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Nov 9, 2013 7:46 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Volunteers help clean up poverty-stricken community of Rillito

TUCSON- A poverty-stricken community on the northwest side is receiving some much needed help, thanks to the kindness of complete strangers.

An organization called PPEP, Inc., which offers services to the disadvantaged in Southern Arizona, recently remodeled two of its low-cost housing complexes. "And in that process, we ended up with a great number of used appliances, used windows and doors, that were still usable," says Roberta Hall, of PPEP.

Saturday they donated those materials to Rillito, which is a community that off Avra Valley Road. About 120 people live there and about 70% are either at or below the poverty line.

"We need help, we need a lot of help," Resident Brenda Munoz says.

Munoz has lived in the community for the past 10 years. She says everything is tearing apart, which is unappealing and unsafe. "We don't want to see the kids running around in trash all the time," Munoz says.

Now with the helping hands of about 100 volunteers, the playground is already looking better, as well as the church. "I think it's very significant because if this community is going to come together and bond, that's a starting place," Resident Kirby Colter says.

Hall says if you can give even just a little, it can go a long way. "It's not a big deal to give up a day of your time and energy to help those who don't have as much," Hall says.

And you won't find anyone more grateful than Munoz and her neighbors. "If it wasn't for everybody out here, we wouldn't have gotten this done," Munoz says. "Thank God there are people who can help."

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