Six of My 2016 Social Capital Highlights
Wow! I realized it has been over a year since I blogged here on the SCI site. Not for lack of blogging though–as some of you know I share my passion for tasty, healthy food on a blog called Cooking Chat. I thought it would be a good time to look back at some 2016 Social Capital Inc. highlights.
Now that we have grown to serve 19 Massachusetts communities, I don’t get to directly witness all the great community building projects that happen as a result of SCI. I will use my blog to highlight some of the activities that I’ve had a chance to experience. We will share some more comprehensive information about our 2016 accomplishments soon.
–Chelsea #WalkWednesday: After a few months of planning and training, in January of 2016 we kicked off the Chelsea #WalkWednesday program to encourage walking in the community. The effort is coordinated by a group of grassroots community health leaders that we training in partnership with Healthy Chelsea, The Neighborhood Developers and Walk Boston. After a brief summer break, the group has been going strong again this fall, with the leaders taking increasing ownership of making it happen. You can join them by meeting on the steps of the Chelsea Library at 9 a.m. any Wednesday…that is, if it’s not snowing, raining, or below 30 degrees! (I suggested a lower threshold but got outvoted!)
–Two Great AmeriCorps Groups: 2016 saw one group of 25 SCI AmeriCorps members finish with a strong spring and lots of impressive accomplishments; and gave us a chance to welcome a new crew of energetic, committed members. The 2016/17 AmeriCorps class includes 4 members returning from last year…always love having members return for a second year of service!
–Wonderful Board and Staff: Sometimes when writing about highlights we tend to think about projects completed and numbers. But certainly the talented and committed staff I get to work with every day is a highlight, as well as the dedicted SCI board of directors. We welcomed four new board members in September, who have brought great new energy and connections to add to an already strong board.
–Inspiring Social Capitalist Luncheon: It is fairly predictable that the Social Capitalist Luncheon will prove to be inspirational. This was particularly true of the 2016 version. The Revs. Hammond were uplifting as well as humorous (they started by noting with big smiles that we had asked two preachers to keep their remarks to 10 minutes). We also were captivated by the words of SCI AmeriCorps member Jay Wong, talking about her passion for serving her native Fall River.
–Launching in Charlestown: We had explored the possibility of doing some work in Charlestown off and on over the years, so it was wonderful to get started on developing MyCharlestown.org this fall. There’s a great group of volunteers working with us and the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement on the project. Stay tuned for the launch in early February!
–#WoburnUnites: 2016 found us deepening our work in my hometown of Woburn in a number of important ways. At the request of Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin, we organized a successful #WoburnUnites interfaith vigial in response to a number of violent incidents in the national news. This turned out to be the first of what is now an ongoing series of events designed to foster an inclusive community environment that is safe and welcoming for ALL who live and work in Woburn. I look forward to continuing with this important and very timely effort as a major priority in 2017.