The City of Charleston and Enough Pie unveil a new “Neighborhood Toolkit” this week! The goal of the toolkit is to provide support and sample materials for neighborhood associations to help create and maintain dynamic and connected communities. It includes an introduction to the City of Charleston team members who support neighborhood efforts, ideas for organizing neighborhood meetings, templates for meeting materials, new ways to communicate and more.
Mayor Tecklenburg said, “Neighborhood Councils lie at the very heart of our city, working day in and day out to preserve and protect our city’s livability and our citizens’ quality of life. This new toolkit has been designed from ground up to help them in those efforts, and we thank Cathryn Zommer and everyone else at Enough Pie for their hard work and commitment to excellence on this important project.”
Executive Director Cathryn Zommer of Enough Pie said, “Connected neighborhoods are a key component for strong civic engagement on the local level. We identified the shared need from residents for tools to lead more productive and positive meetings, facilitate communications and outreach, and tap creative ideas for fundraising and fellowship. The goal is for neighborhood associations to feel less like work and more like neighbor-driven community building — finding meaningful ways to connect and be empowered. The City of Charleston is a great partner and we are thrilled to be part of this dynamic collaboration.”
The complete toolkit is at: http://charleston-sc.gov/neighborhoods
To celebrate neighborhoods, Enough Pie collaborator and poet TyQuan Morton wrote this inspiring poem to emphasize the importance of knowing those in your community:
Can I borrow some sugar?
By TyQuan Morton
In the most broken voice, she asked
Can I borrow some sugar?
It was a simple question,
but I was lost in her hope-filled eyes
I was unaware at the time
but she had travelled down
every street on the peninsula
bringing good news of peace
and my house was the last stop.
she was accompanied by arthritis
holding it tighter than those tracts filled with bible verses
and her knuckles were bruised by
the banging of mahogany and fiberglass
no had become an oppressor whose
unrequited love she continued to search for.
I told her, Ma’am, I have no sugar,
but please come in and sit a spell.
I know you’ve come a long way
l could smell
her love for people lingering faintly like
my grandmother’s favorite perfume.
her eyes contained a desire for community
I stared at her hands as she clasped them together
and read the story of her life on each wrinkle and age spot
she told me to call her Mrs. Dot
she began telling me stories of porches
filled with gossiping grandmothers
who surveyed their streets as far
as their eyes could see and fairytales about
fields blossoming with children who were
nurtured by love and harmony
memoirs of older men who supplemented
as father figures for an entire community
we sat in my living room til the sun went down
embracing in nostalgia and hope
that we might see those days again
As she left, she smiled and kissed me
on my sore cheeks leaving her
imprint of love and memories
she told me I never needed any sugar, honey
but I thank you for treating your neighbor
as thy self.
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