Shortly after he was recognized by the DeLand City Commission for his impacts in the community, Joe Hearn sits down with Beacon reporter Noah Hertz to talk about his life, why you should get involved in your community and the importance of having pride in where you live.

For a recent episode of The Beacon’s podcast, “Now You Know,” Joe Hearn sat down with Beacon staff writer Noah Hertz to share his experiences living and working in Central Florida, what it means to be an active member of your community and how to build civic pride. Hearn’s résumé is long: He’s the president of the Boys & Girls Club of Volusia/Flagler Counties, the vice president of the Volusia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the president of the Rotary Club of DeBary-Deltona-Orange City, and that’s just naming a few.

What makes a community great? It’s more than good restaurants and fun places to go on the weekend. It’s the people, Hearn said. But, especially, it’s the people who get involved, help others and work to make places like West Volusia a great place to live.

Hearn encouraged everyone to go out and get involved in their community, because building pride in a community makes it a better place to live for everyone.


Joe Hearn smiles for a photo with community advocate and teacher Dr. Primrose Cameron at the Juneteenth Unity in the Community event in 2021. The two are involved with planning the Juneteenth celebration in DeLand.

“If you’re volunteering, whether it’s at a festival, whether it is serving at a homeless festival, serving at The Neighborhood Center, it gives you an opportunity to be connected and educate yourself about what real time looks like for your community. I think there’s big rewards in that. I think for everyone there’s going to be a positive and a negative to take out of that. Even if the situation is as negative as it can be, you’re going to walk away with a sense of pride that you stepped outside your box, went in there and said ‘What can I do to help?’ and you’re going to feel better about it.”

“It sometimes opens your eyes in another way, and it definitely opens your heart up.”

“We have a lot of development happening … So the last thing we want is to have people from another area and not have as much civic pride as we do. So how do we get them? Get them to volunteer, get them engaged in our community …”

To listen to more episodes of “Now You Know” click HERE or search for the show wherever you listen to podcasts.


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