Word came out today that The Open Line and Upper Perkiomen Senior Center will officially merge and combine their talents to better serve the residents of the area. More than a merger, it is a collaborative effort by those involved with the two service groups.
The decision didn’t come lightly and both organizations are to be lauded for their efforts at facing a daunting future for service organizations. We live in a time when, after all the bills are paid, there isn’t much left in our pockets to contribute to vital community services. Federal, state, county and local government coffers don’t fare any better; especially for organizations that don’t exist in the mainstream of high donor and voter populations.
Out here in the “sticks” the people tend to be a little more resilient and aren’t afraid to come up with answers to problems facing their groups and the services they provide; especially when those services are needed and not provided anywhere close by. For that we can be thankful and walk a little taller in knowing that the people of our communities aren’t afraid to show a little “can do” determination to get the job done.
It was back in 2010 when several community groups saw the writing on the wall and realized that financial times were going to get worse long before they got better.
A couple of months ago we learned about the merger of Freedom Valley and Philadelphia YMCAs – a move that will help strengthen them. Now The Open Line and Upper Perkiomen Senior Center will become stronger for their efforts. It’s just a shame that Youth and Family Services couldn’t survive the budget and bureaucratic knife of some government and national funding groups.
It is important to give kudos to the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce for the progress and efficiencies that have grown from the desire to work together to provide community service. It was with their helping hand the initiative, referred to as the Upper Perkiomen Valley Community Services Coalition, was started.
The effort, also supported by other area groups, resulted in public forums where information and suggestions were shared regarding the present and future of needed community services.
Three community “summits” were held in the last quarter of 2010 sponsored by the newly formed Upper Perkiomen Valley Community Services Coalition. The goal of the meetings was to produce a vision for the not-for-profit community services in the Upper Perkiomen Valley.
The coalition is currently made up of nine organizations: The Open Line, Youth and Family Services, The Upper Perkiomen Senior Center, Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA, The Upper Perk Library, Upper Perk Valley Ministerium, Upper Perk School District, Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Lincoln Center.
This newspaper wishes The Open Line and Upper Perkiomen Senior Center much success on the merger and many years of their continued service to the people of the region.
The best reward for a job well done is knowing that you did it.