Community Service Expo Comes to the Dogwood Festival
“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us daily."
- Sally Koch
One of my favorite things about living in Phoenixville is the strong culture of service, volunteerism, and caring that permeates every aspect of this community. Phoenixville’s hallmark of community service pulses through the veins of our schools, houses of worship, dozens of community organizations, and festivals. It’s imbued in all that we do. We fundraise, we rally, we help. Whether it’s a debilitating illness, a tragic house fire, or a new women’s shelter – this community shows up to support each other. This is rare. It’s beautiful. And it’s a cause for celebration.
Our community is stronger when we serve each other because through service, we realize there is more that connects us than separates us. In that spirit, Activate Phoenixville Area is partnering with the Phoenixville Jaycees at the Dogwood Festival to bring the first ever Community Service Expo on Tuesday May 17 at Reeves Park from 6 – 9 pm.
Come learn about service, volunteerism, and engagement opportunities from more than 30 diverse nonprofits involved in arts & culture, sports & recreation, hunger, housing & homelessness, farming / community gardening, education, seniors, and youth.
This Community Service Expo helps to bring the Dogwood Festival back to its roots. As Phoenixville Jaycees President Peter Ushlerer shares, “What many people today don’t realize is that the Dogwood Festival has always been based on community service and leadership. In fact, the first seven Dogwood Queens were selected by who raised the most money supporting the war effort by selling war bonds and Dogwood trees!”
Engaging in service not only helps the neediest among us, it has an equally beneficial impact on the health of the volunteer. Stanford University’s Dr. Emma Seppala encourages us to “do some service because that’s when you’ll truly not only feel connected, but you’ll have a sense of purpose and you’ll thrive. You’ll feel a happiness that doesn’t just come as a burst of pleasure that leaves you hungry for more. It lasts.”
Authentic social connection has a profoundly positive impact on your health. This Expo is a chance for community members to find the best fit to connect, serve, and improve their health by volunteering. Everyone is needed to be part of stitching together the social fabric that makes Phoenixville so strong.
Managers reward employees, and parents have long rewarded children for demonstrating the values they most want to cultivate. Now, our community is ‘rewarding’ or celebrating the values that we hold dear: our culture of community service.
As the rest of the world has begun to catch onto the secret that is Phoenixville, we are growing, expanding and attracting new residents by the hundreds. Let’s join together to envelope those newcomer’s into the essence of compassion that service elicits in us. Let’s be part of ensuring our culture of service and caring continues to define what it means to be from Phoenixville! Come celebrate what we most value.
To find out more about the Community Service Expo at the Dogwood Festival, please visit www.ActivatePhoenixvilleArea.org
Shannon Mannon, Activate Phoenixville Area
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