December 2018 Neighbor Spotlight Mary Ann Cobbs
What is the name of your neighborhood?
How long have you lived in your neighborhood?
I have been here nearly all of my adult life. I lived here from 1957-1962 and then after moving back from New York, I have lived here from 1987 to the present.
Tell us about your neighborhood.
After moving from Gray Street to Cheek Road, I found the Merrick Moore Community to be a nurturing and a close knit neighborhood. Mount Zoar Baptist Church was close by with some of the Ministries filtered over in the neighborhood, where we worked as a family.
Merrick Moore Community Club met at the church and was responsible for placement of street lights, paved streets, bus service, purchasing property and other concerns of the neighborhood. We would go the City Council meetings and other meetings to voice our concerns. I worked at North Carolina Mutual with Councilman Howard Clement who assisted us with our efforts. The men in our neighborhood refurbished some of the playground equipment and built picnic tables for fun and fellowship in the neighborhood.
After the older members passed away or transitioned, the younger generation has started having meetings and getting things done for the neighborhood. Recently holes in the neighborhood streets have been patched.
What successes have your neighborhood and community had?
As mentioned before, we were successful in advocating for placement of street lights, paved streets and bus service. We were also able to build a strong community club organization and buy property for the club. We still host National Night Out and have a very diverse family-oriented neighborhood.
Personally, I love helping people who are less fortunate, especially the seniors. I have a giving heart and using whatever is available, we can make it happen. I have given clothing and toys to families in our neighborhood. We have a food pantry that my church (Life International) sponsors at Holton Career and Resource Center and we serve there the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month.
What are some concerns that you still have in your neighborhood?
Some concerns I have include:
- Sidewalks for the parents and children walking to Merrick Moore Elementary School.
- Speeding on Cheek Road
- Getting out of our driveway and streets due to speeding
- Determining who is responsible for Cheek Road (State or City)
What advice would you give to other community members?
- Organize because you can get things done as a group and with numbers
- Know your neighbor
- Have an interest in your community
- Know your City Representatives
- Keep fighting for what you believe is good for your community.
Do you have any upcoming opportunities for other people to get involved?
- Merrick Moore Community Club meets at Mt. Zoar Baptist Church every 2nd Thursday at 7 PM.
- Every 1st and 3rd Friday of each month is the Food Pantry at Holton.
- National Night Out is the first Tuesday of August.