Community means many things, and different things to different people. To us, community is a social environment – one with common, and nurturing, bonds. We believe such bonds are both the ends and the means of our work.

For some people, community has been a negative experience. Unhealthy community dynamics can undermine a family’s efforts to change their circumstances. Enmeshment with dysfunctional relatives, environments generating numerous adverse childhood experiences and intergenerational trauma – substance abuse, criminality, domestic violence, hunger or poor nutrition, contempt for education and so on – can lay traps and landmines all around a person at the same time he or she attempts to take steps to become a better parent, return to school or improve a child’s diet and fitness.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” ~Mother Teresa

We believe that individual transformation is most likely to succeed when supported by transformative community. This involves establishing a new suite of connections – yielding positive social capital that produces sustainability.

Examples of how transformative change happens:

Nutritious Food. Providing nutritious food – but also a means of production and education on preparation, and community meals that create a common interest and activity.
Navigator. Assigning a navigator to build a personal bond with participants that bridges all aspects of programming and external connections as well.
Career Support. Developing work connections for Learning Together youth that tap latent mentoring relationships within Rutland County.
Healthy Connections. Offering new recovery-friendly community connections for participants working hard to develop a fresh identity free of drugs and alcohol.

How we create and maintain transformative community:

Set the example. Act like we want a community to act: welcome people, extend patience and compassion and go the extra yard with them. Listen to one another and behave like our mutual well-being equates to our individual well-being.
Build an extended family. Through partnering and collaboration we ensure the accessibility of resources and support for a wide array of human needs.
Honor processes of change. We seek out and are receptive to new ideas – the same way one does with a new friend.
Stay informed. Research and learn about what is going on in the world around us, so that we move forward with the best possible information.
Check ourselves. We check ourselves to ensure we are in alignment with our purpose.
We invite you to become a part of this community by donating funds, resources, time, insight, ideas or any way you can imagine!