Let's Try This Again!


Last week as I sat and I wrote, I was so impressed by the new set up to go with my brand new second term and so I added the picture and wa-la everything went away. So here I am again going to bring you up on what's been happening with Renae.

Back in April a group of us went to conference in Baltimore hosted by NeighborWorks.

I was very impressed by the commitment of the kids. In Baltimore their kids are doing really innovative things. I heard poetry, skits, role playing and a lot of other things they were involved in. Their community was a very big deal to most of the teens who attended the conference and I came away with this wonderful feeling. Some of the things they said in the role play made me examine myself. One young man was the executive director of a center. He had asked one of the teens at his center to come to the board meeting, when the teen arrived he handed him the agendas to hand out. He asked him to greet people at the door, the adult was the child in this role play so the adult actually never became apart of the meeting because the adult (young man) kept coming up with different things for the child to do. I had to ask myself do we really listen to them when they speak, do we treat them as if they should be grateful for the attention we give them, or do we appreciate their since of style, the fresh way they look at things, their ability to move on after they have been disappointed yet again by an well meaning adult who after all thinks they don't really know what they want. We don't give them enough credit, and we don't give them a chance to use the tools we give them. I'm am blessed to be working with a group of kids who are intelligent, trustworthty, honest and creative.

They might be young but they are more reliable then some adults I know and they work just as hard as everyone else at our center to make it the great place it is. Hat's off to you Yasmine, Soncerae, Lisa, and the rest of the Youth leadership program for all you do!

Our trip to Baltimore also produced another eyeopener. After we went through the classes we had to come up with a project to bring back home that would represent Being the Bridge You Want to Build. We were so hipe about it we planned it at the airport. It is titled Neighbors Helping Neighbors. We came home and began working on it even though we had another event planned for a week before this one would kick off.

So guess what, the Celebration Of Your Gifts to Us was a success. (The one planned the week before.) We celebrated the partners we have made over the last year and we had food served by the hospitality committee (man can they cook!) and we gave away some pretty neat stuff, certificates, magnets these neat cups I created while in Home Depot looking for flowers for my garden. Yes, and she gardens when she can find the time.

Well anyway needless to say , it was a wonderful event.
Then one week later our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Week kicks off. We were suppose to have a jump castle, all kind of fun stuff for the kids and It rains. We're hoping for this great neighborhood turnout because we've partnered with the City of Charleston, Family Services, Lowcountry Housing and Trust and a host of others to bring to the people all this great information and prizes and it's pouring down rain. IT WAS GREAT! People still came out the, Mayor of Charleston proclaimed it National Neighborworks Week and off we started.

I have literally been on roller skates since then. ( I take that back, I never took off the roller skates! ha-ha.) We identified eight houses in the neighborhood that needed small construction jobs done to get them to the point that they could get effective weatherization offered by another group called The Sustainability Institute. The identification of the houses came from a partnership we made last year with The Lead Base Initiative with the City of Charleston. We have a group name Mission Fuge who did all the work on the houses for the last 6 weeks. We have seen so much community growth and community pride since we began our mission one year ago, Rev. King and I. Then guess what? Summer camp opened. Here we go again!