Happy New Year (almost)!
A note from DECA’s Chair, Sheri Hebdon:
Just a quick note to thank you all for another great year of community-building and fun here in Danforth East. There are so many ways that so many people contributed to make our neighbourhood better this year. Here is a collage of just some of the things we did this year:
Sometimes I see people refer to “DECA” as though we are some kind of powerful entity, for example when people say things like DECA should do something about all the shootings or DECA should be trying to get rid of certain kinds of businesses. These kinds of comments strike me for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I’m not sure what people think “DECA” is, if not themselves.
DECA is 100% volunteer-run.
DECA is a group of neighbours who are turning ideas into action.
DECA is you! And if it isn’t you, it should be.
This is the year that we will find a way to get you involved. No matter what your passion, interests, availability, age or abilities are, you have something to contribute and we can find a way to make it happen. Some of our events are annual with totally self-sufficient teams of volunteers, others are one-offs with lots of room for ideas and energy, and others are somewhere in between. We have a Board with 11 members this year, project leads (who are not necessarily Board members) and lots of committed volunteers.
Tweeting and posting on Facebook is not going to change anything by itself. For those of you still sitting on the couch wondering what the first step is, it is to put down your phones, close your laptops and do something. It can be as easy as shopping a local store. Take it to the next level and organize a meet-up or event, come to one of our events, join one of our committees or start something new with us. If DECA’s approach isn’t your thing, start your own association – we can help you with that!
Thanks so much for all of the wonderful feedback and to all of you who are volunteers or who have been in the past. And thank you to our previous and incoming Board members, who do so much and go above and beyond!
Let 2016 be the year of continued amazing things plus new volunteers, new friends and even more getting to know your neighbours.
On behalf of the DECA Board, Happy New Year!
PS: Tell one neighbour about this blog, sign them up for it, or just invite them to like our Facebook page. Here are our social media links @decadiaires | Facebook | deca.to
Fun facts about DECA
- our name, Danforth East Community Association, doesn’t have the word “residents” in it, (historically, I believe this is because ‘DERA’ wasn’t as catchy as ‘DECA’) but that is what we are – residents
- we are often confused with the Business Improvement Association, which are entities across the cities funded by levies paid by business owners and landlords along main streets. BIAs often have similar interests to residents’ associations, but not always. Some business owners/landlords join BIAs for the sole purpose of ensuring that levies are kept to a minimum, while others are primarily interested in bettering their retail strip. Conversely, DECA’s mandate is all about improving the community, including but not limited to, the main retail strip.
- we are 100% volunteer-run, grass-roots group with no staff and no office
- on occasion, we have been accused of being bureaucratic, but as a registered not-for-profit, we are accountable for our money and need certain processes in place
- we are non-partisan
- we were formed because we are for something, not opposed
- we started and run the East Lynn Park Farmers’ Market, the Danforth East Arts Fair, the Festival of Lights, Danforth East Garage Sale, the Pumpkin Parade and the pop-up shop program
- some of these are run in partnership with others (e.g., Farmers Market Ontario, Woodgreen), but they started as ideas from our volunteers
- our pop-up shop program has reduced the vacancy rate of our stretch of the Danforth from 17% down to 9%
- this year alone we had two of our pop-up shops become full-fledged shops: Merrily Merrily and the Handwork Dept
- our website is now deca.to