DNC committee, credit unions, and supporting groups host “Volunteer Day” in West Philly
In honor of the upcoming Democratic National Convention, the DNC staff partnered with credit unions and other supporting groups to host “Volunteer Day” at CHOP’s Karabots Pediatric Care Center in West Philadelphia.
Over 100 people participated in the community-oriented event, which involved building a Health and Wellness Garden at the children’s clinic. Volunteers spent the sunny day filling planting beds with soil, painting murals, and planting vegetables.
The beautification project is part of the Credit Union National Association’s “leave-behind” initiative, which gives the non-profit financial group an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on a neighborhood. They have contributed over $300,000 for the garden construction.
“A lot of organizations are going to come to [Philly] and sponsor fancy parties and stay at expensive hotels, then leave and not come back,” said Trey Hawkins, CUNA's Vice President of Political Affairs.
“We want to leave something behind for the community look back to and benefit from after having the convention come here.”
The garden will be a useful resource to the community as most families in the neighborhood don’t have great access to healthy food and fresh produce, said Steven Wilmott, director of the Karabots Pediatric Care Center.
“We serve a lot of kids that have health issues such as diabetes and obesity; so for us to be able to talk to them about health and nutrition and send them out to the garden and harvest fruits and vegetables might have a direct impact on our patients and their families,” he said.
Once the garden is complete, the children’s care clinic will host cooking classes and educational classes about nutrition and healthy-eating, Wilmott said.
Nonetheless, “Volunteer Day” is a chance to show commitment to communities-- a crucial value in the Democratic Party, said CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee Rev. Leah Daughtry.
“We believe that when communities are strong, our nation is strong; and what better way to demonstrate that than to ensure that children of all ages have healthy, nutritious, home-grown food right at their own backyards,” she said.