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East side community group receives award for work toward change

Posted at 11:26 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 23:26:07-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Running an organization and volunteering can feel like a thankless task, but the Far East Side Community Council is feeling energized as their work on the streets has not gone unnoticed.

On Monday evening, the Far East Side Community Council won the Collaborative Spirit Award given out by the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center.

"The Far East Side said enough is enough and they were ready to do some great things and they have and they will," Ashley Weaver said.

In an area that often feels overlooked, the grassroots organization is working hard to be the voice of the far east side community and make a difference. Without knowing it, you've seen some of the fruits of their labor, like during this past spring when the group hosted an east side festival, bringing together 50 organizations to show a different side to what the city's east side has to offer.

"We definitely believe in servant leadership," Leila Darden said. "You know, it's no one person. We're doing this for the future, for the kids of the far east side. We have a lot of rich history and a lot of pride and it's good to finally have that narrative changing and its being presented in a positive way."

The work being done by the Far East Side Community Council has brought together every thread that makes the east side one community. Their work stretches from discussing solutions to end gun violence to ending food deserts to hosting back-to-school and toy drives to building relationships with city leaders to make sure the voices of the east side are heard.

"It's amazing to know that people see the work that you are putting in, but I could speak for myself in saying that it's not really why we do it," Justin Winkle said. "A lot of us do this as volunteer work and we do this within in our community because we feel like it's what needs to happen within our community."

While Monday night was a moment to recognize progress, these community leaders know there is still work to do. Work that the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center is making a difference.

"When you think about the far east side, a lot of times the area gets painted in a negative way and this was an opportunity for residents to say no, we're here we care and we brought together 50 vendors from the far east side," Weaver said. "Parents and children and groups that really care about the community."

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