By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communication Specialist.
Ever explored or visited a new city or neighborhood and found yourself wondering what goes in to making it, well, go? Especially if your visit was a great one?
Speaking from experience, we can tell you that the answer is, a lot. A LOT goes into it. And in Uptown’s experience at least, that “lot” is in large part due to perhaps one of our most valuable assets: VOLUNTEERS.
Our district has been blessed with an abundance of amazing and sometimes seemingly tireless folks who are willing to chip in all year round, in a myriad of ways. They share a desire to keep our district beautiful and thriving, and they do so by offering their talents, efforts, and hard (but fun) work. Some of those volunteers are our business and property owners. Others are neighborhood associations, community partners, and community members and residents. Often, these groups collaborate.
One example of a task often undertaken by volunteers here would be district cleanup efforts. While various volunteer-led cleanup efforts have recurred in the past, this year’s efforts came with an extra motivator – to help revive and refresh a district affected by closures due to COVID-19. This month, there were two (!) such events in our district.
The first was an effort led by the Wealthy Street Business Association, whose goal was to tidy up the Wealthy Street district and Baxter neighborhood area. Guided by our friends Erica and Kelly, who own two businesses in the district (Woosah Outfitters and Outside Coffee Co.) and whom have lead earth-day themed cleanups in years past, this cleanup was by all measures a success. Many, many bags of refuse removed from our streets, and at the same time, it was a really fun community-building event, with live music, raffles, refreshments, and more.
The second cleanup effort, focusing on our East Hills district, was led by Maggi Rivera (Executive Director) and her team, the East Hills Council of Neighbors. This council’s contribution to our district is frankly, awe-inspiring. The EHCN has been organizing neighborhood cleanups for, if you can believe, forty+ years, with what easily amounts to hundreds (or more) of volunteer hours donated to keeping our spaces lovely. They host no less than three annual cleanup-themed activities per year.
Volunteering is imperative to Uptown. But guess what else? It’s fulfilling. And it’s fun. It’s an awesome way to build community and to be a part of something good. If you’re feeling the itch to participate, we’d love to have you. Drop our Executive Director, Ingrid Miller, a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll happily be in touch with ways to get involved.