Volunteer opportunities abound in CY

Renée Massey

As the holiday season approaches and 2014 draws to a close, it’s a perfect time to take stock in this year’s accomplishments and to decide on next year’s goals. Cooper-Young is an amazing community not because we are a community of wealth but because we are a community of action.

The Cooper-Young Community Association is a fellowship of residents and other interested parties that volunteer time and effort to make Cooper-Young a safer and more desirable place to live, worship, work, and play. The only expertise most of us bring to the table are from our own personal and sometimes professional life experiences, and we show up at board meetings, committee meetings, general meetings, and volunteer activities with a commitment to do our best for the community, to learn together how to meet the challenges of maintaining a vibrant and progressive urban neighborhood, and to respect our differences while finding a way to make this a community we are all happy to “play” in and proud to call home.

Whether you are a renter or a homeowner, an introvert or an extrovert, a teenager, a senior, or somewhere in between, I encourage each of you to evaluate what you can give to your neighborhood in 2015. The CYCA has only one paid employee in addition to the newspaper editor, so the special things that happen here depend on the volunteer involvement of interested parties. No doubt you have a special area of interest or expertise that could be put to good use for your neighborhood, and volunteer opportunities are many. The CYCA needs people to:

1. Maintain and develop our website.

2. Maintain our computers.

3. Write for the LampLighter newspaper. The articles you see in your neighborhood newspaper are submitted by volunteer writers. Do you have an area of interest that might also interest fellow Cooper-Young-ians and support a monthly column? Are you interested in writing the Volunteer Spotlight or Yard-of-the-Month articles? Or do you perhaps have interest in submitting occasional articles?

4. Support neighborhood and alley cleanup events.

5.  Take responsibility for emptying and maintaining public trash cans in Cooper-Young.

6. Deliver LampLighter newspapers in Cooper-Young.

7. Become Block Club Captains. The main responsibilities for block club captains is welcoming new neighbors and planning the annual National Night Out block party for the street or block.

8. Provide volunteer support for annual events:

• Annual Cooper-Young Yard Sale (May)

• Independence Day Parade (July)

• Festival Friday 4-Miler (September)

• Cooper-Young Festival Booth (September)

• Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest (October)

• Suzzane Striker Memorial Food Drive (November)

• Membership Mailer Event (December)

• St. Jude Marathon Water Table (December)

• Holiday Bag Stuffing (December)

9. Serve on committees, including:

• 4-Miler Committee: Organizes the CYCA’s most important annual fundraiser, including event planning, marketing, sponsor solicitation, etc.

• Communications and Marketing Committee: Supports the development and publication of LampLighter newspaper 11 times per year, develops CYCA communication policies, researches communication technologies, etc.

• Beautification Committee: Plans activities and events to keep Cooper-Young beautiful and interesting such as planting curbside ginkgo trees, developing public art projects, cleaning and possibly repurposing alleys, organizing neighborhood cleanups, etc.

• Safety Committee: Plans public safety initiatives, conducts streetlight audits, organizes general meeting speakers, maintains relationships with MPD, educates public on crime prevention, anti-blight efforts through code awareness, graffiti cover-up, block clubs, emergency response training, pet safety, etc.

• Membership Committee: Develops CYCA membership. Marketing and event participation are helpful. One mail campaign annually

• Serve on the Board of Directors: Both at-large Board members and committee chairpersons are needed, and any one of a variety of skills could be of use, including:

  • Technology skills
  • Marketing skills
  • Event planning skills
  • Financial and budgeting skills
  • Experience interacting with government entities
  • Experience interacting with media
  • Legal skills

 Do you have ideas that will keep our neighborhood moving forward?  Are you ready to meet your neighbors and take action to implement your ideas?  To volunteer in any capacity, to ask questions, or to visit a committee meeting without commitment to join, email the association at volunteer@cooperyoung.org, call our offices at 901-272-2922, or stop by during business hours at 2298 Young Avenue.  YOU are the most valuable resource in Cooper-Young.

Happy holidays!

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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