There are two more resources for enjoying our community now. One is the new community center in North Charleston, and the other is a website that allows you to search for and pay for community activities in the city of Charleston.

Both are welcome additions since they make it easier to do the one thing that draws a community together: a chance to play and learn together on familiar streets and playgrounds.

A community center like the small building in Green Grove is much more than just a building. For resident Helen Wiley, having a place for seniors to have meetings and a place to exercise was much more than just a nice idea.

It became a mission.

She said that four seniors decided to go see Mayor Keith Summey because they wanted a place where they didn't have to bother the neighborhood church for meetings. When these seniors, whom she had grown up with, asked her to join them, she said "of course." That began six years of persistence.

First, Wiley helped find the land, then write the community grant and then worked with the city to see what else was needed. She says she called every quarter for six years to check on the progress.

When the center opened last week, she felt proud of herself and of the city of North Charleston for making it happen.

The seniors of her neighborhood now have a place to gather for crafts, to exercise and to share community meetings and meals.

For the kids in the neighborhood, it will offer an after-school program that will give them a safe place to have fun.

"It was wonderful to see the seniors sitting there in awe that the center actually opened, and it was a blessing to see a young child cutting the ribbon."

If you read Dave Munday's story, you also will find that she was cited by North Charleston Recreation Department Director Ed Barfield, who said that if there where more members of the community like her, the city could do great things. He's so right.

The new city of Charleston website is a resource of a different sort. While there have been schedules of all of the wonderful events the city offers online, you had to call each community recreation center to register for the teams. And then you had to wait and see if there was space available for popular options.

The new website at is easy to navigate and has a payment option on the site. You will know immediately if there is a waiting list, if the class or team is available, and just what the hours and costs are. Busy parents spend a lot of time trying to call the right person and get their children's activities lined up, especially when there is more than one child. And for those of us without children, it shows what classes still have openings.

I have to commend all of our recreational centers -- we really have some great ones -- for the work they do in bringing our community together. Without them, the next great baseball pitcher might never throw his first ball, or the senior looking for some companionship through art classes might never make new friends.

Let's all be like Helen Wiley and make our corner of the neighborhood a better place.

Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557 or sharvin@