TrTribune: We’re Here for You; November 2013

We’re Here for You: Being part of an ‘Abundant Communmity’

In the book “The Abundant Community,” authors Peter Block and John McKnight present the argument that the community is better suited to meet the needs of its neighbors than the systems currently in place to meet those needs. At Foothills Family Resources we are taking this concept of how much a community can do all by itself to heart and we ask you to join us while supporting the Center for Working Families (CWF).

This support of CWF does not necessarily have to be financial as Foothills Family Resources’ goal is to essentially create a database of the skills in our abundant community which we are all proud to live and/or work in. Whether you make a mean lasagna, have serious plumbing skills or would like to serve as a mentor, every skill is welcome to assist those working to move from crisis to self-sufficiency.

Do you want to serve on a board of directors which has a direct impact on your neighbors in need? We always need members dedicated to the cause. Are you good with woodworking? You can donate some time to help a young child learn how to make a birdhouse. Do you make paper-mâché? Let’s gather the CWF families for a crafts session on making piñatas and use them for birthday parties for our students’ children. The beauty of this program is we can think outside the box and effect our students in ways most programs don’t. Remember, we are serving the entire family unit, and I’m sure that you have a talent to share which can have an impact!

When we create programming it’s important to identify goals which will indicate success and, in the case of the Center for Working Families, those goals will revolve around the financial success of the students. This includes improvements in employment status, decrease in debt and an increase in savings. But there’s another angle we will focus on which will revolves around our community that’s a bit more abstract, but just as important. Our goal is to hear graduates speak of missing Ms. Smith’s lasagna at monthly meetings or to hear them tell stories of how Mr. Jones was always there when there was a plumbing issue at their house.

We are just as excited to hear about the times when mentors went above and beyond as we are to learn that a student is working in a job that will change the course of their families’ future.  Helping people find a successful career is a primary goal, but helping them establish positive relationships skills is just as important in the long run for that person and our community. If students graduate, change their lives and talk about lasagna, plumbing, mentors and piñatas we’ll know that it’s the community helping the community. That’s when we’ll know this is a sustainable way to empower those in need. That’s when we’ll know that we have a program that will not only change the lives of its students, but will have an impact on our entire abundant community.

If you would like to be part of this abundant community please contact me at dwbolto@bellsouth.net or 864-836-1100. Remember, there’s no skill or talent we don’t want to hear about.