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East End United Community Center of Uniontown offers programs and services for community members of all ages and needs.
Uniontown, PA – A community center is supposed to be a place where community members can gather for social and recreational purposes, and also for educational ones. Under the guidance of Executive Director Steve Strange, East End United Community Center is all of that and more.
The center, located at 150 Coolspring St., Uniontown, offers programs and services for community members of all ages and needs, and its commitment to enriching the lives of those community members has earned the center the Fayette County’s Faces and Places designation for March.
Though the community center has been a staple on the city’s east end for quite a while, Strange only recently has joined the team.
“I was an elementary school teacher in Florida. I moved back to Pennsylvania in 2013, and I worked in the coal mines for four years,” Strange said.
But the physical and mental toll of that industry became too much.
“I kind of had to start from scratch and get back into education at the elementary level,” he said.
Strange began working at the community center in 2019 as an after-school teacher. In May, he was named program director, and in June, he became the interim executive director.
“In September 2021, I signed a contract to remain in this role on a permanent basis,” he said.
Strange said his job encompasses “a lot,” including overseeing all of the center’s varied programs, including the 21st Century After School Program, which is open to EEUCC children in grades 2 through 8, as well as middle schoolers in the Albert Gallatin and Central Greene school districts; and Little Legends, the center’s daycare program.
“We have Silver Generations, which is basically a social club for older adults. We have a diaper bank,” Strange said. “We have a monthly food pantry, where we also give out cleaning supplies.”
And those make up just the tip of East End’s iceberg.
“We have a Fayette County Behavioral Health partnership,” Strange said. “If someone is having an issue, we connect them with Fayette County Behavioral Health, and they set them up with one of their programs.
“The bulk of what we do, we do through programming, but we also have a lot of community events or take part in a lot of community programs,” Strange said.
For example, the center participates in National Night Out, which strives to familiarize and connect people with their local police officers and other first responders. East End United Community Center also holds an annual fall gala, as well as a golf scramble.
Calendar parties and the annual Martin Luther King breakfast are two other events to which the community can look forward, and Strange said, “We’re kicking around the idea of starting a 3-on-3 basketball tournament this summer.”
The community center is partnering with Prosperity to hold a drug take-back in April, and it recently held a blood drive and is collaborating with the Red Cross to schedule another in late May or early June.
Strange said the community center keeps him busy, and he is not the only one putting in a lot of hours.
“Like I’m sure with any leadership position, with it comes a lot of responsibility,” he said. “Our employees work hard, and you want to make sure you’re serving the community and using your employees properly. It requires a lot of moving parts.”
Among those parts are the community members the center aims to serve.
“East End is always looking for ways to improve our programs and best serve our community,” Strange said.
He said he welcomes ideas from the community on how to do that.
“Sometimes, it’s just about that first suggestion, that first idea, to get the ball rolling,” he said.
To learn more about the East End United Community Center, visit www.eeucc.org.
Editor's Note: Photos attached
(EEUCC Food Staff) From left, EEUCC Executive Director Steve Strange, Kitchen Manager Nancy Reed, and Grounds Manager Alvin Moore are part of the food staff.
(EEUCC Gardening) Retired PSU professor Dave Meredith conducts a gardening lesson with EEUCC's afterschool students.
This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.
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