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Hometown Hero strives to build a strong community with family-friendly events

Hometown Heroes

This week’s Hometown Hero is a woman who decided to take back her streets in Youngstown. Her secret? Make it fun!

Victoria Allen can be described in three words.

“Action, action, action. I don’t think she sleeps,” a volunteer said.

It all started when she formed a block watch group back in 2011.

“The block watch was started in 2011 due to the increased crime in our neighborhoods. We wanted to make a difference and impact lives, return the quality of life back to our streets,” Allen said.

Allen has done that by coordinating events in the community throughout the year, like a Thanksgiving dinner with free hats and gloves last November.

This April 14, her sixth annual Easter egg hunt will attract over 700 neighborhood kids. It will take place at St. Dominic’s Church.

Her volunteers say they have learned a lot from Allen.

“She is a wife, a mother, she works full time and she has endless energy. She continues to volunteer in the community,” said church volunteer Michelle Moorhead.

Her support team of about 30 members is invaluable.

“The volunteers are essential, I’m only one person, because I can’t lay 16,000 eggs and give out 500 prizes all at the same time!” Allen said.

Community service is a family tradition.

“I see it in her children. They are so proactive, jumping to the plate without question to help in every way. It’s just the way they are,” said church volunteer Barbara Kelly.

Expect block parties this summer and a harvest fest this fall, plus activities to keep the kids off the streets.

“She helps families out. She does a lot of fundraisers. We have camps in the summer that takes kids on trips that they usually don’t get to do that their families can’t afford,” said Sir Solomon Watkins, Allen’s brother.

“Seeing the smiles of the people, seeing people come out and enjoy themselves, that’s the best reward ever,” Allen said.

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