a Mentoring program for young males in 9th-12th grade.

Martel Hedge

Beltzhoover

What makes your community so special?
The people in The Hilltop are very family and community oriented. When I was growing up there were so many programs, sports teams, block parties, parades, and jobs available for teens- so much togetherness.
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
Things are not the same in the Hilltop. We still have that family vibe but I’m looking forward to bringing those things back full circle. Grassroots grants are a great tool that we can use to make the hilltop shine again.
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
Love My Neighbor! gives me the opportunity to make my neighborhood like it was when I was growing up.
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?
I have worked with youth places at Warrington Recreation Center, mentored at Voices against Violence, and coached for the youth football teams: Beltzhoover Brown’s, South Side sabers, and currently am the head coach with the Southside bears.
I’m the founder of Daddy’s Hands a organization Center around fathers and children’s activities in the community we have annual daddy-daughter dances, father -son softball games, flag football, kickball and cookouts we also work hand-in-hand with all organizations in the Hilltop!

HOMEWOOD

This position is open!

Homewood

What makes your community so special?
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?

LARIMER

This position is Open!

Larimer

What makes your community so special?
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?

LINCOLN-LEMINGTON

L. Denise Edwards

Lincoln-Lemington

What makes your community so special?
The people that live in the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood make it a special place to live. My family purchased our family home and moved to the east side when I was 10 years old. I remember a time when neighbors were accessible and crime was few and far between. Over the years things changed as things often do, and the neighborhood I remember so fondly morphed into a different place. Today however, the community is vital and families are optimistic about the future of lincoln lemington.
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
Grassroots grantmaking is a powerful tool used to impact communities in real and tangible ways.
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
The grantmaking process for LMN is an opportunity to engage in true democracy. It is vital for neighborhoods to grow in ways that involve community residents and encourage action. Engaging with community organizations throughout the city fortifies my commitment to the health of my neighborhood and the health of all neighborhoods in our city.
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?
The Lincoln-Lemington Neighborhood Revitalization Group, of which I am co-founder and VP, is a grassroots non profit organization dedicated to economic growth of the Lincoln-Lemington area through redevelopment and housing sustainability. Through collaboration and strategic planning we will be instrumental in rebuilding the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood brick by brick.

MILLVALE

Justin LeWinter

Millvale

What makes your community so special?
Millvale has a real genuine neighborhood feel to it. There are folks who have lived there for years but it’s welcoming of change and has a keen eye on the future. The great work being done by residents and businesses is helping to keep the community connected to the past while staying ahead of the curve.
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
I look forward to helping nurture promising ideas and support the great work that is being proposed by community residents. When I think about the work we’ll do as the GGC Margaret Mead’s quote resonates with me…”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
The Love My Neighbor! grant program inspires me with hope that with a support network and funding, visionary ideas can come to fruition. To be able to be a part of helping to shape what our community does next is extremely inspiring. The recipients of the grants are those who have a vested interest in seeing our community thrive in the future. This program gives me hope that where we live will continue to be a wonderful place for residents now and for future generations.
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?
I work for a non-profit that raises awareness for a rare neurological speech disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS), our office is currently in Millvale. As the Director of Fundraising I work with volunteers across the country to organize events that bring together their communities to support children impacted by the disorder. We celebrate and acknowledge these hardworking children who are in therapy to help them find their voice through walk-a-thons that are family fun days. Having only just recently moved to Millvale I’m looking for ways to get involved with other projects. I look forward to learning about other things taking place in my community and how I can use my talents to support the good work taking place here!

Nora Peters

Millvale

What makes your community so special?
The energy that exists in this town is unmatched. The people who live here, and want to live here, are looking to build something really unique.
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
I have worked/lived in Millvale for 5 years, and recently bought a house. I don’t plan on leaving, Millvale is my home. I want to have an impact on how this community is changing, especially by empowering residents to enact the types of change they would like to see.
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
To me, Love My Neighbor means working to make a place better, not just for yourself, but for the people around you.
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?
In my work with the Millvale Community Library I have helped start after school programs, complete community art projects, and organize family events. I am currently learning about the joys of home ownership, and working on a little house with a big backyard with lots of help from the Millvale Tool Lending Library (a project of the Millvale Community Library).

WILKINSBURG

Jerry Gaudi

Wilkinsburg

What makes your community so special?
I am passionate about Wilkinsburg because I see the potential and the opportunity for the borough to be an up & coming area. The history that surrounds the buildings, the proximity to Pittsburgh, and the ease of access via public transportation and vehicle allow for a great place to live, work, and play.
What inspires you to be a part of the Grassroots Grantmaking Committee?
I am very active in the Wilkinsburg community as a member of the Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce, attend as many Borough meetings possible, and involved with beautification projects throughout the year. Becoming involved with Neighborhood Allies allows me to help my community further through the GGC.
What does Love My Neighbor! mean to you?
The Love My Neighbor grant gives the power back to the people that want to do something good in their neighborhood.
What have you worked on and what are you currently working on in your community?
I am working on revitalizing Wilkinsburg through acquisitions of vacant and blighted properties to rehabilitate and return to the market. Residential “vacant to vibrant” projects 14, 15, and 16 are underway with 6 more being negotiated and planned. The second level offices at 900 Wood Street are now open and home to the Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce and other SBD orgs to create a small business resource center. Plans for a coffee shop that focuses on barista training will enhance the street level retail in the same building. Since 2013, 20 buildings have been acquired for redevelopment along with multiple beautification projects including the North Avenue Bird Habitat and Pollination Garden that was installed summer 2017 with members of the local Sierra Club, Audubon Society, community, and neighbors.