A Call for Volunteers
By Lola Carlisle
I’m not sure if all who live in the neighborhood know how much the Virginia-Highland Civic Association (VHCA) does to help maintain the quality of life we all enjoy. That’s OK – we’re all busy and some are new to the area and have never heard of VHCA. We’re a group of volunteers and we could use your help. Actually it’s really rewarding but can be so much more so if the workload is distributed across more engaged and talented residents.
From the amount of comments one sees on social media channels for our neighborhood, there are many who care a lot about what’s happening around them. We’d sure like to see that positive energy and concern channeled into action!
VHCA Committees in Need of Additional Volunteers
Peggy Berg chairs it and in case you didn’t know, she is our sidewalk hero! But there are so many influences on safety and Peggy could use some help. There’s criminal activity, homelessness, appearances that may influence safety (keeping trash picked up and graffiti removed), VHCA’s support of the Neighborhood Watch Street Captain program, traffic/lighting/signage, communication with our elected officials and APD, and more. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This committee is very important and we’re losing one of the neighborhood’s most treasured volunteers (to Poncey-Highland and aren’t they lucky!): John Becker, who’s served as Communications Chair (among other things) for the past three years. As a result of the efforts of many including John, VHCA communications are a best-in-class example of how it should be done. Our website, newsletter and social media communications are effective and important. We’re looking for someone to act as committee chair and others to fill out the committee. These volunteers will need to help steer our communications strategy, update our WordPress website, write and edit articles, manage ad sales and placement, send out the newsletter, tape and upload the board meeting videos and other tasks. If you’re interested in helping with this committee, reach us at email@example.com.
Fundraising Committee (Summerfest / Tour of Homes)
A key reason that our neighborhood is so effective at maintaining our culture is our funding. We are able to hire consultants on planning, traffic and development issues; we receive grants to match the funds we put into our parks (see recent JHP improvements); and we give grants to our schools and local non-profits. We plan and execute both the Tour of Homes in winter and Summerfest in the summer; this work is time-intensive but certainly rewarding both in terms of experience and monetary gains for the neighborhood. Both committees need help! Tour of Homes is looking for a volunteer graphics person and someone to help sell sponsorships. Summerfest will need many volunteers so sign up at https://vahi.org/summerfest/volunteers. To get more involved with Summerfest, email firstname.lastname@example.org or for the Tour of Homes email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia-Highland Preservation & History Committee
This committee does a good bit of scanning and filing and could really use help from someone who has a passion for history. We have 100 gigs of historic images and documents and many physical items that need organizing and attention. When better managed this can become a resource for the entire city of Atlanta as we’ll share it with the Atlanta History Center. If you’re interested in helping, you can reach us at email@example.com.
Just for fun – and as proof that you’ll learn new things during your volunteer experience – these are things I thought I’d never know, but do because I volunteer with VHCA:
- Many amazing neighbors!
- Many city officials personally – lots of whom are professional and energetic and care a lot.
- How many guns were stolen out of cars in our neighborhood this year so far – 7!
- Where the Todd Cemetery is and its history – you can visit it, too.
- What a “quatrefoil” is, and where it appears architecturally in our neighborhood.
- That the state stream buffer protection line is 25’ and the city stream buffer protection line is 75’.
- The subdivisions of VaHi.
- Our neighborhood’s exact boundaries.
- Many folks that have contributed to things I enjoy – John Howell, Jerry Bright, Tinka Green (who we sadly lost recently), the Coffins, Warren Bruno and so many more.
- How nice the folks at Open Door Community are.
- How many neighbors routinely do a lot of thankless tasks that produce a much more liveable community.
- How city planning constantly evolves, and how hard it is to anticipate the impacts of land use decisions.
- That there aren’t near enough fields left in VH for our kids to go play on, with or without adults present.
- How diverse the knowledge base is in VaHi – from aerospace engineers to paleontologists to geologists to dog walkers to master gardeners to screenplay writers to cartographers to…
- A little more about Robert’s Rules of Order.
- That Winnie Currie is from the mountains of Appalachia and worked at Sears for years and bought a house in VaHi when many were afraid to and told her she was crazy to do so.
- How many structures, addresses, and people there are in VH.
- That there used to be an attack goose owned by one of two feuding neighbors – the goose attacked the neighbor almost daily.
- Who started VHCA, why it was started, and what highways had to do with that.
- That Nass Almeleh paid 50 cents for a beer at Atkins Park as long as he lived – no matter what the price of beer was at the time.
- The difference between Green B. and George W. Adair.
- That Rooster Foot Alley must have been really cool and I need to find descendants of people who lived there.
- That the top of Atkin’s Park Tavern is the house that was on that lot but was raised a story when the bar (that started as a deli) was built below it.
- That we should start a VaHi Trivia game as part of Trivia at George’s!
If you’re not sure what you’d like to do, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will get back to you. Better yet, attend a planning or board meeting and you’ll start to get a feel for what we all do. Meeting schedules can be found on vahi.org.