Last week, we had the opportunity to sit in on the Englewood chapter of Toastmasters International right at Englewood Plaza’s new Whole Foods. It was yet another incredible reminder that in-spite of what you might hear, there is plenty of good going on in Englewood.
For those who are not familiar, Toastmasters International is an organization that specializes in communication & leadership development. It is a global organization with members across 15,900 clubs in 142 countries. Each local group involves programs that encourage leadership & help to enrich speaking skills as well as achieving goals. For those who need a group of supportive people, who like you are looking to become better & more effective leaders, then this is the organization for you.
As many may recognize, Englewood is a place ripe for people to rise up & help lead the community in positive ways. What we witnessed in the community room of Whole Foods was a group of individuals looking to do just that. They came together to challenge each other to rise to the occasion in a way that was without judgment. It was all about positivity & finding ways to effect change. As the members took on their roles, we got to see the beginning of a wonderful new tradition in a community where many don’t believe much good is happening. The entire atmosphere from the individual meeting to the entire location of Whole Foods was amazing to be a part of.
For the meeting, the members not only congregated to fellowship, but also took the time to sharpen their speech-making with impromptu speeches about questions that were presented to them. From there they formed their agenda & were inducted into roles to set the foundation for all that they would be achieving. The president of the district declared this year the year of prosperity & gave encouraging words to let everyone in the room know that by simply moving towards your goals, the tools will open up to you.
Outside of the group we got to see a great atmosphere & event in the store. Whole Foods Englewood has a storewide wine-tasting event every Friday from 5-7pm called 5 after 5. For only $5, you get to visit 5 stations around the store that offer samples of wine & food pairings. They also offer music. Issa vibe. If you bring your glass back the price goes down to $4. It’s a cool option for Friday nights. They even offer live music. It was so incredible to walk through that store. For those who don’t know, Englewood is a food desert, which means that it does not have a lot of options for fresh foods. Most people have to shop at convenience stores because they are what is close. It was amazing to see not only fresh foods at decent prices, but all kinds of organic options & other wellness necessities. There is a smoothie station & stations for fresh meet, eggs, pastries, & fish. The offer programming for the community as well. They even accept Link. It is truly an oasis in a desert. It warmed my heart to see.
Anyone who may be interested in joining the Greater Englewood Toastmasters International club, they meet on the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month at 6:30 pm. The regular meeting place is the Community Room of the 7th District Police Station on 63rd Street. For more information you can catch them on their Facebook or call 312-402-5405. This is a great group who are bound to do great things. If you want to be a part of positive change & leadership in Englewood, you need to join them. For a club nearest you, go to toastmasters.org.
Above are photos from the meeting & the store: