Heights Observer newsies deliver
These days, most newspapers are cutting pages or going online entirely, but so far the Heights Observer is bucking the trend. Our pages are growing, not shrinking, and we are committed to our monthly print edition. You can visit our website, www.heightsobserver.org, to see more up-to-date news and sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter, but many people still prefer to read the news in hard copy form.
From day one, we’ve been committed to the print issue because we serve all members of the community, even those who don’t have easy access to a computer. For some, that may be a preference; for others, their modest means may not allow it. Whatever the reason, the print newspaper provides a physical connection to the community.
I have no idea what people might be reading on their laptops or iPhones, but I get great pleasure in seeing people pick up the print edition of the Heights Observer and read it. The Observer is available in more than 200 locations in every neighborhood in Cleveland Heights and University Heights, and in several surrounding communities.
Hannah Baldwin, our part-time administrative assistant, coordinates delivery. She has organized the locations into 20 separate routes—the smallest of which has two stops and the largest of which has about 20. Once a month, several wonderful volunteers pull up in front of the FutureHeights office—we’re located above the Cedar Lee Theatre—between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., to pick up their bundles of papers and deliver them to their designated locations. We call them “newsies,” and they are a vital part of the Observer team.
Some complete the routes by themselves. It is great exercise and a fun way to visit favorite businesses—I know; I’ve done all of the routes myself at one time or another.
Others make it a social event. We have two husband-and-wife teams. Three friends take two routes together. One of the friends has Alzheimer’s, and it’s a wonderful way for the three of them to spend time together.
This time of year, cold temperatures, heavy snow, wind and freezing rain make it more difficult for us to get the print newspaper out to all of the places you expect it to be. Many of our volunteers are retired, and winter weather poses many challenges.
If you enjoy reading the Observer, perhaps you might consider joining our newsies. You can help out just once, or commit to coming every month. Most of the routes take about an hour and a half to complete. The papers come in bundles of 50 or 100, depending on the page count, and we provide a list detailing how many to leave, and where to place them, at each location. If you would like to volunteer to deliver the Observer, call Hannah at 216-320-1423 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
We can never thank our newsies enough, but each month we show our appreciation by giving them a coupon for $2 off any item at one of Phoenix Coffee’s stores. A cup of hot coffee, tea or chocolate is just the ticket for a cold Heights winter.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.