Frontloading EHS Support’s 2014 Annual Meeting, members of EHS Support’s ETHOS Leadership Program volunteered at The Common Place in southwest Philadelphia. The Common Place is a recent initiative to provide a faith-based, educational, and arts outreach ministry for children through an after-school program associated with the neighboring Christian school, Cornerstone Christian Academy. The Common Place is housed within the New Spirit Community Presbyterian Church building, which is undergoing major renovations to accommodate the planned activities as well as update its interiors and infrastructure as the building was constructed in 1870. These renovations are supported by a partnership between New Spirit congregation, the Wayne Presbyterian Church, and many volunteers.
Our main contact while onsite was Peter Grimm, President of Building Renewal, who is providing consultation services related to planning and implementing capital improvements. Peter provided a tour of the facilities and a brief history of the building. The building is a beautiful structure with intricate stained-glass windows and a towering steeple overlooking the community it serves.
EHS Support helped alleviate some of the renovation cost by volunteering to paint an office and program room. We also contributed to the “Wall of Inspiration” by preparing posters with inspirational quotes and pictures of our personal mentors and inspiration figures. The Wall of Inspiration will greet children when they arrive to The Common Place.
Throughout the day, numerous volunteers and employees passed through our “work-sites” to express their gratitude for the volunteer-hours. The vision for this space was hard to see at times, but through conversations with those around the site, it wasn’t difficult to see the inspiration in their hearts and hear about the community’s need for this space. It was a rewarding experience for each of our volunteers and humbling to know we have contributed a small part to a project that will have lasting impacts to the community.
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