It’s all about the people


promo video (via CoolTown Studios) about a redeveloped mill in Charlotte NC caught my eye. Turns out that the best part of the video is about the surrounding neighborhood, not the mill. The developers worked closely with the Greenville neighborhood, a tight-knit, historically black neighborhood. It had once been a pretty awful place, but is now a thriving community that the developer couldn’t afford to ignore.

In the video one resident says this about neighborhoods like Greenville:

It’s all about the people. I mean, if you’ve got a group of peole who are willing to pick up a little bit of trash if trash is on the street, keep the neighborhood grass cut, and don’t mind saying “good morning” and “how do you do?” (something that our parents used to do a long time ago), then I don’t think you’re going to have a problem with any neighborhood.

That sounds simple, doesn’t it? He’s talking about taking ownership of the place where you live, having pride in your community. It’s clear from the video that a fellow known as “Pop” Sadler is in part responsible for that sense of pride. He’s listed as the unofficial mayor of the neighborhood.

A quick google search turned up several profiles of Thomas “Pop” Sadler and his wife Marie (try here and here for a start). Back in 1991 Pop convinced the Greenville Neighborhood Association to let him take the entirety of their treasury to buy two bass drums. With those drums and his dedication, Pop built up the Greenville Combined Community Youth Organization and its Marching Corps (a drum corps). Pop and Marie started it in their own house and built it into a free-standing non-profit headquartered in a neighborhood house with after-school and summer programs and that drum corps, which travels to competitions all over the East Coast. But it seems like what they really built was a sense of community and something that everyone could be proud of. It really is all about the people.

Pop and Marie Sadler sound like amazing people. Do we have any Charlotte readers who would like to do a profile of them?

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