Community Building: Avalon’s Community CentersBy: Avalon Housing
When asked to write a blog post for Avalon’s website, I was flooded with excitement and had so many ideas! There isn’t time to write a novel so I’ll narrow down my 1,000,000 blog post ideas into one topic: COMMUNITY BUILDING.
After years of case management positions at other organizations, I worried that my administrative position at Avalon might leave me feeling a bit disconnected from my community. This couldn’t be further from reality. Sure, my days at Avalon can turn into weeks and months that consist mostly of managing schedules and taking meeting minutes. But even these seemingly monotonous tasks bear witness to the truest form of community building I have seen in my lifetime.
Generous grant funding makes the difference
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of assisting in securing a grant from the Buhr Foundation. This grant provided money to upgrade technology and beautify Avalon’s community centers at five of our properties. What fun it’s been! First I gathered “wish lists” from coworkers and tenants from each community center. Following the award, I went shopping to purchase items from these wish lists.
Some of our staff here have received long-awaited computer upgrades. Our tenants are now able to enjoy brand new computers and printers. Some of the kids are able to utilize Chromebooks for their homework. Our staff offices within each center are far more useful than they’ve ever been with new desks, comfy computer chairs, and new office supplies. Thanks to new furniture in our reception areas, colorful art work, rugs, bean bags, tables and chairs, our centers are warm, refreshed, and more inviting.
This experience has opened my eyes to the most wholesome “trickle-down effect” I’ve ever seen! This financial commitment from our donors at the Buhr Foundation has filtered all the way down to the children who reside in Avalon Housing.
I think it’s important to have a space for our community members and staff to gather, share ideas, play with kids, discover resources, and just BE. Our community centers at Avalon Housing offer this type of all-inclusive “hub”, and I’m proud to have had my hand in creating it.
On behalf of the entire Avalon community, a huge thank you to the Buhr Foundation!
By Jody Piechura, Executive Assistant
Please enjoy some more pictures of the community center project made possible by the Buhr Foundation: