We recently had a meeting with the Happy Community Project Core Group to look at what we have accomplished in 2018 and make some goals for the coming year. We have accomplished a lot – and we have listened to what our neighbours are telling us they want for our community. What we have heard are two big things. We have heard:
- thank you – keep doing more of what the Happy Community Project does in building social connections across our community
- help us replace the culture of divisiveness with a culture of unity
So that’s what we are going to do.
Building Social Connectedness
We are going to continue to support the Farmers Market, Community Gardens, Community Farm, Ellershouse Breakfast, Movies in the Park, Welcome Newcomers, Greatest Picnic Ever, Corn Boil Challenge, Grab a Meal as well as launch My Community Kitchen Party and Adopt a Grandparent. In addition to these incredible projects, several citizens have come forward with new ideas that we are helping support.
Here are some details
My Community Kitchen Party
The idea is simple. All community halls hold a kitchen party on the same day so that neighbours meet neighbours. So far we have heard from 5 halls that are interested in my Community Kitchen Party. Windsor, Ellershouse, Ardoise, Newport Landing, Newport Corner. If you want to be part of the planning process for your community hall, join us this Tuesday January 15 at the Windsor Library.
Adopt a Grandparent
Another simple idea – empty nesters build a relationship with parents who are over taxed and haven’t the support of local relatives and then help each other out. There are lots of things to work out around this idea before we launch. If you want to be part of a working group / think tank to shape these ideas before we launch it, let us know firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Wednesday 14 joyful souls showed up at the Wine Grunt even though the weather was a challenge. Lots of really interesting people doing cool things, lots of laughter and the start of some great relationships. It sounds like a wine tour may be in the offering. The next one is Feb 13 at the Wine Grunt at 6:30. Mark your calendar.
On the last Saturday of every month, the Ellershouse Breakfast brings together 250 people who share great food, lots of laughs and good old fashioned community spirit. Come on out on January 26 from 7;30 to 10:00AM for a renowned breakfast
Replacing Divisiveness with Unity
Our 2019 Objectives
The Core Group had a lively conversation about this and I am thrilled with the outcome. The question we asked is what difference can we notice in Jan 2020. The conversation had two big ideas to it.
One is changing our community mindset from divisiveness to unity.
Most people in our community have told us they want to be for unity. The voices of divisiveness are few and loud. They often show up as two sides: those against something and those who are against those who are against something. This is usually led by a few people who get disproportional attention. Yet the majority of people want the divisiveness to disappear. So our 2019 objective is to build strength into those who want to be for unity within our community. The voice of divisiveness will still be there, but the voice of we want to be ‘for’ our community united becomes more solid and affirmative engaging in respectful debate.
The other conversation was how we do this?
We agreed we will always stay on the side of unity, never taking sides. we will continue to show people through real stories and example the good that comes from building social connections across diversity, taking care of each other and having conversations that debate ideas in the spirit of for the wellbeing of our community and respect for our fellow citizens. It it feels good to make friends and help each other and respect each other, maybe we will do more of that.
Are We Really Making a Differrence?
We have heard hundreds of stories that we have made a difference. But we also want to put some science to this question. We have developed in collaboration with social scientists a simple app called Sense of Community. Scientists have been proven it measures how much citizens have a sense of belonging and engagement with their community. In the next few weeks we will be launching the Sense of Community app to measure belonging and community engagement in West Hants and then we will tell you what it says.
We are one community – a community of communities.
Together, we are making a our community greater. We are creating a greater sense of wellbeing and resiliency which is showing up as a vibrant, energized community. Many people in our community are doing amazing things to make our community stronger, more vibrant and with greater resiliency.
Everyone of us in our own ways contributes to the color and vibrancy of our community. Thank you for your contribution to our community, your interest in the Happy Community Project, your support for our efforts . I look forward to a wonderful year of building stronger social connections and belonging in our community of Windsor / West Hants