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I AM HOLDING THE VISION AS DESCRIBED BELOW, BUT CURRENTLY MY TIME & ENERGY IS TAKEN UP WITH WORK THAT BRINGS AN INCOME :) AT THIS TIME, MY GREATEST PASSION IS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF A COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE THAT WOULD OFFER OUTREACH & RESOURCES TO RETURNING SOLDIERS, VETERANS & THEIR FAMILIES. IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST IN CONNECTING OR COLLABORATING IN ANY WAY, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME. I'VE MET SOME WONDERFUL KINDRED SPIRITS THROUGH THIS SITE ... WHO KNOWS WHERE THE JOURNEY MAY LEAD US?

I have long held a vision for creating a collaborative that would bring together individuals from all walks of life who are committed to building community, sharing resources, empowering one another to achieve our dreams, and working together to make a difference in the world. Over the past few years, I have been struck by the profound changes being forced on all of us by the current state of the economy, as well as the crumbling of so many institutions that we have looked to for our identity and security. As troubling as these times may be, I confess to being secretly excited, as I "know in my bones" that we are in the midst of a profound process of personal, cultural and global transformation. I see a groundswell of energy and awareness drawing us into a new paradigm for how we will live our lives and how we will relate to one another.

We are being confronted with painful, but ultimately liberating truths: that we are all vulnerable; that we need one another; that "polarizing" perspectives do not serve us; that we can no longer look to "powerful" authority figures and institutions for direction, protection, purpose and meaning in our lives; and that the time for "going it alone" is absolutely and forever a thing of the past. When we are able to grieve our losses, release our hold on what we have known, open our hearts and minds to the mystery of larger forces at work in our lives, and dive into the "flow" - we discover that an incredible future awaits us. I know that I am not alone in my belief that "The time is now" and that "We are the ones we've been waiting for". I invite you to join me on this exciting journey as we envision and co-create the "Community Renewal Collaborative".

The Community Renewal Collaborative is currently developing in two directions, each sharing the common vision of "building community, sharing resources, empowering one another to achieve our dreams, and working together to make a difference in the world." One track will bring together individuals of diverse backgrounds and interests to create a more personal community collaborative devoted to sharing our visions, our ideas and our resources - and empowering one another in practical ways to achieve both individual and group goals. If there is sufficient interest in this type of collaborative, I would be happy to facilitate a "Brainstorming/Barn-Raising" group, and to develop a "Business, Arts, Trades & Services Collaborative". The goal would be to create forums for members to express their creativity and talents - first in a supportive group context, and then in more public arenas. We would also share the cost, effort (and fun!!) of developing promotional materials; having booths at markets, fairs, and festivals; presenting workshops, demonstrations, performances, art shows ... a Healing and Creative Arts Festival ... These are just a few examples of what we could accomplish together.

The larger vision of the Community Renewal Collaborative includes establishment of a non-profit organization that will partner with multiple agencies to expand community resources; to promote the arts as a tool for healing, empowerment and bridging of cultural divides; to develop innovative collaborative projects that address the needs of our most vulnerable community members; and to sponsor programs and events honoring our history, tradition and cultural heritage.

My special interests include Oral History and Ancestral Remembrance projects, as well as community recognition and support of our elders, our soldiers and veterans, and the Native American tribes indigenous to this region. I am also passionate about our collective responsibility for reaching out to those in our communities who are undergoing periods of major life crisis, with very limited resources for successfully negotiating these times of transition – those in recovery from abuse, trauma, and addiction; foster youth and foster parents; returning soldiers and their families; incarcerated and recently released individuals, etc.

One of my greatest passions is for the development of a local community collaborative that would provide outreach and resources to returning soldiers, veterans and their families. For more information, please see “Communities Embracing Our Warriors” in the “Pages” section of this website. Other long term goals of the Community Renewal Collaborative include development of a "Center for the Renewal of Community, Tradition, Cultural Heritage and the Arts" and "The Ark - Refuge, Retreat and Recovery Center". For more detailed information about the vision and goals of the Community Renewal Collaborative, please click on the "Pages" link at the top of this page.

If you have an interest in any of these areas, or would like to learn more, please contact me directly by clicking on my photo. I will schedule Collaborative activities on the calendar, as I learn in which areas there is the greatest interest. In the meantime, I continue to develop relationships with individuals and agencies in pursuit of this vision.

HOW TO JOIN:
If you have an interest in participating, or following our progress, we encourage you to register as a member. There is no cost or obligation. Registering as a member allows for communications about collaborative activities, an opportunity for you to share your ideas and input on the Message Board, and the ability to e-mail individual members directly, with or without sharing your personal e-mail address. To register, click on the "Join Us" box in the upper right corner. If you have not yet signed up at Meetup.com, you will be directed to the main Meetup site. You will first need to register as a Meetup member, and will then return to this site to join as a member of the Community Renewal Collaborative. We look forward to getting to know you!

Sharon

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