What makes a community great?
Ask around and you’re likely to get a wide range of answers. A young parent is going to put good schools near the top of the list. An outdoors lover is going to use parks, lakes, open spaces, and trails as a measure. A senior citizen might cite easy access to services. How about you?
I came upon an Urban Land Institute article that said the secrets of successful communities start with, “Have a vision for the future.”
“Strong leaders and committed citizens” is also on the Land Institute’s list of must-haves, and I’d put that on my list, too.
Giving back to the community and to neighbors creates a community that cares, and a community that cares is one that’s working hard to make things better – not just today, but tomorrow and on down the road.
One of the Foundation’s partners, Eden Prairie Schools’ Community Education, puts “giving back” high on their list, as well. So, together we have created The GIVE Gathering to inspire more people to volunteer.
The GIVE Gathering, from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Eden Prairie Education Center, 8040 Mitchell Road, is a free event where people can learn what volunteer opportunities exist here. So far, 23 nonprofits, civic clubs, and other organizations have reserved tables to they can share all the different ways you can give back to your community.
Among them are: A Better Society – Project Life-Cycle, Alzheimer’s Association, CHOICE Inc., Cornerstone Advocacy Service, Eden Prairie A.M. Rotary Club, Eden Prairie Community Education, Eden Prairie Community Foundation, Eden Prairie Lioness Club, Eden Prairie Optimist Club, Eden Prairie Reads, Eden Prairie Women of Today, EPHS Booster Association, Fairview Health Services, Feed My Starving Children, Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools, Friends of the Eden Prairie Library, Let’s Go Fishing-Eden Prairie, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, PROP food shelf, Senior Community Services, The Colony, The PROP Shop of Eden Prairie, and True Friends.
This is a family event, so bring your spouse, your kids – heck, bring your neighbors. Sign up for the prize drawings; we’re giving away a number of restaurant gift cards. If you’re hungry on the spot, you can purchase some Afro-Italiano fare from The Cave Café food truck in the parking lot.
While you’re checking out the volunteer fair, club and nonprofit leaders will be gathering in a nearby classroom to get training from author Jill Fox on how to recruit and retain volunteers. Just about every organization needs volunteers, and we’re committed to helping them learn the finer points of doing so.
This is the first GIVE Gathering, but the way it’s shaping up, it’s unlikely to be the last.
Please join us on Thursday, April 27, at the Education Center. You can find many more details online. Be a committed citizen, and help your community get even better.