By: Frankie Esguerra, Writer
On February 1st, Rebuilding Together Atlanta will be hosting its 24th annual Kickoff to Rebuild for Super Bowl LIII. Kickoff to Rebuild is an annual NFL-sanctioned event hosted by Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit charity dedicated to repairing homes and redeveloping communities across the country. This year, with the help of supporting community and corporate partners, Rebuilding Together Atlanta will be addressing health and safety issues in homes of Atlanta’s Just Us neighborhood.
Consisting of only two streets in the west side of Atlanta, the Just Us neighborhood is the smallest of the city’s official neighborhoods. It was established as the first subdivision built and occupied solely by African Americans. The historically Black neighborhood was developed in the 1950s for African-American residents during the Civil Rights era. Thanks to Rebuilding Together Atlanta, the homes of the Just Us neighborhood can stand longer, stronger and proud as it should despite the wear and tear of time and a lack of resources.
Rebuilding Together’s 24-year-old partnership with the NFL has allowed the nonprofit to host projects in Super Bowl cities, providing critical home repairs to neighbors and communities in need. Together, the two organizations have repaired 140 homes at the hands of 5,000 volunteers and invested over $5 million in the communities of different Super Bowl cities.
Why We Like It:
As the world’s largest single-league sporting event, the Super Bowl generates hundreds of millions of dollars for the NFL and for the local economy. We appreciate the NFL’s efforts in giving back to charities to leave a positive, lasting impact that transcends a ball game and parties. With race already being a much-discussed topic in relations to the league, it is nice to see a historically Black neighborhood receive aid to uplift the community.
How It Can Be Improved:
Renovating homes in the Just Us neighborhood to address health and safety issues is a great start in raising spirits in the community. In addition to rebuilding houses, attention could be shown to the neighborhood’s two parks to provide a safe place for families. A partnership with another nonprofit or corporate sponsor could help Rebuilding Together Atlanta and the NFL address a possible lack of resources in the neighborhood’s local school. The NFL definitely has the money to do more for the Super Bowl’s hosting city. Participating in great causes like Rebuilding Together Atlanta and other annual Super Bowl charities does not erase the NFL’s past questionable philanthropic efforts and fallout over the years, but it is a necessary start.
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