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The Point of View May 30, 2010

Posted by thewritegrrl in Uncategorized.
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What Your Gonna Get From Me

I was oriented to the world of helpers in the late 80’s after a brief but exciting stint in the music business. While studying the theory and practice of social change, I discovered a knack for organizing. 

As a college intern, I worked on a  successful union organizing campaign on a college campus. I learned about the power in numbers. My first paid position was with an urban anti-poverty organization where I helped a community establish a grocery cooperative that would offer healthy food and reasonable prices in contrast to the over-priced, mom and pop stores selling junk food on every corner. I learned that the most successful improvements in a community are those generated by the people for the people.

My path then took me to a program that provided high school drop-outs with G.E.D. classes and an apprenticeship in a building trade. I learned so many lessons during my work there that I don’t think I could do them justice in a one sentence summation. I was exposed to racism at its fiercest, sexism at its most base, and the insurmountable nature of many of our societies obstacles to achieving the American dream. I also became acquainted with some of the most inspiring young people I will every meet.

For awhile in the early 90s, I was a liaison of sorts to a variety of helping programs ranging from Head Start classrooms, a homeless shelter, and a mental health clinic.  Later, I was able to put all of my skills into practice starting a rape crisis center for both victims of sexual assault and survivors of childhood abuse.

In 2000, I decided to take a break and spend some time with my 2-year-old daughter. My brief hiatus was soon replaced with work at an agency that served children and adults with disabilities. There I translated the stories of the people we served into messages of hope to help raise money to continue our efforts.

I followed this effort with the work I truly love to do – identifying a need in a community, developing programs to meet that need, and seeing those very programs come into fruition to make a long-lasting improvement to the quality of life for all of those involved. I was fortunate to be able to do this with older adults living in Geauga County.

As my family grew, I was called to be around more for my children. I found a way to use my writing skills to draw an income while staying at home to get kids on and off the school bus, teach them how to pack their lunches, and help with homework, even math.

I can’t help but think about how lucky I have been to be involved in so many incredible efforts to make like better for people throughout the past 20 years.

Mostly, though, I look forward to continuing to do so through my family, my volunteerism and a new career.

This blog is where I will share the ideas that have worked, the programs that changed the world (or at least the community), anything I run across that absolutely must be copied, and step-by-steps on community organizing for social change. These ideas are yours for the taking. Seriously, run with them.  And by all means, email me if you have questions.

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