Livable Neighborhoods Project

Support for neighborhoods to become thriving, self-reliant communities

Overview of this site

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on November 27, 2008

Neighborhoods are powerful catalysts for change. This site offers many examples of how people working in neighborhoods have made profound differences. I hope you will share your examples of positive actions taking place in neighborhoods.

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How to start a neighborhood association

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on April 5, 2011

This looks like a very useful guide from Beaumont, Texas.

http://www.bmtneighbors.org/services.html

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Basic nutrition–we need to be healthy!

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on December 26, 2008

PRESENTATION: SUPER-NUTRITION MADE EASY AND DELICIOUS

by Craig “doc” Landry, clinical physiologist

(presentation outline)

Goal:

cellular nutrition

Prerequisites:

adequate chewing

gastro-intestinal health

liver/gall bladder health

adequate vitamin B-6 cellular reserves

healthy and adequate probiotic populations

adequate hydration

adequate mineral balance

Physiological Climate

At Mealtime:

calm

Food:

adequate temperature

adequate micronutrients:

vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polysaccharides, and miscellaneous phytonutrients

balanced macronutrients:

protein, carbohydrate*, fat, fiber

Consumption Order:

protein donars* first

*Notes:

There are 2 kinds of carbohydrates…starchy and nonstarchy. Starches (grains, legumes, and root vegetables) promote premature aging and inflammatory diseases.

Protein donars are foods with an excess of protein to donate. They counterbalance carbohydrate donars at that meal. The following are protein donars:

animal source foods: cheese, eggs, animal flesh;

vegan source foods: chia, hemp, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; coconut meat; pine nuts; peanuts; and nutritional yeast

.

Doc`s Nutrition Suggestions

Yes:

protein donars first

stevia, honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup for sweeteners

fresh, mostly raw foods

coconut, palm, olive, and sesame oils

if you consume alcohol, less than 5 oz and only during meals

No:

starches (minimize or eliminate)

artificial sweeteners, sucralose,

sucrose, MSG nor pre-packaged foods

hydrogenated, soy, nor “vegetable” oil

GMO nor soy products

microwaved nor charred foods

Also:

Substitute “Doc`s Super-Hydration Solution” for drinking water. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of creatine monohydrate, 5 drops of SSKI , and 1 teaspoon of mag minerals into 1 gallon of purified water. Structure this solution by imagining that it has a beautiful liquid crystaline structure. Drink at least 1 ounce for every 2 pounds of body weight per day, mostly in the morning.

On awakening, consume at least 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with your first Doc`s Super-Hydration Solution intake.

Take at least 130 mg of lithium orotate per day.

Include bee pollen, grass juices, and sprouted seeds and nuts in your diet.

Finish eating at least 3 hours before sleep, and be asleep by 10 pm.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Basic nutrition–we need to be healthy!

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on December 26, 2008

PRESENTATION: SUPER-NUTRITION MADE EASY AND DELICIOUS

by Craig “doc” Landry, clinical physiologist

(presentation outline)

Goal:

cellular nutrition

Prerequisites:

adequate chewing

gastro-intestinal health

liver/gall bladder health

adequate vitamin B-6 cellular reserves

healthy and adequate probiotic populations

adequate hydration

adequate mineral balance

Physiological Climate

At Mealtime:

calm

Food:

adequate temperature

adequate micronutrients:

vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polysaccharides, and miscellaneous phytonutrients

balanced macronutrients:

protein, carbohydrate*, fat, fiber

Consumption Order:

protein donars* first

*Notes:

There are 2 kinds of carbohydrates…starchy and nonstarchy. Starches (grains, legumes, and root vegetables) promote premature aging and inflammatory diseases.

Protein donars are foods with an excess of protein to donate. They counterbalance carbohydrate donars at that meal. The following are protein donars:

animal source foods: cheese, eggs, animal flesh;

vegan source foods: chia, hemp, sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; coconut meat; pine nuts; peanuts; and nutritional yeast

.

