Saturday, October 15, 2011

Groups Share Lofty Goals

Today's event to raise money for community uplift and to bring about "Five Pillars" of good works reminded me of another event held on May 28, 2010.

Organizers of the "People Against Killing" event also set out to raise funds and bring seven objectives to fruition. According to the web site of "Giving Initiatives and Alternatives," the organization has in fact created a Community Resource Center at 200 Garfield Avenue in Plainfield where people can take barber training, learn re-entry skills, enjoy art lessons and more. Andrea Kee, well-known for her community volunteer work, is listed as the administrator.

Another objective was to start a "no questions asked" gun surrender program. One was held recently in Plainfield, not sure if it was the same group. Other goals were to form a council of elders that would act to resolve issues that affect the community, to form neighborhood-based security teams, to increase security by encouraging business owners to hire police officers to patrol during late hours (which came up at the City Council in the context of liquor license renewals this year), and to have Black History courses become part of the elementary school curriculum.

The web site includes a summary of fundraising for the event, noting total donations of $4,760, but total expenses of $5,220.

The goal of today's event is to raise $10,000. The Five Pillars are:

"To improve the image of Plainfield highlighting its beauty and historic legacy;
To increase unity, engaging everyone to participate in an event for a common cause regardless of differences (of race, politics, religion, geography, education, etc.) setting an example to be followed going forward for all (especially our youth);
To bring about a greater sense of health awareness emphasizing our ability to generally improve our health through simple natural principles (including stopping putting poisons in our bodies and exercising more);
Creating a greater self awareness for our youth of who they are (and what they really stand for), thus increasing their self respect and positive image of themselves;
To raise funds that will provide additional programs for youth advancement (including offering grants and supplies for needy students, and supporting recreational programs for all youth), as well as additional recreational activities for senior citizens to participate more within the community."

One hopes there will be a report at some future point on how well things are going toward achieving these goals. Further, it would be good to have linkages among the various new and old groups that have community betterment as their overarching mission. A consortium of these groups would strengthen their mutual causes and avoid duplication of services.


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