Doing Your Part

I think I have mentioned that this year I’m taking part in a unique program. It’s called Leadership Pittsburgh and the goal of the year-long class is to expose local leaders from various fields to the problems and challenges facing our society. It happens through group discussion, visits to various organizations in Pittsburgh and lectures from various people in our community.

Thursday, my group heard from Saleem Ghubril. He heads the Pittsburgh Project which creates after-school projects that takes at-risk kids off the street and allows them to serve the needs of the greater community. He said something during our discussion that will stick with me for as long as Pittsburgh is my home.

(WTAE city skline backdrop, courtesy Matt Robinson &

Referring to the recent title bestowed upon the Burgh – “America’s Most Livable City” – he challenged us to do our part to make the slogan a reality. While Pittsburgh is a great place to live for most of its residents, it can be a struggle and a nightmare for thousands who need public aid and assistance. An estimated 10% of city residents use human services. That adds us to thousands of men, women and children.

Ghubril’s challenge is for those of us that can make life better for others to do so. Whether that means donating dollars to the causes we care about, volunteering one day a week to help a non-profit group which is committed to serving it’s less-fortunate citizens or even spending a day serving as mentor to a child.

It’s not what we do as citizens in this community, it’s the need to do something. While we are a model city, even our civic leaders would admit that this is not a model without flaws. There are things that don’t work .. and people who do fall through the cracks. I try to volunteer my time to raise dollars for organizations through my charitable work and appearances. After listening to Ghubril, I think I can do more. I sure we all can.

So let me challenge you, like Ghubril challenged me. Find something you care about – and get involved – and let’s truly make Pittsburgh “America’s Most Livable City”.

One Response

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