CDC Impact: Community Engagement

Over the last few years, Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA) has been working hard to quantify the impact of CDCs throughout Ohio. We’ve been collecting and analyzing data from our member organizations and are excited to share our findings – especially in digestible bits.

We are pleased to state that, each year, over one million people benefit from the work of Ohio’s CDCs.

This week’s theme is community engagement – a deeply critical component to all community development work. The central idea to the CDC industry is that local communities know their people and places the best and are best suited to enact change to their specific challenges.

Through local engagement, residents can take ownership of their community and are empowered to make lasting changes through grass roots efforts.  

Did you know that, in 2016, Ohio CDCs:

  • Hosted community events that were attended by over 159,000 people;
  • Recruited almost 37,000 volunteers of which nearly 6,500 were youth;
  • Organized volunteers that performed more than 559,000 hours of service in their communities.

For example, one CDC in northeast Ohio holds an annual day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and in 2016, countless volunteers helped board up 20 vacant homes in single degree temperatures.

Another community development group in southeast Ohio mobilized many residents to help bring a grocery store to their rural food desert.

Community engagement is inherent in community development work, as CDCs make a place at the proverbial table for all the voices in their community.

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