Doc`s Nutrition Suggestions

Yes:

protein donars first

stevia, honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup for sweeteners

fresh, mostly raw foods

coconut, palm, olive, and sesame oils

if you consume alcohol, less than 5 oz and only during meals

No:

starches (minimize or eliminate)

artificial sweeteners, sucralose,

sucrose, MSG nor pre-packaged foods

hydrogenated, soy, nor “vegetable” oil

GMO nor soy products

microwaved nor charred foods

Also:

Substitute “Doc`s Super-Hydration Solution” for drinking water. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of creatine monohydrate, 5 drops of SSKI , and 1 teaspoon of mag minerals into 1 gallon of purified water. Structure this solution by imagining that it has a beautiful liquid crystaline structure. Drink at least 1 ounce for every 2 pounds of body weight per day, mostly in the morning.

On awakening, consume at least 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar with your first Doc`s Super-Hydration Solution intake.

Take at least 130 mg of lithium orotate per day.

Include bee pollen, grass juices, and sprouted seeds and nuts in your diet.

Finish eating at least 3 hours before sleep, and be asleep by 10 pm.

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I love my neighborhood

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on May 24, 2008

I feel so grateful for my Brown Farm Neighborhood. It has taken me a decade to appreciate this place. I have tried to move so many times it is not funny. I have wanted it to be something it might never be…an intentional community set up as a land trust. And, it is possible that some day it might happen. But for now, I bask in the glow of my wonderful neighborhood with all it’s imperfections and loveliness.

Let me give you an example of a few days in the life of my neighborhood, which is rich with opportunities to build a sense of community every day. A few days ago I came home to a note on my door from Alex, my next door neighbor. Alex is the daughter of people I used to know when we lived in Chimes 33 years ago. She offered to give me some plants if I wanted them. We got together the next day and I gratefully accepted the tomato, pepper and broccoli plants which she carefully planted from seed, varieties which were unique-ones that she found to be most successful. Wow! What a gift. I am working with Mary Thornton on a market garden, and we need lots of plants. I carefully transplanted them and set them out in my back yard on a nice round table.

I decided to free up some apple trees in close proximity to my house. They were becoming overgrown with honeysuckle vines and trees–both very invasive plants which must have some good purpose–but I can’t figure out what!  I felt so satisfied after about 45 minutes of cutting, and I even found a cherry tree behind the apple trees that I started freeing up. I have started covering up the ground with cardboard covered with leaves and grass clippings I have gathered around town. This will discourage the further growth, and I won’t have to dig. I feel so happy that Josh, the owner of the property on which I live, planted all these trees. When I told him I what I was doing, he was satisfied because he wanted the trees to thrive. With all the rain we have had, the trees are thriving–but so is the honeysuckle!

I went over to Martha and Josh Brown family house to see if I could get my weekly ration of left over food. We have an agreement that Martha cleans out her refrigerator of things that might go to waste otherwise, and I come up with all kinds of little treats that I normally wouldn’t use. I drink a green smoothie every day which loves to have a variety of ingredients, or I mix up assorted vegies with my eggs or salad.

I offer to mow the garden paths today as a way of saying thank you for them letting me have all the lettuce and greens I want. Last winter, the kale that they kept growing in cold frames was an essential part of my fresh nutrition. There is nothing like going out to the garden and picking fresh greens–more than saving money, it is convenient, no refrigeration required, and the vitamins are at their peak when something is freshly picked. Not to mention that eating locally is more healthy–our creator made it so the nutrients we need are located in our own locality.

Josh is very grateful that I can help since he is way behind on stuff and is not feeling well. He piles some extra special fruit in my box of give aways–mangoes, peaches, tangelos–I think as a way of saying thank you for the mowing. But I was saying thank you for the greens, and for all the care they give my daughter when I am working and she hangs out with them. I also supply them with all the eggs they need as a way of showing my gratitude for all they do. The law of giving and receiving and abundance resulting is really evident in our relationship. It is hard to believe that 9 years ago I ran away from home partly because of my conflict with Josh (that is another very long story which I will tell some day). Now, they are some of my dearest friends and the love keeps flowing!

I take my treasures home after Josh instructs me on using the lawn mower. After I put my goodies carefully away, I proceed to do the mowing, and lawn mower conks out. I then proceed to Scott’s house, because I have promised to mow his lawn since my son is not available. He helps me get going on the lawn mower, and then it conks out. I go over to the other mower to see if I can get it going–Scott comes around and patiently helps me once again get the lawn mower going. I appreciate Scott, who has lived in the neighborhood the longest–about 17 years. He has been unfailingly friendly and helpful, giving rides to my son and other kids when they needed them, and my kids like him, too. His dog, Bobo, was a puppy when we came here over a decade ago, and I still love that dog who has also been consistently kind!

