I can’t help but think about the people along the northeast coast and the devastation that has occurred to their lives, homes and communities. Roots dug deep in their neighborhoods with families, friends and neighbors all pulling together helping one another. That is community at its best coming together to meet incredible challenge.
I am very proud of what Connecting4Communities has achieved in such a short time through our community building activities. As we are taught, it is not what one says, but rather what one does, that makes all the difference in the world.
Our first annual cheering station for the Chicago Marathon brought together local schools and residents from Little Italy, University Village & Commons, Roosevelt Square, Brooks Homes and Tri Taylor to showcase our community. Neighbors volunteered to work with our Marcy Newberry Association family to teach cheer leading (which resulted in a cheering squad marching in Chicago’s Bud Billiken Day Parade), knitting lessons and we formed the Maxwell Street community garden as a place to grow together. We are reaching out to our UIC neighbor, as they have reached out to us, to build a real residential university community through a partnership between our neighborhoods and UIC. We look forward to upcoming UIC Theater, music and athletic events that will bring our community together. We’ve worked with our new independent Powell’s bookstore to introduce them to our community and to get a children’s Read Aloud program started and run by neighborhood residents. We reached out to Provision Theater and are working with them to become a neighborhood destination. They have already partnered with Powell’s by bringing over their actors to read versions of Jack and the Beanstalk to our neighborhood kids. In turn this brought awareness of Provision Theater for Young Audiences and many residents and children attend the production. An overall win/win!!
So where does this take us? We will build on what we have started our first year in existence with much more to come in 2013. We welcome anybody with good community-building ideas and the energy to see them through to bring them to us.