ST. LOUIS – Today, the Regional Business Council (RBC) and Better Family Life, Inc. (BFL) announced a summer-long Clean Sweep effort to revitalize St. Louis neighborhoods. Clean Sweep 2018 is the result of an unprecedented private-public partnership involving RBC, Better Family Life and volunteers to improve the physical conditions of St. Louis neighborhoods in need. Millions of dollars’ worth of labor, equipment and time, organized by the RBC and BFL, will bring hope and excitement to residents in north St. Louis communities.
“Our member companies were inspired by Clean Sweep’s grassroots level work in 2017 to cleanup and revitalize St. Louis neighborhoods. We saw a unique opportunity to bring our collective in-kind resources to expand upon this summer long effort that will increase the impact in 4 neighborhoods,” said Regional Business Council CEO and President Kathy Osborn. “We are proud to support this annual effort, which will bring volunteers and industry together for the good of our community – building a spirit of cooperation that stretches beyond the physical improvements.”
RBC members Doug Weible, Chairman and CEO, Fred Weber, Inc, and Tony Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Kwame Building Group have led the effort to recruit other St. Louis based construction firms to assist in this great work. Twelve companies are joining together in this project including: AGC, Ben Hur, BSI Constructors, Clayco Construction, Holland Construction, Keeley Companies, McCarthy Building Companies, Paric Corporation, Busey Bank, and S.M. Wilson. These companies are supplying equipment and labor to support the volunteer efforts during the summer long work to beautify communities in north St. Louis. “The most important thing we can do for our community is to roll up our sleeves and contribute our time, expertise and passion,” said Thompson.
Started in 2017, Clean Sweep is a large scale, neighborhood clean-up initiative in which neighborhood residents, regional volunteers, Better Family Life, RBC member companies and St. Louis City departments work to address one of the city’s most pressing issues, the physical conditions and environment of neighborhoods.
“We are grateful to the companies of the Regional Business Council who are making a collective difference every day. Clean Sweep is wonderful example of how the organization leverages its resources to make our community better,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson. “I commend the Regional Business Council, Better Family Life and our dedicated residents who have launched this effort.”
In all, four Clean Sweep events are planned. Volunteers, RBC member organizations and Better Family Life staff will continue Clean Sweep efforts, one Saturday a month through August. Neighborhoods that are selected are Hamilton Heights, Jeff Vander Lou, Penrose/Kingsbury, and Walnut Park.
“Clean Sweep started with a group of Jeff Vander Lou neighborhood residents who wanted to improve their neighborhood. What it has turned into, proves what is possible when we come together as a region. It fosters diversity bringing together all races, social and economic backgrounds and targets our collective energy to where the conditions are most dire,” says Malik Ahmed, CEO of Better Family Life. “The contribution from the business community, through Kathy and the RBC, of construction resources, equipment and funding exponentially increases the impact of the work started by volunteers and residents.”
The Regional Business Council, founded in 2000, is a consortium of 100 presidents and chief executive officers of mid- to large-sized companies in St. Louis. These companies are leaders in the region, employing over 120,000 people and generating over $65 billion in revenue annually. In addition to supporting the Clean Sweep efforts, the mission of the RBC is to unite and engage members to act on high-impact business, civic and philanthropic affairs for the betterment of the St. Louis region.
Established in 1983, Better Family Life (BFL) is a 501 (C)3 community development corporation that works to stabilize inner city neighborhoods. Each year BFL serves over 50,000 children and adults, including the underemployed, unemployed and skill deficient to help them become self-sufficient. In addition to sponsoring the Clean Sweep efforts, BFL offers programs targeted at St. Louis City’s north side in the areas of clinical services, community outreach, housing development, workforce development and cultural arts.