Helping the Community
First, a refresher, from the bylaws of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association: The Association has in its charter an objective of encouraging a cohesive community by providing opportunities for social activities and supporting worthy local civic organizations.
The Association Board held its quarterly meeting last week (by Zoom, of course), and the big thing on everyone’s mind was the same as what’s been on everyone else’s mind these last few months. That thing about a virus; you’ve probably heard about it. What can we do to “serve the residents” in these difficult times? After all, our main event is our community-wide “Neighborhood Night Out” that brings neighbors together in a festival/picnic/party with a DJ and hotdogs and no social distancing. Can’t do that now. And the businesses that participated in the Neighborhood Night Out, the ones that largely paid for sponsorships to fund the hotdogs and the DJ and the big generous raffle prizes — some of them are out of business, or throttled down and holding at a bare level with grit and determination — we didn’t even ask for sponsorship money this year; how could we? And the monthly neighborhood luncheons. Can’t do those now. And then there were the monthly evening get-togethers in driveways and front yards. Just didn’t seem right to try even those. Maybe in the spring…
So what can we do? Well, part of our charter is to support “worthy local civic organizations” that benefit our neighborhood. We have a long history of doing that. (Here’s a recent recap, from last year: What Do the Dues Do?) Many of our members have paid their association dues through these hard times, and so we made some decisions in our recent Board meeting to do the best we can in supporting organizations that do the most good for our little part of Lakewood. Here’s what we decided:
- Green Gables Elementary School. The Giving Tree program, to which we have donated in the past, is funded for this year because of, among other sources, the very successful 12/2/20 Chipotle fundraiser and donations that neighbors made on our annual Leaf Collection day. The next priority for using the funds is expected to be the installation of some tables outdoors to facilitate outdoor learning and to increase the use of the school grounds as a park by the community.
- Westwoods Community Church for community programs. The church on the corner of Wadsworth & Woodard has consistently (“Fifth Sunday”) dispatched volunteer workers to assist seniors in need of cleanup, painting, or yardwork; sent a crew to refurbish the basketball courts at the school; and provides a safe meeting space to civic organizations such as the South Lakewood Business Association.
- Lakewood Police Toy Fund. This is a perennial favorite of ours, and the need this year is even greater with so many families in economic distress, including here in Southern Gables.
- Joy’s Kitchen, in recognition of increased demands on the food pantry because of you-know-what. They are located right here in Southern Gables. The mission of this organization is to “rescue” food that would otherwise go to waste and give it to anyone who wants it.
- We also previously gave a package of Magill’s Ice Cream gift certificate to Carmody Middle School for a planned silent auction fundraiser.
You can read the full record of the Association Board meeting here. The Board, of course, is a volunteer activity. Speaking of volunteering, the need goes on even in these unusual times.
- If you are inclined to look for the rewards of doing some volunteer work, to help make the neighborhood a better place, we can hook you up: start by looking here.
- If you are involved in or can suggest other volunteer activities, let us know, and we will add these to the website.
- If you want to participate as a member of the Association Board, let us know.
On behalf of the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association Board, let me say that last part again: If you want to participate as a member of the Association Board, let us know.