The best thing about Mount Vernon is the people of Mount Vernon. As the Mount Vernon Forward team and I walk the streets of Mount Vernon, I realize there are so many of us that have been locked up for over a year! This pandemic hit us all so hard but especially our seniors and our youth.
The pandemic was a wake up call for all of us. We see the needs of our community slightly differently. We are more empathetic and sympathetic towards our neighbors. Let's try to keep that kindness and continue to pay it forward. How can we do that? Here are a few ways we can support one another and continue to support others here;
Identify someone in your neighborhood who may need a helping hand. Maybe they need their lawn cut, a grocery store run or a simple conversation.
Our youth have literally had nothing to do but Zooms or virtual classrooms all year. Let's not be so quick to stifle their fun but maybe join them and create an organized event that can keep them out of trouble and safe.
Many of our residents have lost employment this past year. Do you know of someone looking for a job? Do you know a place that has steady employment? We need to have a sharing community board so we can help each other.
These are just a few things we can all do for another in the upcoming months.
As we look forward to the days after this pandemic, I believe we must all consider the quality of life here in our city. I know that I am personally committed to making sure we have both the funding and the political will to make sure our roads and sidewalks are improved, that our parks are open for recreational activities and outdoor enjoyment, that our business districts get the support that they need. As a veteran of nonprofit management and fundraising, I'm also focused on making sure that sector is a full partner in making the quality of life here better.
As we enjoy the Spring weather, let’s listen to each other more and put infighting behind us. Together, we can help our neighbors, improve the quality of life for all, and move Mount Vernon Forward.
Cathlin Gleason is a longstanding leader in Mount Vernon’s nonprofit community who has served on the boards of the Youth Community Outreach Program (YCOP) and the Fleetwood Neighborhood Association, and is President of the Board of Directors of Community Service Associates, Inc. which operates the largest Soup kitchen in Mount Vernon. She is also an active fundraiser for the Making Stride Against Breast Cancer walk and The Walk to End Alzheimer's and also serves as a Library Trustee.