Summary of Information and Discussion: Building Bridges; Building Community
For an area with a very small population base, the Panhandle boasts a huge number of volunteer activities and organizations. On one hand, this is great. It indicates the energy, dedication and creativity of the residents. On the other hand, this is NUTS. It means a relatively small number of folks are doing an incredible amount of work.
The six people in attendance were asked to write down all the volunteer efforts in which they participate. Between those six, 16 organizations and activities were represented. It was noted that this was just a small example of how many hats we wear as volunteers.
- Art Camp
- Pine Eagle United Youth Fund (PEUYF)
- Panhandle Snowmobile Club
- Pine Eagle Education Fund (PEEF)
- Cross Country Ski Lessons
- SMART Reading
- United Community Partners (UCP)
- Hells Canyon Chamber of Commerce
- Anthony Lakes Resort
- Halfway Lions
- Pine Fest
- Eagle Valley Fall Festival
- Halfway Library Summer Reading
- Richland Library Summer Reading
- Pine Valley Fair Association
- Pine Valley Rural Fire
Problems and Repercussions we are seeing in our various groups:
- “People issues” (contentious meetings)
- Problems with communication
- Questions about processes; paperwork
- Duplication of effort
- Community factions that don’t work together
- Groups that have outlived their reason for forming
- Overlap in purpose between groups
- The growing number of organizations/groups/events seeking volunteers
- The practice of setting up a volunteer response to a problem without considering how it will be sustained (with funds/with ongoing volunteer effort); ie – lack of strategic thinking
- Fundraising: ideas, recordkeeping, strategies
- Need for better marketing (identifying the need/interest for a service; then communicating about the availability of the service or program)
- Money (example – an infusion of money through a recurring event)
- Affordable housing
- Infrastructure/Amenities (example – a community center)Agreement that these are the “big issues” – but as they are all linked together, where to start?
Meyer Memorial Trust, “Community Building Grant”MMT grant emphasis is on bringing differing voices and opinions together to work on a unifying community project.
This grant would bring a Dual Benefit:
1. Through the process of learning to work effectively together, skills will be developed to address the “problems and repercussions” being experienced in our community organizations. (Providing a lasting benefit)
2. The selected project could break into the linked “big issues” of Money, Jobs, Affordable housing, Infrastructure/ammenities. (Project could provide a lasting benefit [community center] – OR – serve as a building block [a recurring, money-generating event])
Applications open in SPRING 2017.
Projects can be funded up to three years.
Project should be something that would bring benefit throughout the community.
Meeting in October/November bringing in more representation.
Invitees will include those present plus representation from: Arts Council, Lions, Snowmobile Club, Chamber, Pine Fest.
Important point: many of the farming/ag/ranching families focus their volunteer involvement through the Fair and Rodeo. By bringing information about the MMT project to the Fair board and seeking their input and buy-in, we could tap into that key part of the community. Casey will do this presentation.
Looking for a working group of about 10 to 15 people to rough out ideas.
Next meeting after October/November would be in January after grant info is published for the new season.
Discussion concluded and guests thanked.