Creating unity in Southwest Philly community
February 25, 2012By Brad Larrison for NewsWorks
Every community has local heroes—people who work to make the lives of neighbors better. Sometimes they are part of a volunteer organization, sometimes they act on their own. They do it because the community needs it and because they feel it's the right thing to do.
A few weeks ago Danea Moore wrote to NewsWorks to tell us about her brother Anton:
For as long as I can remember I have been inspired by my brother’s commitment to helping others. Over the years Anton has inspired many others of all ages to provide community service, be a positive leader and follow their dreams.
In 2009 Anton created an organization dedicated to his life-long passion – serving the community. His organization “Unity in the Community” was formed in South Philadelphia and has hosted many events in the neighborhood to help and uplift the less fortunate. It is clear that giving back to others the best way that he knows how is his true passion.
He is my number one hero and I can not think of anyone who deserves this recognition more.
We caught up with Anton Moore at an event sponsored by his organization, Unity in the Community. To say that Anton Moore is determined would be an understatement. The 26-year-old Southwest Philadelphia native started his working career at the age of ten, bagging groceries at a supermarket. "I was the richest elementary school kid that you could find," says Moore.
Willingness to work hard and not take no for an answer has helped him climb the ladder of success to his current job as a producer for Black Entertainment Television (BET). But it was not easy.
Moore got an internship with Power 99 FM in Philadelphia at the age of 16, and worked there until he was 18. At 19, he started an internship at BET in New York while taking classes at Community College of Philadelphia. He commuted to New York every week, costly for a student. With little money he resorted to sleeping in bus stations while in New York; telling his mother and supervisors that he was staying with a friend. He wanted to prove that he was capable of doing the job, no matter what.
Now that he has had a taste of success, Moore is determined to never forget his roots. He is founder and CEO of Unity in the Community, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of all people living in Southwest Philadelphia. "I always said when I grow up I wanted to give back to my community" says Moore, "At the end of the day it's not about just taking in, we have to give back."
Unity in the Community is an outlet for Moore to do just that. The organization sponsors several initiatives throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. On Christmas Eve Operation Holiday Help surprises five needy families with gifts and food. The annual Thanksgiving Give Back provides holiday meals. Unity's other community support events include The Ultimate Prom Experience for local youths and annual summer block parties. "His heart is gold. He really really wants to help the people" said Olivia Manning, a volunteer with Unity in the Community.
Moore's organization continues to expand. The newest initiatives are focused on community building events. Cafe in the Park took place last Saturday, February 18, at the Wilson Park Housing Project at 25th and Jackson Street. "You have a lot of neighbors who live near one another, but don't know each other, so we bring them together," says Moore. "This is basically just to have fun and bring joy and cheer to the community."
Moore still calls Southwest Philadelphia home, choosing to continue commuting to New York five days a week. He wants his name and his organization to be associated with a positive force in the city.
Do you know Anton Moore? Has he made a difference in your community? Leave a comment on this story and let us know what you think.
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