In 2015, Building Families for Children accepted the lead agency role in a collaborative, community mobilizing initiative in Patterson Park called the Community of Hope (COH). Blanca, a resident of Patterson Park for 10 years, was inspired by the initiative to work together with her neighbors to build a supportive, thriving community!
“I have a heart for helping Spanish-speaking families learn English, and I teach classes at a local school. Through that opportunity, I ended up meeting several other families who were involved with the Community of Hope (COH). I attended the ‘Spring Fling’ event at the local school, which included family activities as well as a food give-away. I signed up to learn more about COH. They shared that the group needed help with translating and I wanted to share my gift of being bi-lingual, so I began serving in that way. Together, the COH volunteers and I planned activities with the goal of helping neighbors and families get to know each other. One way we did that was by planning a block cleanup on my street. This inspired other neighborhoods to organize their own block clean-ups too! This really opened the lines of communication for families.
The work I do with Community of Hope is a big part of how I connect with other families in my neighborhood. It has encouraged me to see the potential in others and I have learned a lot of skills related to organizing events. The Bible tells us that many hands make light work (Nehemiah 3). As a Christian, I know that we all need the Lord. I’m happy to be part of the Community of Hope; it is a practical way to show unity and to work together and be a part of something special.”