First Serve brings together more than 800 individuals from different faiths and backgrounds to volunteer alongside each other.

For the past nine years, First Serve has been an annual day of service, held during the second Sunday in September, led by First Congregational Church of Hudson in partnership with the  Islamic Society of Akron and Kent, Temple Beth Shalom of Hudson and supported by many other faith communities in Hudson and the Akron area.

At the onset of the pandemic, First Serve met with North Hill community partners and key community organizations to better understand their needs under these new circumstances. Once we had a clear understanding of the necessary adjustments, First Serve restructured its delivery model from a single day of service to a continuing summer of service incorporating all of the Summit County Health Department pandemic guidelines such as no groups larger than 10, providing PPE, concentrating on outdoor projects, and creating as many “do at home” projects as possible to ensure a feeling of safety for our volunteers and NH community members.

Not enough can be said, not enough can be published on the exceptional job Sue Wimer and the volunteers of First Congregational Church of Hudson are doing on North Hill. On Sunday, September 13, the First Serve army invaded Ward 2 ONCE AGAIN and started tackling project after project at four locations. No doubt, First Serve has become the model organization that unites people by providing opportunities for people of different backgrounds – cultural, economic, ethic, and religious – to come together and work side-by-side as a way to get to know one another bridging that gap. Wow! Thank you First Serve! You are welcome anytime on the streets of Akron!

Phil Lombardo

Akron Ward 2 Councilman, Ward 2 Word Newsletter