Love Northridge event plans to clean up tornado damage

A Year of Recovery

NORTHRIDGE, Ohio (WDTN) – A local church is inviting Northridge community members to join them Saturday morning as they bring back some pride and curb appeal to their neighborhoods.

Pastor Brian Smith of First Heavy Metal Church of Christ said they will provide all tools, gloves and materials volunteers will need, they just need to come dressed ready to work.

On Friday, Smith called on Northridge residents and businesses to help their ‘Love Northridge’ event.

This is the third year of the cleanup, and said his church and other Love Northridge volunteers have already cleaned up over 70 properties the past two years.

“There was one yard, or house, that was so bad you couldn’t even see the house from the road,” said Smith. “By the time we got finished with it, it looked amazing and then somebody bought it a month later.”

This year, Smith said they were focusing on 30 tornado cleanup projects, most of them now abandoned because of extensive damage.

“There’s a lot of debris,” said Smith. “It could be yard waste, could be aluminum siding, there’s so many eyesores out there right now that’s been left unattended.”

The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ has helped tornado recovery in Northridge in other ways.

They gifted cars to families who lost theirs in the tornadoes, and classroom items to teachers who lost everything at Grafton Kennedy Elementary School.

“And Stephen Mills is doing a project with Walmart where he’s buying 50 bicycles,” said Smith. “Walmart donated $1,500, we’re donating $3,500 and he’s going to teach kids that have never had their own bikes how to ride the bike, and they get to keep the bike.”

Registration for Love Northridge will start at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the old high school, and go until 9:45 a.m.

They will provide breakfast and then the cleanup begins at 10.

Smith said they will be giving away t-shirts to volunteers while supplies last.

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