What's in a Name?
These words, penned by William Shakespeare in his masterpiece, “Romeo and Juliet”, were meant to imply that mere labels are not as important as substance – that which makes something what it truly is. However, in regards to Willard Community Center, both the name and the mission are synonymous.
In an increasingly digital world, people are able to communicate faster, with greater ease, and with more people than ever before. Unfortunately, as some have hailed this new age as one in which the world has been drawn closer than ever before, many fear that while our social networks may indeed be wide, they are superficial substitutes for real relationships. Indeed, while globalism has brought the world to our doorstep, our neighbors have never been further away.
That’s why “community” is such an important concept, and one that is at the core of both Willard’s name and mission. From licensed childcare to scrapbooking clubs, the agency’s programs as well as independent groups and organizations see Willard as a place to connect – to support families and satisfy the need people have to simply “belong”.
One need look no further than my own experiences with Willard. After my introduction to the Center in 2003 as a volunteer, I worked with middle and high school students both as a part-time employee and eventually as a program director for six years. Even after beginning my professional career in education, I have returned to serve on the agency’s board of directors since 2013. With so many great experiences during this time, and interacting with so many wonderful members of the community, of all ages and from all walks of life, I guess you could say the place is “in my bones.”
It’s not an uncommon story - many of the families and clubs associated with Willard Community Center have a relationship that spans decades - even generations. It has always been, and will continue to be, a place for people to grow, connect, and contribute to their community. In a day and age when people are increasingly isolated from one another, there are still places to experience an authentic sense of relationship and belonging.
So, "what’s in a name?” In the case of the Willard Community Center - a whole lot, Mr. Shakespeare.
Consider donating to the Willard Renovation Project. Even if it is just a few dollars, every bit will help us get closer to achieving this important project for Willard.