Co-founder Christian Huelsman (left). Volunteers help consortium members clean up an alley. (Photos courtesy of Spring in Our Steps)
CINCINNATI - Our Tuesday feature shines the spotlight on those unsung heroes among us: people who do good things for others every day, whether as a volunteer or as part of their job.
This week, we focus on the co-founder of the Cincinnati nonprofit Spring in Our Steps, who decided to take action after being the victim of an armed robbery.
Become a WCPO Insider to meet Christian Huelsman and learn how you can join him in making a difference.
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CINCINNATI - Our weekly feature shines the spotlight on those unsung heroes among us: people who do good things for others every day, whether as a volunteer or as part of their job. Read on to find out how you can tell us about someone you know who’s making a difference!
Who: Christian Huelsman What he does: Helps clean up city steps, sidewalks and alleys Where he does it: Cincinnati
After losing nearly everything in an armed robbery outside his Corryville residence in 2011, Christian Huelsman was inspired to help prevent similar incidents.
Although traumatic, the experience made him realize that accessibility and visibility in alleys and on city steps and sidewalks can play a significant role in safety.
In 2011, Huelsman and Pam Sattler co-founded Spring in Our Steps , a consortium focused on cleaning up alleys, sidewalks and city steps. Spring in Our Steps board members work with volunteers who shovel debris, trash and leaves and trim overgrown vegetation to improve accessibility to public walkways. (Photo courtesy of Spring in Our Steps)
Consortium members also work with city officials to improve street lighting for pedestrians.
Since 2011, Spring in Our Steps members and volunteers have worked in:
In addition to helping people feel safer, Huelsman hopes to increase awareness of the city’s infrastructure and forgotten city steps. He also aims to foster a sense of responsibility and ownership in areas where residents tend to rent rather than own property.
“I like the idea of being able to shift someone’s perception,” Huelsman said. “I felt like I had to do something."
How you can make a difference
Spring in Our Steps board members are always looking for volunteers. Individuals or groups who would like to help can contact Huelsman via email. The consortium also accepts monetary donations. Those who wish to give financially can do so on the Spring in Our Steps website.