The GOOD Guide for Great Community
By Jan Bennett
As always, State of the Re:Union is looking for ways to inspire community. In order to do that, SOTRU seeks out what folks are doing in their neighborhoods to help make their city a better place to live. Community is about making your neighborhood come together. Most towns experience this type of unity during the most dire of circumstances, but what if community was formed before tragedy struck? What about the people who just enjoy living in their abodes because of what their community offers? As this is the preferred way of living in community, SOTRU turns to the folks at GOOD Magazine and the Pepsi Refresh Project to help us discover The GOOD Guide to Your Community.
Your community is the best place to start finding hidden treasures and pleasures, including new friends, activities, cultures and businesses that will enrich your life. The only way to find out what your town has to offer is to get out there and go exploring. Here are a few ideas and things to do from GOOD Magazine’s GOOD Guide to Your Community that will have you echoing Dorothy’s sentiment, “There’s no place like home.”
• Homegrown Volunteering, from Timebanks to Craft Sales explores how to create charitable causes that bring people together like ReThreadEarth and TimeBanks USA (two great organizations that came from people who enjoyed volunteering for causes close to their hearts).
• Friendly Meetups: Using the Internet to Get Off the Internet. The Women Writers Lunch Club and members of Meetup can show you how to use the computer to ditch the computer for more encounters with like-minded people.
• Herbivore, Omnivore, Localvore explains how opting for local fare can be just as tasty and adventurous as exotic dishes from around the world.
• Talk of the Town: How to Host a Successful Salon explores how to create a successful forum for diversity in dialogue, and keep it going strong (check out Mindshare LA, Conversation Cafe and Goodreads to find a forum closest to you.) It’s socializing for your brain.
• How Does Your (Community) Garden Grow? This uncovers ways to create community bonds through organizations and initiatives, like The Spoon in Denver, Colorado, through helping others in learn new skills in growing gardens and cooking what they grow.
• How to Host a Block Party Blowout, reveals the secrets to getting the entire neighborhood involved with a celebration the community will want to relive. (The Patio Series, a neighborhood gathering in California, was inspired by the Ohio neighborhood block party group, Wednesdays on the Porch, and are an inspiration in this artful community bonding.)
With community in jeopardy of becoming more isolated in this digital era, it is refreshing to be reminded of, or introduced to, concepts and scenarios perpetuating IRL human interaction. I can honestly say, without human interaction, a world of color would quickly become grim and blah. We need community to ground us in humanity, and that can not be reproduced with binary code.