|looking for community essay||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)|
|Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 13:39:37 -0800 (PST)|
The message below was posted to the Cohousing-L Mailing List by Joanie Connors jvcphd [at] gmail.com . I thought someone here might have suggestions. (The URL did not work for me.) Cohousing-L messages can be read at http://lists.cohousing.org/archives/cohousing-l/ Fred -- Fred H. Olson Minneapolis,MN 55411 USA (near north Mpls) Email: fholson at cohousing.org 612-588-9532 My Link Pg: http://fholson.cohousing.org My org: Communications for Justice -- Free, superior listserv's w/o ads looking for community essay Hi all, I'm looking for a general essay on community that is not specifically focused on cohousing for a class I am teaching this spring. It would be great if it mentioned cohousing as an option, but it mainly needs to speak to the principles behind the idea of community - common well being, mutual service, working together, learning together. I found the essay below, which is pretty good, but thought someone on the list might know of something better. Remember, college students today have grown up without much sense of community, other than the internet. I need something to intrigue and open minds (tall order!). Thanks! Joanie from the Silver City EcoCommunity planning group Community means caring for the common good By Scott Johnstone â?¢ Thursday, November 25, 2010 Burlington Free Press http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20101125/OPINION02/11250312/My-Turn-Community-means-caring-for-the-common-good What does community mean to you? As we gather for holiday celebrations, take a moment to reflect on this question. Is it a gathering of people who live in proximity? Or a place where the settlement pattern makes a village, a collection of buildings? These definitions work but fall short â?? they fail to account for the incredible quality of life that comes with community and the care of our common good. For me, this idea of a body of people working for our common good works. Our individual stories connect together, as we help support and care for each other at exactly the right time of need. In my story, I can't escape the notion of community. I grew up in rural Maine in a home of great love, but also rampant alcoholism, drug addiction and other abuses. Our town didn't have an accredited high school, making college typically out of reach. Time and again, the extended hand of community lifted me at exactly the right time -- a place to stay on a particularly rough night, counseling to cope with the afflictions of those I loved, teachers breaking college barriers through personal intervention with the registrar's office. It took hard work but the difference for me is, I believe, the common good, the community. Parts of my story may resonate with parts of your story, as an individual or through your family, at work or through your social networks. Parts of your story would resonate with me, too. This commonality is how our willingness to help each other builds and grows through our lives. Here in Chittenden County it is part of the culture and makes for a great place to live, to raise a family, to engage. Beyond caring individuals we need strong services and organizing functions to create community. We have United Way and an amazing array of United Way agencies creating this social network of care and services. I am thankful every day for the organizations and the people who work there, ready to help at exactly the right time. This is a tremendous basic social network, but for our collective story, for our community, it is not enough. Problems exist here, like everywhere, that no one agency can tackle; problems requiring partnerships of different types with business and schools, with you and me. Projects like the Burlington Truancy Project, Working Bridges, and the Child Care Food Project are examples. In our community 1 in 8 preschool children are food insecure. Thousands of children need to get as much as half of their nutrition at preschool or they will be hungry. There are federal dollars available to make progress on this challenge; our state and community have not been effective in attracting the dollars. So, United Way convened partners from all sectors, attracted additional funding and to date 81,000 additional meals have been provided to preschoolers in our community. This great social fabric takes talents, partnership and funding. This year our Community Campaign for United Way set a fundraising goal of $4.1 million dollars -- a bold undertaking in this economy and potentially the most we've ever raised. Yet, the needs of our community have never been higher. I ask you to join me in helping our community take a step forward. Give: Give toward this community goal through your workplace campaign or with an individual gift at www.unitedwaycc.org. Advocate: Raise your voice, advocate in and for our community. Volunteer: Volunteer through UWCC Volunteer Center www.unitedwaycc .org. Give, advocate, and volunteer is what United Way calls Living United and what it means to be part of a community. Each of us helping the other, improving our own sense of self, and our commitment to the common good. As we do this together, our stories will merge and each of us will find the help we need, just when we need it. We'll continue to hold on to our community -- something truly to be thankful for. Scott Johnstone is the executive director of the Vermont Energy Investment Corp. and is the 2010 United Way Community Campaign chairman.
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