First Serve brings together more than 1,000 individuals from different faiths and backgrounds to work alongside each other for a day of volunteering in Akron.
First Congregational Church of Hudson leads this effort in partnership with Temple Beth Shalom, the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent and several other faith communities in the Hudson and Akron area. Leaders from the city of Akron, along with the Summit Lake and North Hill neighborhoods, are also part of the support team that has helped grow this amazIng event.
Volunteers begin the day at a sending service, a 30-minute gathering that includes music and prayer from all three faith traditions. Then, volunteers are sent into the community to work on a variety of projects – anything from painting, to landscaping work, ally cleanups and beyond. The day concludes with celebration services in the communities where volunteers have served – bringing together the volunteers and residents with food and fun.
This year, projects will be located in two different neighborhoods in Akron: The Summit Lake and North Hill Communities.
When one person is doing better and starts reaching out to other people … it is powerful.Patricia
I was happy to see that there are organizations willing to step into your community and make an impact on your life.Sandra
The Summit Lake Community is located south of downtown Akron. According to Jason Segedy in Notes from the Underground, “the neighborhood takes its name from the adjoining large, natural lake that served, first, as part of the Ohio & Erie Canal waterway, and, later, as a source of water for Akron’s burgeoning rubber and tire industry. Today, the neighborhood is beset by the highest vacancy rate in the City of Akron, but also holds great potential for revitalization, given its strategic location near Downtown Akron, and alongside the Ohio & Erie Canalway corridor.” Projects are located at the Community Center, Towpath Trail, Summit Lake, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, The REACH Center, Peter Maurin Center, neighborhood parks, non-profit organizations and residential properties.
The North Hill Community is located north of downtown Akron. The neighborhood developed rapidly in the 1910s and 1920s, and became Akron’s preeminent immigrant neighborhood, home to a large Italian and Polish population. Today, it is once again Akron’s preeminent immigrant neighborhood, now home to a thriving and growing community of newcomers from Bhutan, Burma, and Nepal, according to Jason Segedy, Notes from the Underground. Projects are located at the Patterson Community Center, Sammis Park, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority, neighborhoods parks, non-profit organizations, business and residential properties.