The first event that I helped plan for the Meadow Park Initiative was called “Neighborhood Coffee Hour”. It had taken place at Friendship Park on the morning of October 31, 2018 for 7:30 am to 8. At this event, we had given out free coffee and hot chocolate to the Meadow Park neighborhood’s residents. This event had been planned by not only IMAA, but also United Way and Family Service Rochester. My first task was to pass out the event flyer we designed, and because the neighborhood is so diverse, we had made the flyer in multiple languages: English, Spanish, and Somali.
In order to spread the word about the event, I had met up with the community memebers and had lunch with them, along with the event flyer. I had introduced my slef to them and told them what my job role was as a community organizer. We had discussed where they were able to go in order to communicate their issues and who to contact. I had went to the aparment complexes every day that week in order to help them find ways to resolve their issues. Organizing this evenent had really taught me how to communicate better with the residents.
In the midst of this event being planned, I had undergone surgery for my foot. This had been a setback because I found myslef behind on my work. In order to catch up, I had revisited the apartment complexes to update the residents on the Initiative and what we have planned in order to better their living situations. I wanted the residents to understand what we were trying to accomplish for the community.
I continued to reach out to residents for weeks. I spoke a lot with the community members and we talked a lot about their concerns regarding the health and safety of their children. Through this process, I was able to find residents who were willing to voulunteer their time to help our effort with the community. The following week, we had begun to set up the park for the Neighboorhood Coffee Hour” community engagement event. We wanted to have this first event so that all of the partners were involved.