My friend Mary calls to see if I can take care of Rosa at the last minute. I am so glad I have a free day–the first I have been able to spend all day in my neighborhood in a while. Mary and Rosa are happy, too! Mary comes over, and Rosa is sleeping in her car seat. I start doing my dishes outside in buckets which have rain water in them. Mary joins in, helping me rinse them. I feel so satisfied with our easy flow of conversation. We talk about how to improve the Community Gathering (she is my biggest supporter in that), parenting (she is grateful for my mentoring), and lawn mower repair.  I love our natural flow, and the fact that I can get my much needed dish washing done while I have a wonderful conversation. We just finished the dishes when Rosa wakes up.

I like having Rosa, who is two years old, because I get to practice being a parent of a two year old again, and I get paid for hanging out at the farm. Mary and I had talked about the book the Continuum Concept, and she reminded me that the hunters and gatherers way of dealing with children was to have them be a part of the natural flow of life–rather than making child centered activities like playgrounds and pre-schools. I decided to try this out, and so I did many things like rake up some grass clippings, pick greens and putting mulch on the trees. Sometimes she helped, sometimes she watched, sometimes she played at other things while I worked. I talked to her like she was an adult, explaining about the various plants and what was going on with me. She is an amazingly peaceful child who is so responsive to me. At one point, her mom was late, and I was getting concerned that something had happened to Mary. Rosa kept telling me that she was afraid, and wanted me to hold her–she was so in tune with my feelings! Then we found some strawberries to eat and she wasn’t afraid any more.  Mary showed up and all was well. Mary asked Rosa, “did you have a good time?” and Rosa was very enthusiastic. We had visited Martha’s home as well and spent time with her twins playing–so she did get a great dose of the farm.

Now I was ready to try to mow the lawn again. Josh helped me get another lawn mower started which was easier to start. I proceeded to mow paths between his garden, as well as finish the garden paths in Mary’s and my garden. It was pretty hard work because the grass had gotten longer than usual, but I took great satisfaction in getting a work out and getting something done at the same time. I also felt totally joyful that I could do something really helpful for Josh because he works so hard in his garden and I partake of the fruits of that. My son mowed the paths last time, which was wonderful.

It was late when I finished, and it was almost dark. I made a meal out of the beans and frozen peppers that Martha had given me that day, adding some other ingredients I had on hand, including lettuce from the garden to make delicious burritos. I missed my kids, who are staying with Robert, my husband, in our other neighborhood for most of the past week. But it was nice to just go to bed early, with the hopes that I would wake up early to get a lot of work done on the computer.

I woke up early, and took a dip in the pond which is only 50 feet from my back porch. I won’t be showering inside for most of the summer. I don’t like to use the city water with it’s chlorine, and I save money for Josh and martha, who pay the water bill for everyone. Besides, it is just so refreshing to jump into the pond, feeling the clay beneath my feet, fresh air and a lovely breeze. I saw a wild duck fly up out of the water just before I came.

There were actually many other enriching things that happened yesterday–like a brief interaction with Mike who was so loving to Rosa, seeing the Brown family working together to clear out the results of a micro-burst and lightening strike which narrowly missed hitting two houses, hanging out briefly with MIss Ann, Josh’s 90 year old mother who is so loving to everyone; interacting with Brad this morning who is helping with the community gathering and finalizing some details; picking a big bag of the very prolific lettuce so I can give some to Robert; picking greens this morning from all parts of the farm for my morning green smoothie, and including some of the goodies Martha gave me.

Solly, a 9 year old friend of mine, telling me that the mulberries were ripe, and sharing a little space with him and the mulberry tree. We talk about how we can save as many mulberries as possible, and I suggest putting down sheets. He likes that idea, and I say I will talk to Jay, who rents the house where the tree lives. Jay just happens to be working in his and Dabne’s gorgeous garden. He is enthusiastic about finding creative ways to be able to save as many mulberries as possible, and we have a good time brainstorming.  Jay and Dabne are great neighbors and always ready to figure out solutions to problems.

