Over the past month, Noble New Way has conducted a series of community conversations. It is not about what is wrong in our riding… quite the contrary.
Noble New Way focuses on asset-based community development. This means that we look at what is positive and find ways to improve it. It’s about examining the gifts, skills and talents of our community members and connecting those people to make good things happen all around us.
These community conversations, held so far in Albion, Ligonier and Kendallville, were designed for this purpose. Help people discover the assets around them, how they are assets themselves and how they can become active and engaged to strengthen their communities.
The question we ask, “What would it be like if we used our gift, skills and talents to get involved in our community?” What could we accomplish? “
Through these three events, we connected a guy who enjoys manual labor and is hands-on around the house with Kendallville Restorations, Inc. and Habitat for Humanity, where his skills can help build and renovate homes that will deliver. new opportunities for families. We put a young woman in touch with a local pantry and community center, where she can develop cooking classes to promote healthy, low-budget eating. We matched another woman who has the skills to mend and alter clothes with another community center where she could perhaps teach. These are just a few of the possibilities that emerged from these quick two hour events.
It’s important to celebrate what we have and create more good things around us, rather than focusing on the deficits. For those who agree, we have two more community conversations coming up on Wednesday, October 20. These take place in the city of Rome, in particular in the facilities of the Rome City Housing Authority.
You are welcome to join us from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sylvan Manor, 150 Kerr Street, in the community hall. Lunch will be provided. The other event will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Rome City Housing Authority Community Hall at 500 Front Street. Dinner, as well as childcare during the event, will be provided.
To register, call the Limberlost branch of the Kendallville Public Library at 260-854-2775. In partnership with Noble New Way, these community conversations are funded by a grant from the Kendallville Public Library of the American Library Association. Libraries Transform Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).
Jenna Anderson is Co-Chair of Noble New Way and Manager of Kendallville Public Library Support Services.