The Resilient Communities Impact Program is a whole-community effort, engaging local changemakers to take individual and collective action to ensure all neighborhoods are thriving places of opportunity.
By working collaboratively, Southwest, nonprofit organization Points of Light, and other local partners seek to strengthen cross-sector participation and connections, instill a greater sense of identity and pride, and increase the quality of life and support the livelihoods of residents. Projects are underway in three Southwest markets—Atlanta, Chicago, and Phoenix. Let’s hear from our PHX Southwest Coheart, Steve Land, Ground Operations – Provisioning Operations Manager, about his personal connection, involvement, and perspective about the Southwest Resilient Communities commitment to the Park South community.
I am thankful for our involvement in the Phoenix Park South community and am excited to be part of the project. This community is near and dear to my heart. Park South is the community that raised me and nurtured me throughout my youth. My family has been rooted there for decades and it is still home to my beloved parents, my Aunt, and other family members. The rich history of the neighborhood and dedication of its citizens makes a positive impact and helps strengthen the south Phoenix community.
When I learned that Southwest was teaming up with Points of Light and HandsOn Greater Phoenix for the Resilient Communities Initiative, I couldn’t wait to volunteer my time and put my heart in action. While Southwest Warriors have been doing great things in the Phoenix community for years, this new project in Park South is a great way for us to show off our Heart and serve alongside organizations who are all committed to strengthening our local communities. We have an opportunity to be part of something powerful that will make a strong impact and create meaningful change, not only in south Phoenix, but also in other communities throughout the country.
After attending community planning meetings and learning more about what we would collectively work to achieve, I couldn’t help but think of the many deserving residents. I know that this effort will rejuvenate their sense of ownership and pride, both of which have been lacking in the neighborhood for quite some time.
I am a product of this community and someone who visits family there almost weekly. I know the potential, the pride, and the resilience of the folks in Park South. This area was once a thriving, safe, and energetic subdivision of middle class families, high performing schools, and active youth programs. As a matter of fact, historically Park South was one of the first middle class subdivisions within the state of Arizona that was primarily African American. My parents purchased their first home here in the late 1960s and still call Park South home as do many other original homeowners and their descendants. They still hold on to hope, and they remain optimistic for what once was and what could be once more. During our first Resilient Communities project in late October, as I volunteered alongside many of my Cohearts, I was able to connect with and reunite with many residents who maintain the legacy of their family and remain dedicated to this area. Talk about making giving back personal…..this project really hits the mark for me!
I am so thankful to work for a Company that takes pride in providing quality service to our Customers, but more importantly, a Company that takes just as much pride in giving back to those very same communities. Thank you Southwest for providing an opportunity for me to put my HEART in action!