Face of Ace
Want to learn more about our wonderful Block Connectors? Here you will find more information on our truly terrific Block Connector team who help to make Ritchie a better place to live and grow.
Louise Perkins is a Ritchie treasure. She might be one of the friendliest and generous people in our neighbourhood...I mean, the woman put out a poop pail in front of her house to help out all the dog walkers in the hood.
When she isn't updating the community bulletin board on her fence, or making sure Ritchie rascals don't eat too many marshmallows at the community BBQ, she is gathering historic photos of the neighbourhood and sharing ideas about how to foster better connections. Her interest and enthusiasm about Ritchie makes her the perfect choice for the Abundant Community Program. Thanks Louise - we sure do appreciate all you do!
1.What is your Role?
I am a Block Connector and for a short time a Co-Neighbourhood Connector.
2. Why did you volunteer?
Love the neighbourhood and see the irony in the fact that when I was growing up...it was considered to be "on the wrong side of the tracks!" Now it is the "IN PLACE". I want to do what I can to to preserve it for future generations.
3. How long have you lived in Ritchie?
My Grandparents moved into the area in 1913 and the family has lived in my current house since 1920. Though I travel the world....this is the place I call home!
4. Why did you pick this neighbourhood?
I didn't...I was born into it...
5. What is the best thing you’ve discovered in Ritchie?
I love the diversity of people... I can still hear the birds sing when I sit in my backyard! Also a PET FRIENDLY PLACE!!!!
6. What is your wish for the next 5 years in Ritchie?
There are seniors in the neighbourhood who would like to stay in the neighbourhood and I would like to see new development of smaller affordable cottage type housing on some of the 66 foot lots...perhaps 4 cottages to the piece of land. This would free up their single family homes for renos or infill. The seniors could then age in their own community looking out for one another and their pets..this would definitely be a PET FRIENDLY Developement.
7. What is your favourite Ritchie Event/program and why?
Summer BBQ's ....more and more people are attending every year
8. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
Travel the world.....next up INDIA!
9. What book did you read last?
Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga She exposes Human Rights violations against Indigenous Youth attending school in Thunder Bay far from their families....7 young people died between 2000 and 2011.....racism, death and hard truths in a northern city.
10. What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My FIRE PIT!!!!
Maureen O’Neil has a lot of commitments. In addition to being a mom to energetic four and one year-old boys, working full time, volunteering, and joining the Community League Board last month; the energetic Block Connector is trying to make a difference in northeast Ritchie.
“I initially saw the Abundant Community Edmonton program on the League’s Facebook page and it looked really interesting,” she says. “I think neighbourly connections benefit everyone so I don’t mind doing my part to make our community a great place to live.”
As a Block Connector, Maureen is looking to engage with the people on her street and build relationships. She recognizes the advantages to knowing and working with her neighbours.
“It sort of started out as a search for a reliable babysitter to be honest,” she jokes. “But I soon realized that there was much more to be gained than a few nights out.”
After the snow melted earlier this year, Maureen started worrying about her eavestroughs. Not being particularly knowledgeable in the area, she asked a few people on her street for recommendations.
“We ended up finding six homes that were planning to do a spring clean up,” she says. “I called around and discovered that if we coordinated, we could get a 10% discount on the service so it worked out nicely for all of us.”
In the coming months, Maureen will be exploring other interesting ways to add value on her block. The Abundant Communities program has various tools that help volunteers to identify local skills, determine interest in social activities like block parties, and collect ideas for the neighbourhood.
“I’m a friendly and fairly outgoing person so the Block Connector role is a good fit,” she says. “There are tons of great things going on in Ritchie and I’m just glad to be a part of it all.”