Wow! If this was all in a 24 hour period, I guess I would have a book to write! I have wanted to celebrate my neighborhood for a long time, but I was too busy living to do the writing. I feel happy that I have taken this 45 minutes to bask in the glow of my neighborhood. It has taken me a decade to learn to appreciate my neighborhood instead of focusing on the negative. The more that I appreciate the goodness of my neighborhood, the more good it becomes! At times, when I feel dissatisfied with my relationships with my neighbors, instead of complaining to others as I have in the past, I pray for them, appreciate the good things they do, and just remind myself that we all have needs we are trying to get met. I pray that all of our needs can get met, and that the barriers we have to love each other unconditionally will dissolve. I pray that I can love all as God loves us–extravagantly. I want to see everyone as people who are equally valuable in God’s eyes and my eyes, also–that any behavior I feel uncomfortable about is a result of either my distress or their’s and that there can be total and complete reconciliation and creative solutions.

I celebrate my neighborhood, a place where I have opportunities every day to  follow Jesus’s example of being love to all.

I thank you for being present with me in my celebration! I hope you will share with me any thoughts and feelings you have, and needs that were met by reading this. I hope that you will share your celebration of your neighborhood as well.

Posted in My own neighborhood | 2 Comments »

Dual citizenship in two neighborhoods and two worlds

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on May 24, 2008

Blog neighborhood May 17, 2008

I live in two neighborhoods. I have the unique privilege of living in one neighborhood just outside Fayetteville city limits which has a rural feel, and another neighborhood about 55 minutes away which definitely is rural. In my country neighborhood, we all agree that being prepared for emergencies is a good thing, but people haven’t been too enthusiastic about coming together to talk about how we can prepare. But I have found finally something that people are excited about—learning about wild edibles. Two men volunteered to help—one volunteered his eighteen year old son who has a lot of knowledge, and the other volunteered his front lawn for a gathering place. I have not put a lot of energy into this neighborhood for years because of various challenges that have arisen, but I have been praying for a breakthrough. I think this is a breakthrough.

As a practitioner of the process and consciousness of non-violent communication as taught by Marshall Rosenberg, I have learned that if I can be aware that everyone has needs, that everyone has the same basic needs, and everyone is equally deserving of getting their needs met, then I will be more successful in my attempts to create community. When I had a conversation with the men I just mentioned about being prepared for emergency as a neighborhood, I uncovered a need they had—to know about how to forage for food.

The need for food, water, and air are our most basic physical diseases. No one argues about these needs! So I am glad to finally find a way to connect. I really believe that when we connect, rub shoulders in cooperation and learning, then love can grow. Our differences can be transcended. We can discover that even though we might have different spiritual beliefs, we can work together.

I really like the fact that our Living Springs neighborhood has potlucks every Sunday after a church service. Going to the church service is not mandatory for being able to come to the potluck, so I drop in on the potluck when I am in the neighborhood. A few other folks, including my daughter who does not enjoy the service, attend as well. One of the reasons I am so passionate about a weekly community gathering in every neighborhood is my experience of our weekly potlucks which have been going on for 7 years. Here announcements are made, appointments are set up, conversations about cooperating and helping each other take place, ideas are born and carried out. I was delighted that all I had to do was bring up the topic of emergency preparation, and although at first there seemed to be a belief that no one would want to get together—as the discussion continued the class to teach about wild edibles unfolded. Within just an hour everything was organized. This is so much easier than trying to connect by email or phone, especially these days when everyone is so busy. Usually it takes about 3 people to organize an event, and getting together more than 2 people can be difficult.

Maybe that is one of the reasons why Jesus said, “Where two or more are gathered together, there am I also.” Yes, we can gather in chat rooms, and even conference calls—but I think that back then Jesus for saw that we would have a great need to gather in person.

A few families from our neighborhood attended a home school graduation for three boys, including my son, who we determined had graduated from high school, meaning that now they were in charge of their own learning.

We had to travel over 4 hours to the place, and chose to spend the night at a hotel. The increased bonding and friendship that happens just by participating in something like this is astonishing. I got to talk to the young man who will be teaching the class to plan some logistics. I shared with another mom the importance of learning this skill—I think she and her family will now come. I have a list of things to do like put up a flier—in fact I made the flier in a spare moment. I was going to make a flier, but realized that if I was going to get one up in our little town of Kingston I would need to make one by hand. Again, conversations with intention to learn, connect, collaborate are powerful!

