Community Engagement

Hello again! Just to refresh everyone’s memory, my name is Jake and I am working with Green Columbus throughout the duration of the summer. This week I was struggling to think of a topic to talk about, but then I remembered an event that I went to last week, leading me to write about real world community engagement efforts in the non-profit sector.

I’m sure as all of you know, community engagement is tough. Nothing is worse than the feeling that comes after planning an event and wondering if anyone will actually participate. As a college student, I have been lucky enough to be a part of multiple organizations at Ohio State, but I thought that my engagement in organizations would end after I graduate; and I assumed that ‘s what a lot of people experienced. This past week I have come to realize that I was completely wrong in my assumption: people love to be a part of a community and aid in any that they can.

Last week, I sat in on a Greater Columbus Growing Coalition meeting. The purpose of the meeting was just to inform the general assembly of upcoming events and meetings. I was there to speak with a City of Columbus Land Bank employee about their framework for creating green spaces in Columbus. When I heard of the meeting, I thought that there would only be a handful of people there, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. There were probably around 50 people that attended, and all of them wanted to help their community.

By attending that meeting, I realized that community engagement does in fact extend past our college years, but also I learned that people like a sense of community. Members of a community want nothing more than to make their community feel like a home.

So, my advice for you next time that you are worrying whether people will come to your event or not is to take a deep breath and understand that there is a community out there that cares about your cause as much as you do.

Until next time,

Jake

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