Exploring a Community Center I Never Had
I’ve become interested in Community Centers through my work with Women’s Fund. Last year alone, Women’s Fund invested $65,000 for operating expenses to three different centers (Concord Neighborhood Center, Hawthorne Community Center and John H. Boner Community Center). Growing up on Army bases, I don’t recall having a community center to go to, so I became curious about them. What are they? Who visits them? What do people do there? Why are they so important?
Well, the more I explored, the more I learned and the more I love about them. First, I love that the word “unity” is in the word community. That’s exactly the purpose of a community center – to bring unity to the communities they serve. No matter a person’s age or their needs, there are programs, activities and services for everyone.
For today's blog I decided to take a closer look at Concord (the picture is from one of their childcare graduations). Women’s Fund has provided significant funds to this organization for a number of years – from computer training for girls to childcare for women; assistance with basic needs to youth development. The Concord Neighborhood Center has been serving south side families since 1875, providing everything from social services, children’s programs, educational opportunities and recreational activities. They pride themselves on their ability to positively impact the lives of its neighbors.
So to answer my own questions:
1. Who visits the center? Concord serves over 1,000 women and girls annually (not to mention the number of boys and men that visit throughout the year).
2. What do they do there? Concord offers childcare, before and after school care, sports, camps, homework help, employment assistance, educational programs, emergency assistance, family literacy programs, wellness classes, health clinics, activities for seniors – and the list goes on and on.
3. Why is it so important? I’m pretty sure the first two answer this question. If it weren’t for Concord, people on the south side wouldn’t have these quality programs and services.
Once again, I thank Women’s Fund for introducing me to an organization I wasn’t very familiar with and for the dollars you invest to help improve the quality of life for our women and girls in our community (in this case, those living on Indy’s south side).
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