Well, it has been a nice weekend and now I am eager to get home to visit with some folks who live in are larger neighborhood of Madison county who want to help sponsor a larger Skill Share where people can teach each other all kinds of productive skills so we can do more than survive the hard times—we can thrive!

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A Garden tour, potluck, and sharing of knowledge

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on May 24, 2008

I wrote this last May 2008 and thought that is was pertinent. Patrice, founder and director of Foundation Farm, is one of my heroes. You may know him from the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market. Check out his website

Neighborhood Garden Party

Patrice, a local farmer who is passionate about growing food and teaching others to do the same, came to our neighborhood to share some of his knowledge and experience. It was great that about 15 people attended throughout the evening.

Patrice started out by giving his insights on no-till gardening that Mary Thornton and I are implementing in a large plot on the farm. We are experimenting with his method by creating 36 and 48 inch rows, with 36 inch paths. We put down soil amendments such as paramagnetic rock, green sand, and other exotic additions purchased from Nitron. We also put a two inch layer of lama manure on the row, put newspaper down, then put about 12 inches of loose hay on top of that. We leave the paths with grass, and will mow regularly, paying close attention to the edges to keep the grass from growing into the bed. We have already cut through the newspaper after about 6 weeks of having the newspaper/hay mulch in place, planting tomatoes and basil and the hope is that the mulch will kill the Bermuda and we don’t have to dig it all out. I’ll look forward to letting you know more about how this technique works.

One of the wonderful things about the evening was that people who didn’t know each other in our own little neighborhood got to be connected. We are all so busy it is hard to connect, but having a gathering with a common interest such as this was really effective. Patrice is super busy, also, but he had to be in town that day, had some extra time, and I seized the moment to ask him to share his knowledge. I notice that when someone from the outside comes who has something interesting to share—more people show up to my gatherings.

We had a potluck as well—and it was so great because I asked neighbor Brad just the day before if he would be willing to have it at his place because the weather was going to be cool, and my place is very tiny. I love having a neighbor like Brad who is always ready to share his space. He told me that I could use his home for gatherings any time, and I recall fondly the time when I couldn’t get a hold of him and used his house anyway for a band rehearsal. I was a little uneasy about using his home without checking in-even though he said it was okay. He was glad I had seized the moment, and thought it was great that his home was used for something fun and meaningful as well.

We also went on a tour of most of the gardens in our neighborhood. Some people weren’t aware of all the gardens, and really it was impressive how many people are working on growing food this year. I am realizing that growing food is something that really brings people together to cooperate and share ideas. I continue to realize that it is essential to find those things that are really important to people, and which transcend religious, political, class and other belief systems. Seems so simple!

It was encouraging to see neighbors who had seemed somewhat dissatisfied with our neighborhood, wishing they could move out to the country to have more space, seem to enjoy themselves. Later I heard them say that we have a lot of great neighbors. One person who could only make it for the potluck (I like to have gatherings where people can feel comfortable to drop in at any time), shared about her tiny 6 sided garden and how they cut out the bottom of a tent to make it into a green house. She also told me about how they made a tiny path on which she put small pieces of bamboo to make the path pretty. I had just helped someone make a similar garden, and I was able to pass on the idea of bamboo on path and tent for green house.

In the following week, I noticed a lot more mulch on the garden—partly because of Patrice’s singing the praises of mulch as a way of feeding the micro-organisms and adding essential humus to the soil. People in our neighborhood shared hay with each other. One person brought a whole large bale to one couple. Another person shared her resources of a whole barn load of hay which was utilized by some other gardeners.

We are so blessed in our small neighborhood to have acres of fertile land on which to grow food. It is an unusual place—27 acres with about 27 rental homes—and a land lord who is thrilled that people are utilizing the land for a useful purpose. Everyone is into organic gardening and sustainable living.

I look forward to sharing with you more about all the incredible crops that are being grown. A few gardeners have lots of greens to share, and have told me I can help myself to all I want. That is a blessing! There is an abundance of wild edibles to be had as well, including chickweed, plantain, dandelion greens, wild lettuce, lambs quarters, clover, violets, and sour dock. I love walking around my neighborhood picking these fresh in the morning with the dew still clinging to them, and making green smoothies out of fruit and greens.

