SMILE's open house promotes community participation
In an effort to get more neighbors involved as volunteers in the affairs of the neighborhood, the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League (SMILE) held an Open House on April 29 at SMILE Station.
"Leaders and members of SMILE committees are holding our Open House today to encourage people to learn what we do, and to consider becoming a volunteer," explained the organizer, and past SMILE President, Corinne Stefanick. "My goal for the Open House is to have more connection between residents and renters in the neighborhood, and the business community as well."
While there wasn't a big crowd at any given time during this "drop-in" event, the room was busy, as many families took some time to come in, talk with the volunteers, visit with SMILE committees, enter the free prize drawing for gift cards and items provided by 27 area businesses, and enjoy snacks provided by New Seasons Market.
It takes "vibrant volunteers", Stefanick commented, to help with issues ranging from land use, to transportation – a current issue being cut-through traffic in Sellwood – to putting on fun events.
"For example, we're glad that so many people come to 'Sundae in the Park' on the first Sunday in August each year in upper Sellwood Park, but putting on this beloved event takes a lot of energy, and we're looking for more volunteers," Stefanick told THE BEE.
For those not sure in which field they'd like to volunteer, Stefanick encouraged neighbors to attend a SMILE neighborhood association General Meeting, held every "first Wednesday" of the month at SMILE Station, 13th and S.E. Tenino Street, starting at 7:30 p.m. It lasts an hour and a half or so.