CASE Statement

Imagine your community, vibrant and strong, with a central hub for community networking and services. This is Oakwood.Through community improvement projects and connecting neighbors of all ages, Oakwood's commitment is clear.

Through the years, it has been proven that people rely on each other to get them through both good and bad times.  Since the very beginning of the Oakwood neighborhood in 1908, we have found that the support of neighbors is what makes us a stronger and more vibrant community.  Having a neighborhood center for families, youth, and seniors to gather helps create that bond between neighbors.

Oakwood benefits the community at a great capacity. Direct support is provided to hundreds of individuals on a monthly basis. Seniors, youths and families benefit directly from the services provided by the association. This is Oakwood.

The Oakwood Neighborhood Association provides a weekly senior drop-in program.  In this atmosphere, attendees naturally establish a social network for mutual support.  Seniors develop friendships with ample opportunity to discuss public safety and quality of life concerns, developing solutions to any issues at hand and knowing help – and friends – are nearby.
We offer a five day-a-week After School Tutoring program to provide a safe place for youth to reach their full potential. This program offers parents a low-cost alternative to after-school child care.
Our Summer Youth Art Program provides six weeks of art and music enrichment for youths. It also gives neighborhood teens an opportunity to give back and gain leadership experience.
The neighborhood center offers a food pantry and other resources for neighbors in need. We also provide computer access for job searching and resume development. Our knowledgeable staff provides neighbors a direct link for city and community resources.
We partner with Building Blocks of Kalamazoo to assist neighbors in beautifying and maintaining their homes while building neighbor relationships.
We work with the City of Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, the Kalamazoo Nature Center, and local volunteers to maintain green spaces, including the native species management at Woods Lake, a neighborhood playground, a community garden, and more.

Our community center has served as a central hub for community networking & services since 1947. This is Oakwood.

Our hands-on executive director works to ensure effective coordination of needs & services. Oakwood focuses on community advocacy, from serving individual needs to providing a voice for the neighborhood’s expressed needs to the greater community, city, and county.

The center is available for classes, meetings, and gatherings of any type. Oakwood neighborhood association events and services are communicated via our ongoing neighborhood newsletter and social media. Neighbors rely on our newsletter for the community calendar and new neighbors learn about the Oakwood Association offerings.

Individuals who decide to be volunteers play an important role in delivering positive results in our community. In the past two years, our Neighborhood Association averaged 4,000 to 5,000 volunteer hours per year with over 100 people and groups contributing there time and services for Neighborhood Center events and in helping our neighbors. This is Oakwood.

The Oakwood Neighborhood Association relies on individuals who volunteer to make our neighborhood a welcoming community. Volunteers provide support cleaning up our Memorial Beach Park, keeping our recreational areas clean and safe for our youth, and keeping our neighborhood beautiful through programs such as Building Blocks.

Our network of community partners goes even further and includes many local business and organizations. Currently, and in the past, we have volunteers from Lakeside Academy, Building Blocks of Kalamazoo, Oakwood Business Association businesses, Fletcher’s Pub, Modern Woodmen of America, WMU’s Alpha Lambda Delta, local community churches, multiple neighborhood associations, and many neighborhood residents.

We rely on our volunteer network in order to carry our mission of “Neighbors helping Neighbors”.

The Oakwood Neighborhood Association responds to an increasing need and desire for services. Our commitment to serving the community does not stop. This is Oakwood.

To serve the community, Oakwood maintains an ongoing operation with a neighborhood center open 4 days a week. Neighborhood residents can use the computer lab, check out books from the lending library, and attend classes like yoga.

The neighborhood center provides a link to community resources when residents are not sure where to turn for help. The food pantry provides assistance to all residents. Our partnership with the City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation for after-school tutoring provides much needed assistance to children in the community on a path to college with the Kalamazoo Promise.

The Oakwood Neighborhood center also serves as a community gathering place for holiday parties and summer events to bring neighbors together for happy and joyful times.

At Oakwood, everyone can help! We hope that you – whether through volunteering, participating in programs and events, or by receiving help when you need it –personally enjoy the opportunity to appreciate how valuable the Oakwood Neighborhood Association is to the neighborhood and the greater community. We have a pay-it-forward philosophy where all participants mutually benefit. This is Oakwood.

  • Seniors. Benefit our senior programs by attending and increasing the social network that Oakwood seniors enjoy.
  • Youth and Parents. Participate in after-school tutoring or summer youth art drop-in. Meet your children’s friends at a neighborhood party.
  • Donors. Benefit the community at large with a donation to our building campaign fund. Ongoing operations and maintenance will reinforce our ability to continue offering all services. You can also contribute general donations and voice your program of choice, be it senior programs, youth programs, food pantry, or habitat restoration (green spaces programs).
  • Food Pantry. Our community benefits from your participation, whether you give or receive.
  • Green Spaces. Enjoy the outdoors? Stewardship of our shared land? Find your space in Friends of Woods Lake, Tot Lot, Kalamazoo County Land Bank, Oakwood Memorial Beach cleanup, and our community garden.
  • Oakwood Neighborhood Center Library. If you enjoy displaying and preserving historical information and sorting reading materials, the Oakwood Neighborhood library could interest you. There is a lending library for kids and adults and the Center has a growing collection from bygone days related to this historic Kalamazoo neighborhood, including old photographs from the Oakwood Amusement Park at Woods Lake.
  • Computer Lab. Apply your skills by helping others with technical or job search talents, support our shared Internet services, or use our center to work on your resume and job search.
  • Building Blocks. Interested in home improvements? Volunteer as a site supervisor or participate with neighbors – on your block or theirs – as we continue to maintain and beautify the neighborhood with this successful program.
  • Network. Other interests? Have great ideas? Leverage our network to extend your own. Bring your talents to an existing program, recommend a new one, or just stop by as a neighbor among neighbors. Anything is possible, with your show of support!

Oakwood appreciates your willingness to join our mission to provide a beautiful, safe, friendly, and vital neighborhood. Neighbors helping neighbors? This is Oakwood!

At Oakwood, neighbors recognize that our livelihoods are interdependent. Our association’s offerings are designed to support the neighborhood’s longtime mission: providing a beautiful, safe, friendly, and vital neighborhood for the benefit of all residents and the greater community at large.

Oakwood welcomes you. For more information…

We are pleased to meet you, and glad you’re interested! To learn more about Oakwood, contact us: 

Oakwood Neighborhood Center Phone: (269) 342-0129
Facebook: Oakwood Neighborhood Association