Posted in My own neighborhood, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

A sample flier to inspire people to start a community gathering

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on March 26, 2008

The Community Gathering

An effective, fun way for neighbors and friends to come together to create thriving, self-reliant communities.

The biggest problem with trying to make positive change is getting people involved. The combined aspects of the Community Gathering dissolves the obstacles to participation;, stamps out hopelessness and apathy; gets people excited; and empowers people to work together for a free, just society.

The Community Gathering combines fun, food, music, conversations and child care with a special way of having a town meeting called Open Space Technology which makes it easy for everyone attending to:

*Build friendships

*Share knowledge

*Strengthen neighborhoods and communities

*Effect positive change

*Be engaged in the job of “civilization building”

Some of the many things that will happen at a Community Gathering include:

*Meetups, Time Banking co-ops, and other already existing groups can use this as their meeting space.

*A diverse group of people will have a chance to network and cooperate, building trust and connection

*A shared vision and strategy for getting neighbors’ needs met will unfold

*People are empowered to get support to follow through with their passionate goals including things like starting a community garden, getting a neighborhood emergency plan together, elect accountable political candidates, taking care of their family, getting meaningful work, feeding the hungry, and caring for the environment

*Creating communication networks and connections outside the weekly gathering

*Classes of all kinds including reading, art, languages, communication, and grassroots activism

*Fun activities including dance, music, art and games

*On going work groups to help get projects going and enlist help.

Do you want to make a huge difference in your neighborhood and world? Help create an environment where people can effectively address things that matter most to them. Start a Community Gathering in your neighborhood!

 

For more information, contact Patricia Mikkelson livablefutureproject@gmail.com

Learn more and view a slide show here or at www.myspace.com/communitygathering

Posted in Community Gathering, Flier samples | Leave a Comment »

Examples of things that can happen at Community Gatherings

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on March 26, 2008

 

Here are some examples of things that can happen at a Community Gathering

 

173 WAYS TO BUILD SOCIAL CAPITAL

 

The first 144 ideas were from
The Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America

 

Definition of Social Capital, by Robert Putnam, Author of BOWLING ALONE and BETTER TOGETHER

 “The central premise of social capital is that social networks have value. Social capital refers to the collective value of all “social networks” [who people know] and the inclinations that arise from these networks to do things for each other (norms of reciprocity)

Social capital is built through hundreds of little and big actions we take every day. We’ve gotten you started with a list of nearly 150 ideas, drawn from suggestions made by many people and groups. Try some of these or try your own. We need to grow this list. If you have other ideas, email us.

I, Patricia Mikkelson, conceptualizer of the Community Gathering, have put stars at the end of each activity to show how the Community Gathering can make these things more possible. When people show up at a weekly Community Gathering,knowing there is a free meal, childcare,  transportation, and meaningful/fun activities for the whole family– then they are going to be much more likely to be involved with all of these projects.

*means that an announcement can be made, flyers handed out, this can be listed on a newsletter, and a bulletin board, or you can just talk to a few people about getting involved, or the idea can be introduced somehow.

** means that this event can easily be organized at the gathering

***means that this activity can actually take place at the community gathering

1.      Organize a social gathering to welcome a new neighbor***
2. Attend town meetings***
3. Register to vote and vote***
4. Support local merchants**
5. Volunteer your special skills to an organization***
6. Donate blood (with a friend!)*
7. Start a community garden**
8. Mentor someone of a different ethnic or religious group***
9. Surprise a new neighbor by making a favorite dinner–and include the recipe*
10. Tape record your parents’ earliest recollections and share them with your children***
11. Plan a vacation with friends or family***
12. Avoid gossip***
13. Help fix someone’s flat tire*
14. Organize or participate in a sports league**
15. Join a gardening club***
16. Attend home parties when invited**
17. Become an organ donor or blood marrow donor.*
18. Attend your children’s athletic contests, plays and recitals*
19. Get to know your children’s teachers*
20. Join the local Elks, Kiwanis, or Knights of Columbus*
21. Get involved with Brownies or Cub/Boy/Girl Scouts***
22. Start a monthly tea group***
23. Speak at or host a monthly brown bag lunch series at your local library**
24. Sing in a choir***
25. Get to know the clerks and salespeople at your local stores***
26. Attend PTA meetings*
27. Audition for community theater or volunteer to usher**
28. Give your park a weatherproof chess/checkers board***
29. Play cards with friends or neighbors***
30. Give to your local food bank***
31. Walk or bike to support a cause and meet others**
32. Employers: encourage volunteer/community groups to hold meetings on your site*
33. Volunteer in your child’s classroom or chaperone a field trip*
34. Join or start a babysitting cooperative***
35. Attend school plays
36. Answer surveys when asked***
37. Businesses: invite local government officials to speak at your workplace*
38. Attend Memorial Day parades and express appreciation for others**
39. Form a local outdoor activity group

