Woman of the Year 2014
Cindy Van Meeveren
Cindy Van Meeveren, a product of the City of Bellflower, knows the importance of community. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Long Beach and pursuing a degree in Sociology, Cindy knew that her degree allowed her to help those most in need. A strong believer that “it takes a village,” Cindy takes pride in bringing community members, city resources, local businesses and agencies together in order to make a positive impact.
Since 2008, Cindy has been an exemplary employee for the City of Bellflower where her fervent passion and can-do attitude has blossomed many fruitful projects. For instance, last year, through her efforts at the Volunteer Center, Cindy was able to provide 324 backpacks filled with school supplies for the start of the school year; 388 Easter baskets filled with books, toiletry items, and small toys to children; and 623 holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Cindy believes that in order to best serve the community, one must find what and where the greatest needs are in a community. Therefore, since 2009, she has served as a member of the Executive Board for Caring Connections, a community collaborative that brings together local service providers to find ways to make services readily available to children and families within the Bellflower Unified School District. Additionally, she also serves on the advisory board for Kingdom Causes, a local organization that connects and mobilizes people toward personal and community transformation.
She is also in charge of Bellflower’s weekly Farmers’ Market and Bellflower Looking Better, a program that leads the way for civic pride. Additionally, last year alone, Cindy recruited over 16,000 community service hours from local volunteers and community members. With projects ranging from kindergarten support teams, partnering students with local mentors, or a Reading Buddies program, Cindy keeps her plate full.
Cindy states that without the continuous support of the Bellflower City Council and her colleagues at the Park and Recreation Department much of her work in the community would not be possible. After all, their continuous support motivates her to keep going and keep helping. She has the privilege of leading but it would not be possible with such staunch supporters.
Cindy stresses that nothing compares to receiving those heartfelt notes from children and families that she has helped. To know that she has made a difference in their life makes all the work worthwhile. Cindy says, “It’s great to see community members pay it forward. We’re all interconnected and don’t need to know someone to help out. A lot can be accomplished within a community.”
Cindy is the loving mother to two girls and has been married for 22 years.