On Sunday, December 11, MRIA’s Social Action Task Force (SATF) organized a Potluck Party with a Purpose. In the aftermath of this year’s divisive elections, the SATF thought more neighbors might want to get involved in their community-building efforts.
Over 30 attended the meeting with dishes in hand. SATF reviewed the group’s accomplishments and looked forward to projects planned for 2017.
SATF members explained the group’s establishment by MRIA in the wake of the unrest in spring 2015. Following those events, neighbors wanted to find ways that residents could make a positive impact in the 21217 community.
At that time, they developed the following mission statement: “To encourage, facilitate, and initiate personal engagement between the Bolton Hill neighborhood and the surrounding 21217 community. By highlighting the many great organizations serving our community, we hope that our collective efforts will create a more healthy, vibrant, just, and safe community for everyone.”
The group decided to focus their efforts on supporting existing organizations in the neighborhood, rather than setting their own agenda. They chose three methods for supporting these organizations:
- Organizing Parties with a Purpose
- Creating and promoting a Community Asset List to facilitate and encourage more neighborhood involvement
- Organizing neighborhood efforts to actively support organizations
Thus far, the SATF has organized five Parties with a Purpose, as well as a book drive for Reading Partners and a Stoop Party group walk to the No Boundaries Block Party last June. They also published the Community Asset List on the Bolton Hill Bulletin website and published a Holiday Volunteer Guide to encourage neighbors to volunteer for local organizations during the holidays.
SATF events have collected approximately $2,000 in donations and have funneled volunteers and other support to twelve non-profit organizations serving the 21217 area. This Powerpoint slideshow provides an overview of the SATF’s impact thus far.
Potluck attendees went on to discuss plans for 2017, coming up with many creative suggestions. The SATF collected these Potluck Wall Responses to a series of questions that were posted around the meeting room.
The SATF encourages everyone to get involved by attending one of their monthly meetings or their next Party with a Purpose. If you’d rather donate money or have volunteer time, review the Community Asset List and Holiday Volunteer Guide for ideas.
The next SATF meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 8, 5 pm at 1309 Bolton St. (Kellie’s & Rob’s house.) On the agenda: planning the next Party with a Purpose, slated for sometime this winter.