The Villages at Parkside (TVP), much like their name states, is filled with people who care about and look after each other as if they were family. Friends of Parkside, the organization I am working with, uses the cohesiveness of the TVP community to their advantage when organizing/promoting events and programs that benefit the people in the surrounding area. While working with FOP I’ve noticed the major emphasis on establishing personal relationships with the members of the Parkside community. When making phone calls, I am always reminded by my supervisor to bring up past instances where I may have interacted with the person I am speaking to in order to establish a more familiar tone. I’ve also taken note that when sending texts or emails, a less than formal tone is appreciated because FOP is no stranger to the people of TVP. This is especially useful when recruiting members of TVP to volunteer or participate in various programing. As I begin to form my own relationships with members of the community I can see why this is essential for the success of FOP.
As relationships are cultivated and people become closer with each other, collaboration becomes easier. This is shown every other Wednesday when Friends of Parkside hosts a Food Pantry and volunteers are recruited from the Parkside COVID-19 Resource Committee. (The picture posted is of volunteers from the Food Pantry this past Wednesday). It is a large workload for a small group of people but the volunteers always manage to keep things running smooth. Team work is another major part in ensuring that Friends of Parkside runs efficiently. Working more with the community has allowed me to become more aware of those who are truly dedicated to bettering their community and who are most reliable. In meetings with Friends of Parkside, it is common for residents to express concerns regarding their property and housing issues that are the responsibility of housing management, but my supervisor and his team members make sure that the community members are heard and works with them to find alternative solutions to their problems.
Friends of Parkside is a supportive community that values the opinions and work of the community members that they serve. I love seeing how invested they are in supporting the TVP and upholding the expectations of the community. Being in a virtual setting limits my ability to observe the culture at FOP, but from what I have seen so far it is an organization that thrives off of achieving the mutual goals shared between themselves and the residents at The Villages at Parkside.