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September 2022


“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew


Sometime ago I read that “with busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you reduce stress, find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health.”


At The Community House, there are scores of volunteer opportunities that await those that are interested. From reading to a child, answering phones, stuffing envelopes, tending to our summer gardens, or volunteering at a Community House function – as a nonprofit, charitable organization – helping hands are always needed – and immensely appreciated. For more information about volunteering at The Community House, call 248.644.5832 or via communityhouse.com.


Separately, if you are looking to meet friends, share ideas or be a part of something bigger – look no farther than the six highly respected nonprofit or supported groups that also call the historic Community House “home.” These impactful groups making a true difference in our community include:


Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce:

Mission: The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to serve our six communities as their leading resource for advancing business interests and building relationships.

Vision: BBCC is a member-driven organization that builds strong relationships with government, education, and community to create a prosperous business climate in Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and Franklin.

• To promote programs and services that meet the needs of chamber members and potential members.

• To maintain a positive business and community image.

• To utilize/strengthen partnerships with schools, government, community organizations and the community at large.

• Achieve and maintain the organizational and fiscal stability of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber.

• To be the lead voice for the larger business community.

Contact: Joe Bauman, president, 248.644.1700 x 6135, joeb@bbcc.com


Birmingham Optimist Club:

Purpose: To develop optimism as a philosophy of life; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; and to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of oneself in service to others will advance the well-being of man, his community and world. The Birmingham Optimist Club is dedicated to serving the local community through various service and fundraising projects. Our club has been in service to our community for more than 50 years. We are part of Optimist International, an organization dedicated to working each day to make the future brighter by bringing out the best in children and in our communities for over 100 years. Optimist Club meets weekly. Most Wednesdays at 7:30 a.m. at The Community House, 380 Bates Street in Birmingham, and on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Shield's Pizza in Troy. Contact: Tom Longhway, President, 248.568.5608, tomtlongh@aol.com


Birmingham Shopping District:

Mission: We strive to provide leadership in marketing, advertising, and promotion of the Birmingham Shopping District. We actively work to promote a district that is exciting, clean, safe, and pedestrian-friendly and ensure that the district continues to serve as a center for business, service, social and community activities. Located along Woodward Avenue, Michigan’s Main Street, Birmingham is centrally located within Oakland County and metro Detroit. Birmingham’s lively, pedestrian-friendly downtown offers one of the Midwest’s premier shopping districts. Comprised of nearly 300 retailers, downtown Birmingham offers a wonderfully diverse assortment of boutiques and national retailers, restaurants, gift shops, jewelers, salons, spas, art galleries, and antiques. Movie theaters and two beautiful parks complete the city center. Whether you live near or far, visiting downtown Birmingham has never been easier with information and resources provided by the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD). Browse the shopping, dining, and service directories on our website or download the Visitor Guide to find a user-friendly map. Contact: Jana Ecker, Interim Executive Director, 248.530.1200, jecker@bhamgov.org


Birmingham Bloomfield Newcomers Club:

Purpose: The Birmingham Bloomfield Newcomers Club is celebrating its 75th (Diamond) Anniversary this year and are as excited as ever to welcome new members. Since 1947, the BBNC has served the community as a social club for women who are new to the Detroit metro area or who simply enjoy making new friends. The club got its start on September 25, 1947, when 67 women met for lunch at The Community House in Birmingham. They voted to organize as a club in January 1948. Popular events in the early days included fashion shows, lectures, Hawaiian-themed parties, and dances. Today, they play tennis, practice yoga, tour local historic sites, and try new restaurants together. They socialize over book clubs, mahjongg and other games, coffee get-togethers and happy hours. BBNC members actively volunteer in our communities. Several times a year the club participates in service events, such as collecting and donating school supplies to help local families. We have nearly 200 members from 40 countries and nearly every continent. And you don’t even have to be a resident of Birmingham or Bloomfield to join – many members live in nearby towns. Our first Welcome Coffee this fall will be at The Community House on September 6th from 10-11:30 a.m..

Contact: For more information, visit bbnewcomers.com or BBNC.Ambassador@gmail.com or BBNC.Membership@gmail.com. 


JUNIOR LEAGUE OF BIRMINGHAM:

Mission: The Junior League of Birmingham is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Above all else, our goal is to promote and perpetuate social change in the Birmingham area communities that will benefit most from it. By empowering women and providing valuable leadership training, we are giving local women the tools to get involved, put their talents to work, and positively impact the communities of Oakland County. As one of hundreds of Junior League chapters across the world, we are a member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI). Established in 1952, the Junior League of Birmingham, Michigan plays an integral part in the development, improvement, and support of the communities of Oakland County, Michigan. The Junior League of Birmingham will meet monthly at The Community House in Birmingham.

Contact: E-mail: info@jlbham.org or Phone: 248.203.9841


FAR THERAPEUTICS ARTS and RECREATION:

Purpose: FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation promotes understanding and provides education for children and adults with special needs through therapeutic opportunities in the arts, recreation and leisure that enrich its clients, their families, and the greater community. Programs include Camp FAR Out, which is a two-week inclusion creative arts camp for children ages 3-16. All groups, along with their counselors, rotate among fun-filled therapeutic activity sessions including music, art, recreation, and movement. To cap off all our wonderful activities, FAR will have a public performance on the last day for friends and family to enjoy. Beginning in Fall 2022, – FAR and The Community House in Birmingham plan to partner/collaborate on program(s) together to take place onsite at The Community House. Stay tuned! Contact: Phone: 248.646.3347


HOUSE TOUR 2022 – IT’S BACK – TICKETS (RESERVATIONS) ON SALE NOW

Now in its 33rd year, The Community House’s House Tour is back after a two-year hiatus. Hose Tour will offer attendees a unique opportunity to view up to six of the most exceptional private homes in the area. This year’s event includes six extraordinary homes and one exquisite garden.


This premiere event attracts a loyal audience of home enthusiasts from throughout metro Detroit. The tour features a wide array of architectural and interior design styles. More than just a great event, the House Tour will raise vital funds for The Community House programs and services for adults and children. Box lunches are available.


Special thank you to Founding Presenting Sponsor, The Agency Hall & Hunter, and Supporting Sponsors, Gorman’s Home Furnishings, Trion Solutions, and Chief Financial Credit Union. And to our many very generous homeowners opening their homes and gardens! Reservations are limited. For ticket or lunch box reservations, please visit communityhouse.com or call 248.644.5832. Don't delay – this event usually sells out.


William D. Seklar is President & CEO of The Community House and The Community House Foundation in Birmingham.

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