The Community Heart & Soul process is completed over four phases to ensure that all members of the communities are involved.
A group of volunteers started working in 2021 with our sponsors and funders to bring the Community Heart & Soul program to Akron and Westfield communities.
We received a grant from the Community Heart & Soul Foundation to jumpstart the program and funds were generously matched by businesses, organizations in the community.
The program launched with a number of projects and events, including renovating a pocket park in downtown Akron, a back to school pool party and more, and beginning to gather input from community members about what they love about our community.
We started this phase in fall 2021 and continued through 2022 to gather ideas and input from community members of all ages, including: - What brought you here? - Why do you stay? - What do you love most about this place - When you think about the future here, what are your hopes and dreams?
More than 300 community members completed a survey with their perspectives and students at Akron-Westfield Community School participated in sharing their hopes for the future, too. We also celebrated several exciting events in our communities, including groundbreaking for the family aquatic center in Akron and construction at Akron-Westfield CSD.
Volunteers reviewed every response and compiled feedback into six Heart & Soul statements to capture the values and priorities that community members shared. These values will drive the next phase of the process, which is defining the goals and action steps for our communities.
Act: Turn ideas into action plans
Working together with local governments, businesses and fellow community groups, we will identify key opportunities for development and cooperation. We will turn these ideas over to local government, businesses, and other local organizations for them to use as research and inspiration for their future planning. We can’t wait to see where the journey leads our community.
Stronger Together: Akron and Westfield Heart & Soul StrongerTogetherHS@gmail.com