The Bridesburg community is full of residents working not only to make ends meet, but to also better their neighborhood. From the members of the Bridesburg Community Development Corporation to the volunteers at the Bridesburg Community Food Pantry, the neighborhood is full of people looking to move the area forward. The people running these organizations strive to make a positive difference. Here are a few of them.
Carol Weney, the crossing guard in front of Bridesburg Elementary School, has served as a crossing guard for the past 11 years. She has worked at four different intersections within the Bridesburg neighborhood, helping children as they walk to and from school. Weney’s job has allowed her to become well known and liked by the parents and neighbors of the community. Weney’s dedication to her job helps keep the schoolchildren safe in Bridesburg.
Betty Boyle runs the clothing section of the Bridesburg Community Food Pantry, located in the lower level of the Bridesburg United Methodist Church. Boyle, who started off as a food pantry client, became heavily involved with the organization in order to give back. She has now gone on to clean, maintain and organize the items received, and keeps the clothing sector up and running. Boyle’s duties put her directly in line to positively affect the lives of many in need in the area.
Elected in 1984, Pennsylvania State Representative John Taylor has been a model of consistency in the Bridesburg area. Representing the 177th legislative district, Taylor has been a major voice in legislation urging to help fight against scrap metal theft, one of Bridesburg’s biggest issues. Taylor makes a difference with his consistency and continued focus on fixing concerns in the community.
Florence Rodgers is the head coordinator of the Bridesburg Community Food Pantry. She started the pantry in 2009 with hopes of feeding the whole city. Rodgers has attributed the pantry as a way to pay homage to her mother who faced economic hardships. Due to the pantry’s success, Rodgers was recently forced to limit the services of the Food Pantry to only serve people within the 19134 and 19137 area codes. Nonetheless her efforts have made living much easier for many in need of food in the Bridesburg and surrounding communities.
Joseph Slabinski is the funeral director at the Slabinski Funeral Home, located on Orthodox Street. Slabinski is a third generation owner and operator of his family’s business, and he is also a lifelong resident of Bridesburg. Slabinski is the current president of both the Bridesburg Community Development Corporation and the Bridesburg Business Association. Both of these organizations work toward bettering the community through bringing new business and housing, and connecting businesses with one another. Through his organizational leadership, Slabinski is making a positive difference in the community.
– Text and images by Colin Tansits and Francine Mensah.