The MVI Community Outreach Team maintains a deep local connection with member Community Development Corporations (CDCs) by providing guidance, supporting growth, and responding to the needs of the communities. Their successes are marked by the accomplishments of the volunteers that make up each CDC and the relationships built between residents and surrounding communities. Here are some of their successes from 2015:
2015 Annual Dinner
Everyone had an enjoyable evening at the 2015 Annual Dinner, held at the East Pittsburgh Veterans of Foreign War. The quote that created our theme for the evening was: “And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” ~Libba Bray, Author
MVI awarded their annual Heinz Award for Community Service posthumously to Malcolm Blount, former CIF Committee member, and their Regional Partnership Award to the Allegheny Trail Alliance. Each CDC selected their own awardee for Community Partner of the Year.
Pictured above are several of the CDC awardees and those presenting the awards.
CDC Events and Projects:
- The Braddock Economic Development Corporation (BEDCO) purchased trashcans and bicycle racks for Braddock Avenue this year and is currently working with Meta Mesh to install wireless nodes on businesses along Braddock Avenue as part of a free wifi system through a recent Google grant they received.
- Among many successful events in 2015, Downtown West Newton, Inc. (DWNI) held a Car Cruise during the summer, their annual Miracle on Main Street event in November, and continued to host a Farmers Market at Simeral Square throughout the summer. These events engaged residents in West Newton and the surrounding community and raised significant funds for the organization.
- 2015 was a year of forming many partnerships in family and youth services, for the East Pittsburgh Economic Development Corporation (EPEDC). In addition to recruiting children to attend an affordable, one-week summer camp for at-risk youth, called Promise Camp, EPEDC also partnered with Pittsburgh Dream Center and Family Care Connection to bring services into the community such as volunteer days, a mobile food bank, and family support training and resources.
- The Greater Charleroi Community Development Corporation (GCCDC) partnered with other local organizations to host the Pyrex 100th Anniversary Pancake Breakfast in Charleroi in May, 2015! Members also committed significant time to planning for Meadow Park.
- In 2015, the Monessen Community Development Corporation (MCDC) held several events, including their annual Community Christmas Event, Halloween Parade, and Trunk or Treat. In addition, MCDC also acted as a sponsor and provided volunteers for the local Amphitheater Committee for their Dallas Marks concert during the summer.
- North Braddock Cares, Inc. (NBC) took action to fight blight in their community in 2015, continuing efforts to revitalize Recycle Park through a mini grant from Vibrant Pittsburgh and the Jewish Federation to build chairs and tables within the park while conducting engagement workshops with youth throughout the summer of 2015. In April, NBC also hosted college student volunteers from Slippery Rock University and Penn State Greater Allegheny Campus to board up and secure over 100 vacant homes in North Braddock.
- In May 2015, the Rankin Community Development Corporation (RCDC) hosted a successful community clean-up day! RCDC formed teams of volunteers, mostly those engaged with youth programs at the Rankin Christian Center, to clean up trash around the community. RCDC engaged over 40 volunteers for this clean-up day.
- The Swissvale Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO) held their first Make Swissvale Home event in April 2015, educating potential homebuyers to the FHA 203k loan program and opening seven homes in the community that would be good candidates for the program. Following the event, SEDCO announced that they would offer $1000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to up to 10 people using the 203k loan program to purchase a home in Swissvale.
- The Turtle Creek Development Corporation (TCDC) board was approached by a public works employee, Chris Osman, in the summer of 2015 about providing fiscal sponsorship for a garden project that would be potentially funded by Grow Pittsburgh. Chris and other garden leaders assembled the application, and the garden group was admitted to the Allegheny Grows Program for 2016.
Along with the launch of MVI’s new website in July 2014, the Outreach team began producing blog posts (like these) to give our readers a better look into our organization. In 2015, they have posted 18 blogs and the blog has had over 2500 views this year.
The Outreach team has also continued developing social media strategy to highlight important MVI and CDC events and to encourage online engagement and interaction. With the help of our Facebook insights, here are some of the posts that engaged the most people in 2015:
The “Save the Date” post for our Make Swissvale Home event in April, 2015:
The announcement about North Braddock Cares’ “Board Up” service project:
The unveiling of the newly-renovated Braddock Free Press Buildings:
The press release announcing the Free Press Buildings’ Ribbon Cutting: