Many people make end-of-year financial gifts to charities, either in the name of a family member as a holiday gift, or for tax purposes. If this is part of your tradition, consider adding local community-building organizations to your list of gift recipients. Without these civic-minded folks, it would be much harder to connect.
Transition Longfellow – the Transition Town group I belong to – benefits from the existence of several nonprofit and for-profit community organizations. We’ve got less than $100 in “the bank” and no physical space but we’re able to show movies, host discussion groups, install raised bed gardens and a host of other things because great people and places offer us assistance and hospitality.
- Longfellow Community Council: Transition Longfellow is a subcommittee of LCC, which provides some benefits to our group. But the real value of LCC to all of us is the ability is has to amplify the voice of real people in the neighborhood so we can weigh in on city and county issues. Transit issues, housing issues, business development issues – your voice can be heard. LCC really needs financial support from individuals in order to do its work.
- Bethany Lutheran Church: Every month Bethany Church opens its doors so we can host a potluck and movie night. In the summer we hold canning classes in their kitchen. They’ve been generous with their space and time. If you’re looking for a place to go for Christmas eve with family, they’ve got a 4 pm service and a jazz service at 10:30 am on Christmas day. Stop in and say hi to Pastor Jo.
- Alliance for Sustainability: Transition Longfellow is here today because The Alliance for Sustainability brought Richard Heinberg to town in 2011 to speak about the climate crisis and peak oil. They created space for community members to get together to talk about next steps, and our neighborhood took action.
- E-democracy: This is a free online forum/listserv where neighbors can announce events and discuss local issues. If you want the inside scoop on developments in the neighborhood or the city, this is the place to be.
- My Broadsheet: Another way to get the word out in the Longfellow neighborhood is the online newspaper, My Broadsheet. Rebekah and Mitch live in the neighborhood. Their paper provides both a guide to things happening over the weekend and indepth coverage of breaking issues.
Businesses That Support Us
- Great Metropolitan Back Rub: Located in Highland Park, this company helps us with marketing and outreach. But of course, their real talent lies in helping people feel better.
- Riverview Cafe: The cafe and wine bar have been wonderful hosts for our Saturday morning groups.
- Gandhi Mahal restaurant: Community building is a vital part of the mission of this restaurant. They have a community room that we’ve used to host small and large meetings. They grow some of the vegetables they use in the restaurant in local gardens to ensure freshness and organic quality. My household is a big fan of their wonderful food.
- Junket Tossed and Found: Junket is an upcycling shop on Minnehaha that immediately after it opened got to work helping the community. Every month they did a drive for items to donate to local groups. Last spring they took in items to donate to our Chard Your Yard program.
These are by no means the only community-building resources in our local community that can use your support. Feel free to add your favorite community builders in the comments below.