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Thirty minutes east from the Niagra Falls is the city of Lockport, New York. It’s named after a set of Erie Canal locks found in the city. Within the friendly community with historic roots are seen volunteers from the WeLoveU Foundation. Forty volunteers traveled north from Buffalo, NY to participate in a cleanup on October 7, 2018.

How It All Began

Arriving in Lockport by 10 a.m., they drove to South Street where they stopped in front of an abandoned building. Next door neighbors refer to it as an eyesore because of its unpleasant graffiti on every wall as well as the weeds and dead shrubs that surround it.

Because of their concern, the building was brought up in recent town hall meetings. Residents asked for assistance to clean up the area. However, at the time, resources were limited and coordinating enough volunteers became a challenge. 

When the WeLoveU Foundation heard about their concern, volunteers sprang into action. They saw this as a golden opportunity to bring happiness to the Lockport residents.

With bright smiles and bright blue shirts that read WeLoveU, the volunteers covered the unsightly graffiti with a fresh coat of paint. Another team pulled up the weeds and removed the dead shrubs. They brightened the atmosphere by planting colorful perennial flowers. Also, volunteers picked up trash and litter along the walkways.

A Special Guest From Lockport Council

Among the volunteers came a special guest—Kelly VanDeMark, Lockport’s Alderwoman of the fourth ward. She wore a WeLoveU shirt and helped alongside volunteers. Afterward, she shared a heartfelt message with the group.

“I’m proud to be an Alderwoman for the fourth ward for the city of Lockport and we’re definitely fortunate to have this organization here today to beautify 232 South Street and I’m absolutely amazed by the positivity and sense the of community that I felt in just a short time so thank you again for all your volunteerism and your hard work and I definitely look forward to seeing this spread in our community.”

Ron Tuohey—an Assistant Store Manager at a Lowe’s in Williamsville, NY, who lives on South Street—expressed his appreciation by bringing landscaping materials. He also participated in beautifying the area with the WeLoveU volunteers.

Overall, it was a meaningful event bringing residents, local store managers, and Lockport officials together. Everyone had the same goal in mind: beautify South Street and share neighborly love through volunteerism. The WeLoveU Foundation plans to continue working with the city of Lockport on future projects, including building a playground in the neighborhood.

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