40. Participate in political campaigns***
41. Attend a local budget committee meeting*
42. Form a computer group for local senior citizens***
43. Help coach Little League or other youth sports – even if you don’t have a kid playing*
44. Help run the snack bar at the Little League field*
45. Form a tool lending library with neighbors and share ladders, snow blowers, etc.**
46. Start a lunch gathering or a discussion group with co-workers **
47. Offer to rake a neighbor’s yard or shovel his/her walk *
48. Start or join a carpool
**
49. Employers: give employees time (e.g., 3 days per year to work on civic projects)*
50. Plan a “Walking Tour” of a local historic area**
51. Eat breakfast at a local gathering spot on Saturdays**
52. Have family dinners and read to your children*
53. Run for public office**
54. Stop and make sure the person on the side of the highway is OK*

55. Host a block party or a holiday open house **
56. Start a fix-it group–friends willing to help each other clean, paint, garden, etc.***
57. Offer to serve on a town committee*
58. Join the volunteer fire department*
59. Go to church…or temple…or walk outside with your children–talk to them about why its important***
60. If you grow tomatoes, plant extra for an lonely elder neighbor – better yet, ask him/her to teach you and others how to can the extras*
61. Ask a single diner to share your table for lunch*
62. Stand at a major intersection holding a sign for your favorite candidate**
63. Persuade a local restaurant to have a designated “meet people” table**
64. Host a potluck supper before your Town Meeting***
65. Take dance lessons with a friend***
66. Say “thanks” to public servants – police, firefighters, town clerk…***
67. Fight to keep essential local services in the downtown area–your post office, police station, school, etc.***
68. Join a nonprofit board of directors*
69. Gather a group to clean up a local park or cemetery***
70. When somebody says “government stinks,” suggest they help fix it*
71. Turn off the TV and talk with friends or family***
72. Hold a neighborhood barbecue**
73. Bake cookies for new neighbors or work colleagues**
74. Plant tree seedlings along your street with neighbors and rotate care for them**

  75. Volunteer at the library*
76. Form or join a bowling team**
77. Return a lost wallet or appointment book*
78. Use public transportation and start talking with those you regularly see*
79. Ask neighbors for help and reciprocate**
80. Go to a local folk or crafts festival**
81. Call an old friend*
82. Sign up for a class and meet your classmates***
83. Accept or extend an invitation***
84. Talk to your kids or parents about their day***
85. Say hello to strangers***
86. Log off and go to the park**
87. Ask a new person to join a group for a dinner or an evening***
88. Host a pot luck meal or participate in them***
89. Volunteer to drive someone*
90. Say hello when you spot an acquaintance in a store*
91. Host a movie night***
92. Exercise together or take walks with friends or family***
93. Assist with or create your town or neighborhood’s newsletter***
94. Organize a neighborhood pick-up – with lawn games afterwards***
95. Collect oral histories from older town residents***
96. Join a book club discussion or get the group to discuss local issues***
97. Volunteer to deliver Meals-on-Wheels in your neighborhood*
98. Start a children’s story hour at your local library***
99. Be real. Be humble. Acknowledge others’ self-worth***
100. Tell friends and family about social capital and why it matters***
101. Greet people***
102. Cut back on television***
103. Join in to help carry something heavy***

104. Plan a reunion of family, friends, or those with whom you had a special connection***
105. Take in the programs at your local library*

