We all know community service is a good thing, but what is the true meaning of community service and how it impacts ourselves and each other? The Greene County Public Library’s very own Community Engagement Officer Christi Cox answers this question through her diligence, compassion, and friendship she offers our community day in and day out.
Saturday, Christi received the S.L. Stephan Award from the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce. This award is presented to a person who has worked unselfishly, through voluntary services, to promote the Xenia Area Chamber of Commerce and our community for at least the past two years.
Community Service for the Community
During her time in the Chamber, Christi has shown immense commitment to her community. Mathew Bennett, owner of Anderson-Williams Insurance and immediate past Chamber Board Chair, speaks to Christi’s involvement in Women in Business, the Professional Outreach Committee, Kiwanis and so much more. “Christi consistently exceeds expectations whether it be hosting Zoom meetings for WIB to increase engagement during the pandemic or adding a little free library at Shawnee park through Kiwanis Club, which she refills weekly with donated books. She’s a rockstar and an inspiration to our community,” Bennett said.
Christi’s nominator Tarija Hubbard, Administrator of New Beginnings Group Home, notes that Christi’s participation in uplifting New Beginnings has been wonderful. “Christi is the board secretary and helped keep the group organized and on task. She researched and wrote the bylaws for the board and helped me with getting the home C.A.R.F. certified (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). Through Kiwanis Club, she organized Christmas gifts for our residents,” Hubbard shared.
Community Service for the Soul
It doesn’t stop there. Christi went generously above and beyond by stepping up and giving the gift of life when her friend and fellow Fairborn Rotary member needed a kidney transplant. “They were not a match with each other, so Christi agreed to donate to a stranger for her friend to receive a kidney. Both her Rotary friend and the person who received Christi’s kidney are doing well,” said Hubbard.
Hubbard says amidst all her hard work and community service, Christi was diagnosed with a brain tumor seven years ago and uses her journey to help others. “She has been sharing her brain tumor journey helping the freshman medical students in the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine learn to interview patients for the past 4 years.”
Christi continuously shows up for her community and selflessly serves others, making her more than worthy of this award. During the ceremony when Christi accepted the S.L. Stephan Award, she thanked everyone and said, “I’m honored to be awarded the Stephan award. I can do all these things because I have a job I love. I want to thank the library and specifically Karl Colón, my boss, for letting me be me.”
Karl Colón, GCPL’s Executive Director, later shared, “We are so lucky to have Christi as the Community Engagement Officer at the Greene County Public Library. I’m incredibly proud of her and how she has contributed to our amazing community. I will always support Christi in her community endeavors as her boss and as her friend.”
Christi ended her acceptance speech with a thoughtful reminder, “While you never know what you say or do will make an impact on your community or a person’s life, we just hope that, in the end, we have been and done enough. Thank you.”
Christi is an inspiration to us all, and her hard work has not gone unnoticed. Community service goes beyond just joining a few committees; it’s what you do to positively impact your community and make it a better place. Thank you, Christi, for all that you do – from your GCPL family!