Our hearts are deeply connected to our communities, so we want to be part of the decisions that impact our community’s future. They can affect our quality of life, job opportunities, public health and most of all, our families. But, how do we become part of that decision making, a real participant that impacts direction?
This question was posed to the crowd attending a session at the 2016 Main Street Now Conference, and the response was uplifting, providing “a-ha” moments and real tools for the task. Who was at the podium? The leadership of the Orton Family Foundation, who believed that the strength of a community lies in the hand and the hearts of the people who live there, and that the community’s heart and soul is the common cause that they will rally around.
The foundation developed the Community Heart and Soul Field Guide to help communities build a better future based on what matters most to its residents. The guide rests on three key principles and gives clear steps to follow:
- Involve everyone
- Focus on what matters
- Play the long game, meaning target long-term success
The field guide just got an update, too, after a year-long evaluation done by Wake Forest University.
Now it is time to connect in your community for a real, old-fashioned barn raising!