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Community Involvement. What Does That Really Mean?

What does community involvement mean to you? Learn how you can join groups working to prevent teen substance abuse or volunteering to assist police with their tasks.

Since I am a public sector employee, community involvement is part of my job. For myself and many of my fellows  it goes way beyond that. Being involved in the community means building relationships. Relationships are the very things that bridge the gaps between barriers, that become 'sticky subjects' for many. Community involvement means spending the extra time, without being compensated. I have the great benefit to have met some of the most involved people in my experience in my "home community". There are organizations that many of us know little about. I wanted to take a few moments for some of you to learn about them and what they are trying to accomplish. You might find something that truly inspiring to become involved in.

That is what community involvement is really about: finding your passion and stepping into it. My passion is in working with the community, any community, to open up opportunities for increased safety, awareness and prevention involving children, teens and adults. What is yours? I would love to hear about it? Send me an email.

MCYAF - Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation. This organization has been in existence since 2002. They are a foundation whose mission has been in reducing the risk of young people in Maine Township using and abusing alcohol and other drugs. They are comprised of community members and stakeholders from three communities, Des Plaines, Park Ridge and Niles. They have goals which can have a tremendous impact in our communities, including:

  1. The reduction of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in Maine Township youth.
  2. Effect change in public policy.
  3. Establish and strengthen collaboration and capacity to address alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

This organization is comprised of local government, police, schools, social service agencies, faith-based organizations, health-care providers, parents and youth. They provide resources, out reach messages and relationships with Maine Community youth. They do it through a variety of programs including the upcoming TxtTip program, Parents Who Host Lose the Most (you might have seen those signs up and running) and the Sticker Shock programs to say the least. If you are interested in contacting the MCYAF please feel free to call them at 847-858-7090 or visit their website .

Niles Citizen Corps - The Niles Citizen Corps started out shortly after the 9/11. President Bush created the Citizen Corps Program  and the Village of Niles applied for and received a federal grant that helped create the Niles Citizen Corps. Since 2002 the Niles Citizen Corps has trained over 70 people in the Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERTS). In 2008 the Niles Citizen Corps program was restructured with the goal of involving those members in the Community. These volunteers, through interactions with the Village of Niles, Police Department and Fire Department, assist with Crime Prevention, special events, community outreach, traffic control, and support. It is because of volunteers within this organization that we in tough budgetary times can give a whole new meaning to community involvement. Members of the Niles Citizen corps volunteer over 2,000 hours annually to the community in Niles. They are never paid and they are always available to help out simply by making a telephone call. To learn more about the Niles Citizen Corps go to their website for more information.

That is what Community Involvement is really about. Finding your passion and stepping into it. My passion is in working with the community any community to open up opportunities for increased safety, awareness and prevention involving children, teens and adults. What is yours? I would love to hear about it? Send me an email.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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