Sometimes - just sometimes - you end up finding a worthy treasure without really looking for it.
I'm no stranger to Englewood - it's a neighborhood that's a short bus ride away from home, and I've done a bit of work with one organization as part of my freelance work with non-profits. (They've also been highlighted in this recent YouTube video) Thankfully, thanks to a measured response to a request for a Chicago Net Tuesday venue, I've found another...
It was started after Jean Carter-Hill - the current Executive Director - had attended some leadership workshops put on by Imagine Chicago. Inspired by what she learned, she chose to bring that same sense of positive, imaginative thinking to Englewood. The organization's mission is "to strengthen and empower the greater Englewood community through teaching local youth healthy living, environmental awareness and positive communication skills".
And quite honestly, I was impressed - with the staff, with the facility (after leaving a crowded office, we walked through the hall and into a former Masonic temple), and quite honestly, with the fact that there's an organization that posits the power of exchanging information and talents...at a time when many community groups are desperately seeking funds, Imagine Englewood believes that help can sometimes be as simple as asking, and doing the footwork.
Let me provide an experience to put this in perspective: I volunteered to help Ms. Hill find someone to volunteer to help them with basic computer maintanence. Some people were reluctant because of its location - of course, I honestly believe that some people doubt the city exists south of Cermak. But when I went to a Facebook group specifically focusing on non-profit professionals - asking for a volunteer and/or resources - was referred to an organization that did not have its main office in Chicago, and that "might" work pro bono.
My only motivation in bringing that up - I connected with Imagine Englewood If via Facebook. Some people see Facebook connections as a means to an end; I see them as a way of building community. I'm glad Imagine Englewood does as well...
Have questions or comments? Please feel free to leave them below. In addition, you are more than welcome to connect with me either via Linked In (just mention One Cause At A Time in your note) or via my web site's contact page.
And as always, thanks for reading!