By Mathew O’Brien, 2017 ViNA Volunteer of the Year
Take a moment to think about what you like or even love most about living in the Victory Neighborhood.
There is a lot to choose from. The strong sense of community, the Kids’ Cook program, outdoor movies and concerts, Tiny Fields and Little Free Libraries…to name a few. The thing I enjoy most is neighborhood events like the Garden Tour, Holiday on 44th and the Ice Cream Social.
Now think about what makes those things possible.
The answer is volunteers. People from our neighborhood who have identified what they want, and are willing to do what it takes to plan, prepare and execute activities that enable our neighbors to come together, have fun and share in the spirit of community. It is a noble thing to willingly contribute your time and energy for your community with no expectation of monetary compensation.
Think of all the aspects of Victory that rely on the altruistic efforts of volunteers. I speak from experience as I’ve volunteered at Holiday on 44th, sat on the Penn Avenue Community Works Committee, and serve as a ViNA Events Committee co-chair. It’s fulfilling to know that you make things happen that distinguish the neighborhood, retain residents and even attract others who want to live here as well.
I write this piece in hopes of motivating you to take a look at the volunteer opportunities in the neighborhood and decide where you most want to contribute your efforts. Our neighborhood will realize its full potential only with an infusion of fresh minds and talents who are willing to take on the work required to make the activities and services we’ve come to appreciate persist.
Better still, as the neighborhood grows and changes, new faces and voices will respond and cultivate new activities or provide new twists on old ones. The point is that we mustn’t be complacent. Nothing is a given. We must assume that the things we enjoy most cannot flourish without new people, without new energy, without you.
There are countless opportunities in our neighborhood to volunteer. Consider helping the Garden Club maintain our public green spaces, build community in your immediate surroundings by becoming a block leader, spend an hour or two setting up a neighborhood event, or join up with one of our organization’s many committees. Visit the ViNA office and talk to the staff, stop me whenever you see me, or attend ViNA’s Annual Meeting to hear what’s afoot and learn where your time and skills might best complement the neighborhood.
Volunteering is a great way to make our community better and Victory is sweeter when residents are compelled to volunteer.
Sign up to volunteer by submitting this interest form or by calling 612.529.9558. To join one of ViNA’s committees, attend one of their regular meetings. Dates and locations can be found on our events calendar.