Giving back to you for all of the love you've shown me my whole life.

My Dearest Toledo,

I have been and always will be your biggest ally. You have so much opportunity to give I find myself coming to your defense more and more as I age. It actually hurts me when people say that there is nothing going on here, it is a dead-end city, or they want to get out. I want you to stand proud and feel accomplished and deserving, as you offer this world some of the most incredible people, institutions, artwork, architecture, and events. My love for you has grown immensely throughout the years in different ways and at different times, but that love has always been there.

In my mid-20’s, I pushed myself to expand my “Toledo horizon” and get more involved with the arts and indulge in events and happenings around town. I was always a curious person who enjoyed taking part in such occasions, but I felt the need to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about the communities and people around me. I have lived in many different neighborhoods of this city which has allowed me to experience the people and places each district offers.

Although my husband and I live in the beautiful Old Orchard neighborhood, I have been involved with the UpTown district for many years and currently sit on the Village on Adams board. The VoA is an organization that helps bring safety, beautification, and creativity to one of the more prominent cultural hubs of the city. It is humbling to work with the incredibly dedicated people on this board that are all so passionate about Toledo and the UpTown neighborhood. I feel like I am, in a small way, giving back to you for all of the love you’ve shown me my whole life. I want people to see how special you are and appreciate your stake in this world. I really do love you.


Jesse Heider