When Walnut Hill resident Dave Brindley sees a need, he acts.
Shortly after COVID-19 began to change city life, Dave reached out to a friend who started a ministry called Easter Outreach. Each spring, Easter Outreach partners with 70 local churches to provide elderly Philadelphians with meals to celebrate the holiday.
Dave, who is now the Collaboration Director for Easter Outreach, knew that his friend and the Easter Outreach team could use the Easter Outreach network to reach elderly community members, unable to leave their homes and in need of food, during the pandemic. Easter Outreach now serves as a last-mile distributor that relies on volunteers to transport food from organizations, such as Philabundance or temporary storage sites, such as The Enterprise Center CDC, to elderly and homebound recipients across the city.
Since starting in March, Easter Outreach has sourced 54,000 pounds of food to partner organizations.
Although Easter Outreach’s COVID-19 response is new, Dave’s track record of serving Philly is not—in 2014 he launched an anti-litter initiative called “Not in Philly.” Motivated by a desire to see Philadelphia’s streets clean, Dave took responsibility for cleaning his own block and encouraged other Philadelphians to join him through the initiative, which is “the first map-enabled adopt-a-block site in the country.” Interested Philadelphians can use an interactive online map to select their blocks and volunteer to clean them. Not in Philly volunteers represent neighborhoods across the city committed to beautifying their streets.
In 2018, The Enterprise Center equipped 100 Walnut Hill neighbors with cleaning supplies for Not in Philly. Dave’s connection to The Enterprise Center began nearly 10 years ago through the Walnut Hill Community Association. He appreciates the connections he’s built with TEC staff and the generosity he’s experienced through TEC’s support for the community and Not in Philly.
Like Not in Philly, Dave anticipates that Easter Outreach’s efforts will, for the time being, remain ongoing. Given the phased reopening, lack of vaccines, and economic climate, Dave wants to make sure the organization is “preparing systems in place” to deliver food to people for an extended period of time.
Despite the circumstances, Dave has seen the best of Philadelphia. For Dave, encouragement comes from a variety of sources, one being the citizens across Philadelphia who see needs and respond. “When they’re given easy opportunities to serve, our citizens really step up,” said Dave.
If you’re interested in volunteering with or learning more about Easter Outreach or Not in Philly, you can visit their website and social media pages.