106. Read the local news faithfully***
107. Buy a grill and invite others over for a meal**

108. Fix it even if you didn’t break it***
109. Pick it up even if you didn’t drop it***
110. Attend a public meeting***
111. Go with friends or colleagues to a ball game (and root, root, root for the home team!)**
112. Help scrape ice off a neighbor’s car, put chains on the tires or shovel it out*
113. Hire young people for odd jobs***
114. Start a tradition***
115. Share your snow blower*
116. Help jump-start someone’s car*
117. Join a project that includes people from all walks of life***
118. Sit on your stoop*
119. Be nice when you drive*
120. Make gifts of time***
121. Buy a big hot tub
122. Volunteer at your local neighborhood school
*
123. Offer to help out at your local recycling center**
124. Send a “thank you” letter to the Editor about a person or event that helped build community***
125. Raise funds for a new town clock or new town library***
126. When inspired, write personal notes to friends and neighbors***
127. Attend gallery openings*
128. Organize a town-wide yard sale***
129. Invite friends or colleagues to help with a home renovation or home building project**
130. Join or start a local mall-walking group and have coffee together afterwards**
131. Build a neighborhood playground**

132. Become a story-reader or baby-rocker at a local childcare center or neighborhood pre-school***
133. Contra dance or two-step***
134. Help kids on your street construct a lemonade stand***
135. Open the door for someone who has his or her hands full***
136. Say hi to those in elevators*
137. Invite friends to go snowshoeing, hiking, or cross-country skiing***
138. Offer to watch your neighbor’s home or apartment while they are away*
139. Organize a fitness/health group with your friends or co-workers***
140. Hang out at the town dump and chat with your neighbors as you sort your trash at the Recycling Center*
141. Take pottery classes with your children or parent(s)*
142. See if your neighbor needs anything when you run to the store*
143. Ask to see a friend’s family photos***
144. Join groups (e.g., arts, sports, religion) likely to lead to making new friends of different race or ethnicity, different social class or bridging across other dimensions ***

 

The following are suggestions I, Patricia, have made:

146. Start a success team and encourage each other in following your dreams***

147.    Facilitate a music jam session and encourage people of all ages and stages of talent to participate***

148.    Start a free geeks group and make it easy for people of all incomes to get computers**

149.    Start a life-long learning center and have classes for all ages in every conceivable subject***

150.    Have a dance jam where people bring their favorite music to dance to***

151.    Make an effort to include in all activities people who are under served and underheard***

152.    Teach a class in Non-violent communication or some other effective communication technique, and encourage people to start speaking in ways that build bridges of compassion***

153.    Start a listening buddies network so that every single person in your neighborhood has  number of people who can listen empathically to them in times of trouble.***

154.    Organize a neighborhood-wide emergency preparedness plan using something like 3 steps to neighborhood Preparedness***

155.    Start a neighborhoodlink or some similar website to connect neighbors***

156.    Raise funds to help bring in a consultant who can facilitate a three day meeting to help the neighborhood create a shared vision using effective change making facilitation techniques such as Future Search or Open Space Technology***

157.    Start a group to help localize the economy***

158.    Organize a networking group of local business people***

159.    Organize a food drive***

160.    Help single parents with childcare***

161.    Sponsor a 12 step group or other support group for addictions***

162.    Start a mentoring/coaching network***

163.    Have study groups to learn about different religions and foster a spirit of tolerance and understanding***

164.    Bring people of all ages and background together for a sing along***

165.    Organize a talent show where people of all levels of skill are encouraged to share their gifts***

166.    Host a local mic having poetry,music, prose, comedy and drama, encouraging people of all levels of talent to participate***

167.    Host conversation cafes and discuss a wide variety of topics relating to civic engagement

168.    Host study circles and learn more about the important issues that effect us all

169.    Learn more about the importance of civic engagement***

170.    Have book studies on such books as Bowling Alone, Better Together,

171.     Make a list of all the books which relate to building social capital and build a library accessible to all

172.    Inspire people to pay a fee like ten dollars a month to pay a natural connector in the community to do that full time.

173.     I have about 200 more ideas—no time now! (Patricia)

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Powerful video: Why we need churches involved in neighborhoods

Posted by Patricia Mikkelson: Visionary. Vegan. Mother. Community Builder. Friend of Jesus. on March 26, 2008

http://connectingthechurch.wordpress.com/2006/04/03/the-church-is-everywhere-part-2/

Posted in Church Involvement, Inspiration, spiritual support, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »