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How to make communities strong
January 17, 2024

By DePaul Healthy Trailblazer Journal reporters | Several DePaul staff members said they help out their community because they want it to be a better and safer place.

By helping out, people can build healthy communities. “Our mental health and our physical health literally depend on being part of strong and capable communities,” says Dr. Tracy Brower, a sociologist and author. Sociologists study how people interact with their communities.

Mrs. Tiffin, an instructional coach at DePaul, said she cleaned up Linwood Park with her Facebook friends and a few family members in August. She said she brought her daughter along so she would learn about the importance of helping her community.

“When there are a lot of people working together, it’s less of a chore,” she said. “It’s more social for me.”

Mrs. Tiffin said she would clean up the park again because she loves helping her community.

Mr. Leonard, middle school religion and social studies teacher, said when he is at the store or outside in his neighborhood, he recognizes people by talking to them and saying “hello.” By acknowledging people, “they are not going around like the walking dead,” he said. He said he thinks of this small act like “throwing a pebble into the water and causing ripples.” He said he hopes that his actions will prompt other people to do the same thing.

Mr. Marcus, cafeteria manager, said he was involved in a community clean-up in West Philadelphia in the summer. He also was involved in raising money for the Lupus Foundation. Lupus is a disease. According to, the disease can harm kidneys, joints, and other organs because its “germ-fighting immune system attacks the body’s own cells.”

Mr. Marcus said he joined the clean-up because he “wanted the kids to have a safer place to play and wanted the area to be cleaner.”

He said he participated in the lupus fundraiser because “I like to help out any way I can since it is something close to my family.”

He said he would like to do both activities again.

When asked why people should help out in their community, he said, “If you see something, help out as much as you can and bring positive energy.”

Illustration by Tori, eighth grade, The DePaul Catholic School.

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