Seth Harkins, Executive Director
How was Alcy Ball started?
Alcy Ball Development Corporation (ABDC) was founded in 2012. Our Community Development Corporation (CDC) started through relationships between the leadership of Divine Life Church and Second Presbyterian Church. Through their mutual understanding of Asset Based Community Development principles, the initial leadership group decided to form a CDC to strengthen some of the existing relationships and reestablish Alcy Ball as a desirable, thriving community. Funding from Second Presbyterian and neighborhood connections from Divine Life formed the foundation of what exists today – an organization working to support resident leaders.
What is your current focus?
Over the last three and a half years we have focused on building relationships with key leaders and long-time residents in the community. We’ve spent numerous hours showing up to events, sitting in living rooms and hearing stories about the history of this unique city. Our focus is now on connecting those leaders, providing exposure to best practices from the community development field and supporting the endeavors they choose to undertake. We’re doing this through establishing our office, venue and meeting space in a beloved building in the center of the neighborhood, at 1672 Alcy Road.
Over the next five to six months, we’ll be incorporating feedback and performing renovations to our building. While it holds many neighborhood memories, it hasn’t been held to a high standard for the last several years. Programming in this space will revolve around the existing block clubs and associations in the area, as well as FOOD! Several neighbors have offered to help teach young families about budgeting and health-conscious cooking. For us, there’s no better way to build multi-generational relationships than by preparing and eating good food together.
How can people help address the needs of your community?
Find us at alcyball.org and follow us through Instagram @alcyball. We will be sharing opportunities to donate, to volunteer with revitalization projects, mentor students at Alcy Elementary School and participate alongside neighbors, as we teach each other budget-friendly health-conscious recipes. As our network of leaders selects their first project in 2020, we will be promoting it and recruiting volunteers to help get the word out. We also need donations of cooking utensils, mixing bowls, knife sets and cutting boards to complete our training kitchen and to enable us to host demonstrations.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
Over the last few years, we have hosted over 700 volunteers. These volunteers have boarded up vacant houses, cleared overgrowth, made light repairs and helped host parties. In September of 2018, our first credit counseling clients became homeowners right next to Alcy Elementary School. In 2019, we've focused on deepening relationships, serving together, improving visibility and removing blight from 22 properties.
Does Alcy Ball have any upcoming activities or events?
Subscribe to our newsletter at alcyball.org or follow us @alcyball on Instagram to learn about upcoming projects or events, especially as we get up and running in the Rogers’ Store building in late spring/early summer.
Get in touch with Alcy Ball CDC
1672 Alcy Road Memphis, TN 38114
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