All posts tagged community

Young Professionals in the Community

We very much appreciate the help of young professionals through FLEX committees and events, including the Bike ‘n Brew and Ice Cream Social during Oil Heritage Festival. We also love seeing our members out in the community involved with other organizations!

We often hear “we need more young people involved,” which can be frustrating, because we see young professionals out and about all the time. Some organizations where FLEX members volunteer and serve as board members include the Oil City Arts Council, Barrow-Civic Theatre, Venango County Humane Society, Oil City Main Street Program, United Way of Venango County, and the Oil City and Franklin Rotary Clubs.

As longtime volunteers begin to retire and move out of their positions, there are many opportunities for young people to fill their shoes and take leadership roles. While it can be hard work and sometimes intimidating, it just takes a willingness to step up and help organizations continue to run and serve our community.

Community involvement is a learning process and new volunteers aren’t expected to know everything immediately. It takes time to learn how meetings are run, events are planned, and volunteers work together, but don’t let that keep you from playing a part.

Are you a young professional looking to get more involved in the community? Or are you a seasoned professional interested in having more young people participate in your organization? Join us at the FLEX Mixer on August 22, where all professionals are invited to network with FLEX members (see more information). If you’d like to get more involved with FLEX, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of our officers and committee chairs.

Thanks again to all the young professionals who volunteered at our recent events! See more photos on the back of the newsletter.

This article was published in the Future Leaders & Entrepreneurs Exchange’s (FLEX) August 2019 edition of the FLEX Your Ideas (FYI) Newsletter.

Youth Connection Seeking Mentors

BYOUTH CONNECTIONig Brothers Big Sisters of the Oil Region has become Youth Connection. After serving the community as an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA), the organization has decided to disaffiliate from the National Association. Assisting them in their new venture as Youth Connection, they have partnered with The Mentoring Partnership of Southwest PA who will provide support, training and technical assistance.

Youth Connection will continue to serve youth in Venango, Forest, Clarion and Eastern Crawford counties as a program of Family Service and Children’s Aid Society of Venango County and continues to be supported by The United Way of Venango County. Jessica Walters, program director, noted that there are many ways to become involved with Youth Connection, including volunteering as a mentor. As a mentor, you will have the opportunity to make a connection with a local youth and empower them to be successful in every aspect of their life.

Another way to get involved is to join the Advisory Committee, which is always in need of dedicated community volunteers, or by donating to Youth Connection, where your contribution stays in the community. For more information, contact Jessica Walters at 814-676-9940 extension 28 or by email at


This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s November 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

State Street Furniture & Sleep Shoppe Donates to Mustard Seed Missions

Dave HippenstielDave Hippenstiel, owner of State Street Furniture and The Sleep Shoppe, generously donated 214 sets of sheets to Mustard Seed Missions!

Mustard Seed Missions is a cooperative effort between local churches throughout Venango County and the Venango County Department of Human Services to provide meaningful help and the opportunity for spiritual support while meeting needs in any of three areas: doing home repairs and ramp installations; furnishing beds or other household goods; and providing rides to medical appointments outside the County. Thanks Dave for your contribution to this amazing community organization!

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s September 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Community Gardens Continue to Grow

Tcommunity gardens 3he Venango Area Community Gardens have had a successful second year! For this summer, the group has placed 50 raised beds throughout the community, with a couple at the Venango Chamber and many at Chamber member locations, including:community gardens 1



  • Community Services of Venango County
  • Hand In Hand Christian Counseling
  • Oil City Housing Authority
  • Office of Representative R. Lee James
  • United Way of Venango County
  • Oil City YMCA Younger Days


Many community members and organizations have come together to make this initiative successful, including the Venango Technology Center, Bay Tree Farm, Penn State Extension and Master Gardeners, Mustard Seed Mission, UCIP, Franklin Gardeners Association, and the City of Oil City.

community gardens 2

To learn more about the community gardens, visit their Facebook page:

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s July 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.