We are #INthistogether — a message from the Association president
For a neighborhood that thrives on regular social gatherings, winters make Holy Cross residents itchy to get out and mingle. Let’s talk about what happens when you add a pandemic into the mix. The days, weeks, and hours around the stay-at-home orders have been difficult for Holy Cross. From the first day of the stay-at-home order, I saw an increase in the number of neighbors walking, running, and holding conversations from sidewalks to porches. These activities started to increase as the weather started getting more and more pleasant. Verifying that we live in a vibrant community.
The development of community in our neighborhood continued to move forward, and at times it has flourished during the stay-at-home restrictions.
During the early days of isolation, I reached out to community leaders to identify any neighbors that might need assistance to stay safe. The response from these leaders was quick, and many let me know that they would monitor the neighbors and let me know if there was anything leadership could do.
HCNA Leadership zoomed into the future by successfully holding both the March Executive Board meeting and the April 2020 neighborhood meeting via Zoom video conference. Our April meeting included an informative presentation by City Councilman Zach Adamson, who spoke about the Department of Public Works and city infrastructure dollars. It was great to see everyone and get valued feedback. Tim O’Sullivan, Land Use Chair, held Land Use meetings via Zoom. The neighborhood foundation also employed meeting technology to continue their work. I would like to thank everyone who has attended any of these zoom meetings and their contribution to the success of our neighborhood business. Zoom could be a tool we take with us into the future.
Committee chairs from Communications and Events, Scotty Wilson and Anne Fischgrund, came together to develop an informative neighborhood email. This message announced a COVID-19 webpage had been added to the neighborhood site. This page gathered valuable state and federal resources, as well as fun virtual activities for the entire family, all in one convenient location.
Angie Cazares promoted joy by heading up a neighborhood scavenger hunt in March and April. Many neighbors posted pictures of rainbows, cars, bunnies, penguins, and robots in their windows so kids would have something to look forward to on family walks. With the images changing every week, there was always something to search for.
For the first time since I moved into Holy Cross, 10 years ago, we didn’t have a spring cleanup. We followed KIBI’s lead and canceled this annual event that spruced up the neighborhood. That hasn’t stopped neighbors from doing a bit of spring cleaning. Ron Caster and Joe Valenti of Market Street did a fantastic job cleaning the sidewalk on Highland Ave near Market. Linda Gehm posted pictures on NextDoor of her curb cleaning before and after. She also cleaned 3-4 inches of debris that was blocking the drainage grate at Oriental and Michigan. Way to go, Linda!! I saw people on walks with pickers, buckets, or bags gathering up trash. Some neighbors were participating in virtual cleanups and posting images of trash collected on social media. I want to thank everyone who has been or will be cleaning our neighborhood, whether it’s around your home, down a block, up an alley, or clearing that storm drain.
We have come together to support our businesses. From my home, I have witnessed a steady stream of folks supporting King Dough. Kudo’s to Adam and Alicia Sweet for their creativity and evolving with each challenge and restriction placed on restaurants. Smoking Goose, who opened a retail shop right as stay-at-home orders had been announced, developed curbside service. La Parada adapted as well. Neighbors are working to help ensure these businesses are here to stay. I am proud to call the eastside of Indianapolis and the Holy Cross Neighborhood home.
My prediction is that the Holy Cross neighborhood, it’s neighbors, and businesses will emerge more connected. We are strong, and we are #INthistogether.