Monday, January 26, 2015

High and Lofty goals...

The Community GATE lifts off into 2015! Activities this month have included thousands of gifts of free items between community members, assisting a local family whose entire home and contents were destroyed by fire, rides given to folks with medical appointments, and exercise partners located!

The Wright Brothers' dream..

Picture this: Folks read posts by members in the Community GATE Facebook message board...perhaps one member is giving away an item and another member is confirmed as the recipient. While picking up the item from the Gifter at a pre-arranged time and place, the two members begin to chat and eventually become real life friends who care for each other, even if Facebook crashes and this online forum is completely unavailable...pretty amazing, isn't it?

That happens all the time at the GATE!. It is beautiful when people come together and realize, "Hey! You live just eight blocks from me!" Facebook is a great tool...but those neighbors don't have to rely on it solely as their contact if they choose to become friends and simply connect in real life.

During a recent winter storm, one such group in western Washington state experienced just this kind of concern. As late evening darkness fell and winds rose to severe storm levels, people hunkered down to ride it out with flashlights at the ready for the expected power outages. Tree branches crashed down and lights went out...and throughout the night, group members kept in touch via email and cell phones to make sure their community remained safe. One gentleman was blockaded in his driveway because a tree limb fell behind his car, and he could not get out to drive to work...several members showed up to remove the limb and saw him safely on his way. Other members delivered candles, flashlights and batteries to those who had none, and still others provided hot meals for those who were without power for prolonged periods of time. Winter storms happen in lots of places, and people weather them as best they are able. But it sure is easier and far less stressful when you have a community who truly cares for its members and looks out for them.

Perhaps less dramatic was the little girl's birthday made far more wonderful by members who rallied behind her family to stretch a tight budget with a fun party. Or the nursing home resident who received clothes, a special blanket, and a handmade Seattle Seahawks keepsake for his room. Then there is the woman who does not drive, so she doesn't get our from her home very often, having guests for coffee and making new friends through her local Buy Nothing group. These kinds of stories are endless, and will only continue to repeat themselves as the Project grows!

...the dream flew.
Is this a high and lofty goal? Perhaps. Will ordinary people come out of their modern bubbles to greet their fellows and allow their paths to cross into new friendships? Only time will tell. This whole social experiment may seem silly to some, too time-draining. Following an idea that turns into a dream and begins to grow into something amazing can be rough sometimes. But high and lofty dreams do sometimes actually soar.

Just ask the Wright Brothers.
Visit the Community GATE:

Join our local group:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts with me, I would love to hear from you!