Efforts made to revitalize Moore Maple neighborhood

The home where Cynthia D. Brown once lived with her grandparents in the Moore Maple neighborhood in Greenville no longer stands, but in its place could soon stand a new one.

A Greenville native, Brown said seeing the condition of the neighborhood she grew up in Greenville’s south side now filled with vacant lots and dilapidated homes made her want to do something about it.

“It was all houses, and people took care of their homes with pride,” she said.

As a result, she contacted the Community Foundation of Washington County, which led to the creation of Moore Maple Neighborhood Initiative to raise funds to revitalize the neighborhood – one house at a time.

Funding will help Brown build new homes on property she has acquired from the state of Mississippi and repair older homes that are still standing.

“I left my footprint there, and I can’t continue to live up here in New York and nobody’s doing anything about this property, so that’s why I decided to be proactive and buy this property in getting them rebuilt,” Brown said. “The first one will be where my grandparents lived.”

Brown, who has lived in New York City for the past 47 years, is an honors graduate and salutatorian of TL Weston’s High School Class of 1970.

She attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a Master of Science degree in nonprofit management from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her career background includes finance, real estate, entertainment, meeting and event planning, nonprofit management and travel consulting.

Cary Karlson, chairman of the CFWC’s Board of Trustees, said the ability to create funds is one way the foundation helps people like Brown solicit donations for causes they are passionate about.

“We are thrilled to partner with Cynthia in the establishment of this fund and are excited that our donors will have the opportunity to support her heartfelt mission to revitalize neighborhoods right here in our home community,” he said in a press release.

“Collaborative efforts like this with other nonprofit organizations and community leaders are the essence of what community foundations are all about and how they can benefit the community they serve beyond simply raising money and granting money.”

Brown said she plans to return to Greenville several times each year to meet with the Community Foundation of Washington County’s Executive Director Terri Lane and Board of Advisors of the Moore Maple Neighborhood Initiative. The board is composed of local and prominent residents who are interested in working to transform communities into places where families can live, raise children and take pride once again.

The Moore Maple Neighborhood Initiative will also be working alongside other nonprofit organizations in Washington County to carry out its mission. These organizations will use their own criteria with respect to qualifying persons for the new homes and home repairs obtained with funding assistance through the Moore Maple Neighborhood Initiative.

To make a donation, visit the foundation’s secure website at cfwashco.org. Donations may also be mailed to the Community Foundation of Washington County, P.O. Box 5910, Greenville, MS 38704. All donors are asked to include Moore Maple Neighborhood Initiative in the memo line.