Tapping the Abundance
I thought I'd share my opening remarks from last week's Social Capitalist Luncheon:
In these times of scarcity, we see abundance.
On a chilly Monday night in Dorchester, Jaquan mentioned to the other SCI Dorchester Youth Council teens that it was supposed to a very cold winter. They started talking about how in this economy people were struggling to meet basic needs. Trained to act on problems they see, the council quickly devised plans for a coat drive.
Guided by Keith, the AmeriCorps member who mentors them, the Council developed a collaboration with the Burlington Coat factory. A few weeks later, on a rainy January night, Jaquan and the other Council members gathered to sort and distribute 600 winter coats. One recipient, who clearly didn’t have enough clothing to stay warm, said simply, “This coat drive is a godsend”.
In these times of scarcity, we at SCI see abundance. Abundant generosity & leadership, waiting to be tapped. Abundant capacity in local organizations, waiting to be connected.
At last year’s lunch, we shared SCI’s new strategic focus on “Developing Social Capitalists”, teaching emerging leaders the skills and attitudes to collaborate effectively, make connections, and bridge differences. Valuable life skills, they can be put to use right now by young people like Jaquan to meet immediate needs.
We also shared specific targets at last year’s lunch; which we have surpassed. We’re training 268 new leaders, who have engaged over 6,100 people in civic life. We do this work through 2 main program areas, each with a team of 10 AmeriCorps members: Youth Leadership, working with teens like Jaquan who want to make a difference; and Connecting Citizens, where our AmeriCorps leverage new technology and old-fashioned community outreach to strengthen our social fabric.It’s nice to be meeting targets, but more importantly, each of these 268 leaders we train—young people like Jaquan and AmeriCorps members like Keith—are tackling issues we face today…providing coats for the cold, connecting quake victims to resources, empowering young people to make healthy choices, and much more.
Today’s challenges are too great for any individual or group to solve alone. By training Social Capitalists to connect, collaborate and lead, we at SCI are doing our part to tap the abundance that lies in each of us.