Last Saturday, a small group of community members gathered to celebrate the installation of two new benches at bus stops in East Lawrence. The benches were placed at 11th and Delaware Streets, near Hobbs Park.
The project was the result of several groups coordinating together to make a positive difference for the neighborhood.
Velocity Church, which donated $10,000 for the bus stop improvements, had several representatives in attendance. Pastor Justin Jenkins said he was thankful for the many partners who contributed their efforts to the project. “Velocity is always looking for ways to serve others because we believe that acts of kindness and good works bring hope and transform a city,” Jenkins said. “So when we learned about the opportunity to support our neighbors by building new bus benches in Lawrence, we were ready to respond. Therefore, this gift given to the City of Lawrence is made possible by the generosity of our congregation and the belief that partnership with our city leaders is essential to make a difference in our community.”
Artist Mona Cliff attended and represented Jamakee Blackburn, who built the benches. Cliff was inspired to action when she saw someone sitting on the ground waiting for the bus and had the idea to build a bench. “In my culture, we always take care of those that have the least,” Cliff said.
Mayor Jennifer Ananda attended the gathering. “There are many benefits to transit,” Ananda said. “It helps the economy and the environment and is so good for the community.”
KT Walsh from the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association also spoke and said she was happy that Velocity Church made this contribution for the neighborhood.
Transit Manager Adam Weigel recognized future bus stop improvements coming soon to the community. “The seven sites that were improved through this project are the first of many. The City is working on plans for 21 additional stop improvements in spring of 2021 to continue the forward momentum from this project.”