We are excited to post today on my blog about an opportunity that we (Travis and Rich) have been in conversation about for several years. It is a conversation centered on our shared belief in the importance of persons and organizations engaged with each other in meaningful ways for community transformation. Out of these conversations (many of which we’ve had on long runs together) between us and others, we are developing what we have termed “community hubs”. A hub is rooted in a local neighborhood for the purpose of building relationships and highlighting services already in the community, and where there are needs, finding ways to service those needs.
This is a growing discussion that has also included a wide range of other friends and colleagues from diverse backgrounds, but all who share a desire to see communities come together for the common good. These friends are corporate leaders, educators, community leaders, church leaders, artists, high school students, and young adults. We are inviting you to participate in a fundraising project for community hubs.
There are discussions around specific projects in several neighborhoods in Cincinnati where there could be potential hubs emerging. These communities include Finneytown, Clifton, Norwood, and Wyoming for now, others could be added in the future.
Some specific projects that have been discussed and that we’d like to raise seed funds for are:
- A Finneytown summer camp program starting in 2015. This will be a camp for elementary-aged students with educational, nutritional, and recreational opportunities.
- A community garden in Finneytown.
- A community youthworker in a nearby neighborhood mainly financially supported by several churches, but possibly under the umbrella of the Community Hub.
- A gap year exchange program for young adults from Cincinnati to work, learn, and grow in London, UK with OasisUK, and for UK young adults to come and serve in Cincinnati. As of writingt this letter, it looks like we will have one young adult (and possibly 2) going to the UK to work with Oasis this fall (2014).
- A high school student gathering, that has decided to call themselves the “hubba” group. These students met for several months at Finneytown last spring in Lynn Volz’s classroom for lunch and discussion centered on community building. They have discussed several issues and ways that they can be leaders for positive change and growth. For example, they have had discussions on economic, religious, and ethnic division and how to honestly listen to one another. They have also come up with several ideas for community building at Finneytown such as hosting a community potluck, taking surveys, etc. Many of these projects will come to fruition this fall.
We (Travis and Rich) have several passions. One is this community hub concept, another is running. So, we have decided to raise funds for these community projects by running a marathon this fall. We will be running the “Wine Glass Marathon” in western New York on October 5, 2014. Would you please consider donating a certain amount per mile or a flat donation to this endeavor? Your donation would be very appreciated and also tax-deductible. 100% of your donations will go to Cincinnati Community Hub projects. You can donate online through Common Change using the PayPal link on Rich’s blog at https://rdjonesy2013.wordpress.com or you can mail checks to: Common Change, 484 Lake Park Ave #665, Oakland, CA 94610. Please make checks out to “Common Change” and in the memo write “Cincinnati Community Hubs”.
Thank you for your consideration of helping out with this project. If you would like to know more about Cincinnati Community Hubs or other ways of getting involved, please feel free to contact us (Travis and Rich) any time! Travis’ contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org or (740) 974-2738. Rich’s contact info: email@example.com or (513) 295-5818.