Natalie Shaak, Millersville - Xi Tau, is bringing her community together as she beautifies it.
After purchasing her first house in a neighborhood in Philadelphia, she discovered her window overlooked a park and playground that was not an attraction for children. Trash and drug needles littered the area, and playground equipment was defaced with graffiti.
Natalie wanted to improve the area, hoping to attract her neighbors and their children to use the park for recreation and gatherings.
She started a GoFundMe movement to revitalize the area, partnering with V.U.R.T. (Visual Urban Renewal & Transformation), an organization which had done other beautification projects around Philadelphia, and brought in a local artist to create a fun mural of a raccoon eating soft pretzel (a Philly tradition) as he overlooked the park.
Through the project, Natalie is meeting many of her neighbors for the first time -- and they are excited about the changes in their neighborhood. They are discussing how the remaining funds will be used to beautify the area and make it functional for the community.
"We as a community can make a difference by taking action," Natalie said on her GoFundMe page.
Natalie is a Communications and Event Manager for the Graduate College at Drexel University. She is an Academic Specialist for Delta Zeta and has served as a facilitator at past Norma Minch Andrisek Leadership Conferences.
Natalie's story was covered by the Philadelphia Inquirer here.