Team Leader Reflection:
Ms. Elaine Norwood, a long time Northside Resident, was the life of our Holiday Party. She was chatting everyone up, and even borrowed a guitar to serenade other guests. Seeing her sing and play the guitar to folks sixty years her juniors emphasized why I do what I do. The party demonstrated the potential of our new space and the uniqueness present where people with such different histories can come together and have such pure fun!!!
We have now better settled into our new home at 512 W. Rosemary Street and have begun taking full advantage of the space. In addition to creating systems to ensure that our space remains clean and welcoming to our staff and all of our constant visitors, it seems we always have folks in and out of the center. We have hosted numerous school groups over the past few months, and many of you were part of the hundreds of people who were in and out for the Holiday Housewarming party we held in December! In addition, we have celebrated the incredible people who make Heavenly Groceries work with home cooked shrimp and grits from Brentton, our own in-house chef. We are working to continue to have a welcoming space with different ideas such as additional potlucks and card game nights.
We recognize that part of celebrating home is getting out to know those whom we share Northside. With this in mind, we are creating different initiatives to help build community and give back. We have had dozens of student delivering Northside News Papers to residents and getting out to know the community. Our resident chef is also our resident singer and he delivered song-a-grams to folks over Valentine’s Day. We have been working with the University’s Neighborhood Outreach Coordinators to help determine fun ways to connect neighbors and students in the coming year, and we have multiple groups of student volunteers going out, knocking on doors and meeting folks in the neighborhood.
Finally, we are extremely excited for May Day, the large festival we have every year. It will be Saturday, May 3rd. We have been in touch with local restaurants who will be donating! We have students, neighbors, church members, and other parts of our community all coming together. We will have kids games, food, dancing, and overall fun! We are trying to make this the biggest one yet, so if anyone has good ideas or wants to be part of the planning/ set up, please get in touch. Everyone should put it into their calendars now because it is going to be incredible!!! We want the new Jackson Center to be a place for anyone to stop by, so come visit us.