Citizens of Woodbury
For Matthew Johnson, named 2023’s Everyday Hero by the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce, community service is a family tradition. “My mom stocked food shelves, dad served as treasurer and helped with the local baseball team, my grandparents served in World War II. I had a lot of good examples growing up,” Johnson says. But realizing that his children called Woodbury home was an inspiration to engage the community at a new level. “I want to build a community that my kids are proud to call home,” he says.
Through leading roles at the Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club and Woodbury Community Foundation, Johnson’s growing network creates opportunities to serve. As he sees it, it all starts with showing up. “One opportunity drove the next, [and] one group connected me to another. Success is easier than you think if you focus and put in the work,” Johnson says.
As Woodbury grows, Johnson sees a new call to action. “We’ve expanded rapidly, but our philanthropy hasn’t followed suit,” he says. In his view, bigger cities have bigger needs and the longer we delay action, the harder it will be to respond when the community needs it most. It’s time to be digging in, growing support and upgrading the Woodbury Community Foundation’s programs for the future.
Kevin Gilboe is a volunteer with the Woodbury Community Foundation. Find more at woodburyfoundation.org.