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Adopt-A-Block could benefit local groups in Jeannette

| Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Dave Cochran, of Cochran Heating and Cooling on Harrison Avenue in Jeannette, and his wife, Lori, are working to create an Adopt-A-Block program in the city.

One added benefit to such a program that some residents may be unaware of is that local groups — from Jeannette School District clubs and athletic teams to Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops — can perform the work to clean up city streets as a method of fundraising.

Once the group officially gets started with committee members, interested volunteers and donors ready to sponsor various city blocks, the Adopt-A-Block organization will begin to collect donations that will go into one fund.

Donors, which might range from local business owners, to individuals to families, can sponsor the cleanup of a specific city block or street or even the cleanup of a Jeannette park. The funds collected will then be offered to groups who need to raise funds in exchange for cleaning up the assigned area at regular intervals.

Dave Cochran said the interval will be determined by the Adopt-A-Block committee once it is established. It might be cleaned up twice a year or quarterly, or more often than that depending on what the committee decides, but most often such programs require cleaning up four times each year.

“The funds go into a kitty for the Boy Scouts or the cheerleaders for a fundraiser,” said Cochran. “Instead of a car wash, let's say,” the group would pledge to keep an assigned street clean and businesses “could do the work themselves instead of making a donation for others to do the work.”

In either case, the work involved will likely be pulling weeds, cleaning up litter and could eventually entail other beautification related projects.

Depending on how the group evolves, eventually donors could see flags or other signs indicating their sponsorship of streets and city areas they are responsible for keeping clean.

Establishing this organization in Jeannette will be a marathon, not a sprint. Cochran said it could take a year to get the program up and running.

“And it might be a year after that until we see a difference,” Cochran said, while talking to the Jeannette Business Association about the project as a way to spread the word to local business owners.

But, Cochran said, residents and those visiting Jeannette will never see the difference if the group never gets started and he anticipates the changes coming to the city will be worth the wait.

Anyone who wants to be part of the Adopt-A-Block committee, who wants to pledge a donation or who leads a group that might be interested in participating in the program as a fundraiser should contact Cochran at 724-527-3953.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at klinden@tribweb.com or 724-838-5154.

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