The Power of Community Access: An Interview with Allison David
Hello podcast listeners, welcome to another episode of “Out & About with Antionette.” On this podcast I highlight incredible individuals who are making a positive impact in their communities in and around Delaware. Today, my special guest, Allison David, CEO of the Claymont Community Center, who is doing some amazing things to uplift the Claymont Community.
The Claymont Community Center is a hub of services catering to people of all ages. Their mission is to foster mental health and reconnect individuals to their community after a challenging couple of years.
Recently, they organized a fantastic 5K Walk and Run, which took place on a perfect, rain-free day. With about 100 participants, the event brought the community together, supported by sponsors, and featured vendors and activities for the kids. It was a joyful celebration of the center’s role as a community hub.
Allison emphasizes the importance of addressing mental health issues resulting from isolation during the pandemic. Through their three-year strategic plan, the Claymont Community Center aims to work collaboratively with the community, listening to their input and creating events that genuinely resonate with them. For instance, they had a “Trunk or Treat” event in October where families came together and enjoyed the Halloween season.
One aspect that sets the Claymont Community Center apart is their commitment to cross-generational events. Allison believes in the power of different generations coming together to share their experiences. The community Center bridges the gap by providing opportunities for older adults to engage with their grandchildren and families, fostering a sense of connection and understanding.
Discussing the journey of the Claymont Community Center, Allison acknowledges the challenges they faced during the pandemic. However, she commends her dedicated staff for maintaining strong connections with the community even during the toughest times. Their resilience and commitment have been integral in keeping the community engaged and supported.
Claymont itself has undergone significant changes, with new industry developments, such as the steel mill and train station. In response, the Claymont Community Center aims to help local people connect with job opportunities by organizing job fairs and providing access to the growing employment sector. Additionally, the center offers a safe space for children through their Empowered Youth Program, catering to kids from fourth through eighth grade. They are also exploring options to expand the program to serve high school students, ensuring they have a positive and engaging environment to prevent boredom and potential negative behaviors.
Beyond the community center, Allison and her team are actively involved in various initiatives. They have a food closet within the center, which has been serving the community for a long time. However, they are excited to announce the relocation of the food closet to a building they own, along with the development of a community garden. This move will allow them to expand their reach, involve more community members in gardening activities, and strengthen the sense of community connection.
The Claymont Community Center under Allison David’s leadership is truly a beacon of hope and support for the Claymont community. By prioritizing mental health, creating cross-generational events, offering safe spaces for children, and providing essential services like food assistance, they are fostering a stronger and more connected community.
If you’re inspired by the Claymont Community Center’s journey and want to learn more about them, check out their website https://claymontcenter.org/
Stay tuned for more episodes of “Out & About with Antionette,” where we continue to shine a light on remarkable individuals transforming their communities for the better.