community building

Volunteer at ReStore Billerica

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell opened its first retail operation- The ReStore. The ReStore is open to the public and sells new and used building materials, appliances, lighting, furniture, and much more. They are in need of volunteers to help with the retail operation intake of donated items and general retail duties.  This ReStore is located at 257 Boston Road, Billerica, Massachusetts 01862. Their store hours are Wednesday-Friday from 9 am until 5 pm and on Saturday from 9 am until 3 pm.  Volunteers can chose either full day hours from 9 am until 4 pm or a partial day hours of either 9 am until 1 pm or 1 pm until 4 pm. 

If interested in this opportunity contact ReStore by email at restore@lowellhabitat.org or call 978-215-9975.  You can also sign up for opportunities here.

Help Build a Healthy Gloucester

David Crowley helping facilitate a session

Healthy Gloucester Collaborative is a nonprofit organization that focuses on working together as a community to help build a healthier Gloucester. The Gloucester Better Together session will take place on Wednesday, February 12th from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Rose Baker Senior Center located at 6 Manuel F. Lewis Street in Gloucester, MA, 01930. SCI is helping facilitate the session, we encourage people to share this event with any of their Gloucester contacts. 

Join Healthy Gloucester for a free light dinner and relaxed evening of conversation. They are looking to take the next step to take action on the themes that were developed at their October event. New faces and ideas are always welcome. Some of the topics to be discussed include, developing neighborhood youth safety initiatives (How can neighbors work together to make sure all children are safe and healthy?), leveraging the waterfront (What are some new ways to create even greater economic, cultural, and recreational opportunities?), and creating a vibrant community (How do we build traditions while growing, changing, and fostering inclusiveness and new ideas?). Read more

9 Tips for Putting Social Capital Into Action

Over 80 Massachusetts philanthropists gathered this week at Brandeis Unversity to explore the topic "Social Captial in Action", the theme of this year's Associated Grantmakers of Massachusetts annual meeting. Needless to say, I was pleased that the local funding community is focusing on this topic. I was happy to have a chance to moderate a panel following Tom Sander's excellent keynote presentation on the subject. Tom is the Executive Director of the Saguaro Seminar for Civic Engagement. He got everyone up to speed on some of the basic social capital definitions and trends, then focused on implications for funders. Tom also previewed some disturbing new data suggesting a widening "opportunty gap" among social classes in America. (This live blog of a recent talk by Robert Putnam provides more information on this research.) After hearing Tom's talk, we were all ready to think about ways we might build social capital and address the problems he framed.Read more

8 Community Building Lessons from the Farm

Want to learn some good tips for engaging volunteers and building community at your organization? Perhaps you should spend a morning at a local farm like I did yesterday! We wanted to get better acquainted with Nina and Archie McIntyre after Nina had come to one of our events awhile back. They offered to show us around Wright-Locke Farm (which I'll call "the farm" throughout this post) in nearby Winchester, MA, where they are passionate volunteer leaders. We suspected that there might be practical ways SCI might be able to connect with the farm around volunteer opportunities and some projects we are doing related to healthy food and community building.Read more

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