On Creating Community with Westwood’s Youth: Liz Haradon, Kim Springer, and Cheryl Whiting

Interview by Becca Cochran. Videography by Katie Ferchen. Produced by Myra Morehart.

When we first walked into the basement of the Third Presbyterian Church, we were greeted by a hallway gallery of framed photographs and newspaper clippings. Photographs of wrestlers, basketball players, and football players hung on the wall – all of whom once came to this church for the same reason children go there today: for guidance, homework help, crafts, cooking, games, and more. It is a space full of life, bustling with kids ranging in age from 5 to 20. Almost immediately, a small child offered us some of the chicken tacos that were prepared for the evening. We were led back to the kitchen, where we found Liz Haradon. Liz is one of the many volunteers who assist in organizing and preparing nightly meals at the church. She introduced us to two other volunteers, Kim Springer and Cheryl Whiting. Cheryl started as a volunteer for Third Presbyterian over 20 years ago, and now she works for the church through the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. Cheryl and Kim help the kids with their homework and organize craft activities. When we asked the three of them what drives them to continue their work at Third Presbyterian, they all had the same answer: “The children.” The three of them are encouraged by the children’s willingness to learn and to grow. Kim beamed as she summed up her time at the church as “one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had.”

Watch their story below