Sense of Community

March, June, September, December

From poverty concerns to major policy decisions, this series dives beyond the headlines to provide in-depth coverage of issues facing people and organizations in the Ozarks. KSMU's team of reporters combine for 10 stories each quarter, to air the final weeks of March, June, September and December.

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

Among the dozens of local offices and organizations who have partnered with the City of Springfield’s Zone Blitz Initiative are arts organizations—the Springfield Art Museum; Springfield Ballet; and the Springfield Regional Arts Council. 

(Photo: Randy Stewart)

The City of Springfield’s Zone Blitz initiative is all about neighbors helping lift neighbors out of poverty in northwest Springfield by addressing the challenges they face and creating opportunities. According to Jody Glazner, the “Give Back” Director at Springfield’s North Point Church, the ideals embodied in the Zone One Blitz are right in their wheelhouse.

Road closed sign
Theresa Bettmann / KSMU

It’s nearing rush hour around dusk as I walk with Mary Kay Glunt. She’s not only the secretary of the Doling Neighborhood Association, but as she reminds me with a smile—also a neighbor.  We walk around the corner of Fort and Talmage—the area known as the Talmage Dip, just one of the many infrastructure improvement projects underway as part of the Zone Blitz.  

Kathryn Eutsler/KSMU

To Heidi, Ethan, Dakota, and Megan Shotts, plus their four other siblings, this is just another ordinary Thursday night dinner. The kids are laughing and playing around a long folding table. Heidi, who turns six today, chows down on some pizza and shakes her strawberry blonde hair.

“Pizza. I like pizza,” Heidi says.

The kids are in an old school gym, surrounded by rows of folding tables and people. This doesn’t seem to be a particularly special dinner.

Grant Beach
Lindsey Argo / KSMU

To Springfield city officials, involving the faith community in its Zone Blitz initiative seemed like a natural fit. Helping those in need is nothing new for these houses of worship and their members.