by Carolyn Sowinski
Who are we? With which communities do we identify? Why do we do what we do?
–We are a geographic locale, defined by our mailing address.
–We are a neighborhood of people who mow the lawn, walk the dog or ride the commuter bus.
–We are a congregation, Bible study or spiritual group. We pray together.
–We are secular groups, sharing a common interest or activity.
–We are survivors of cancer, disasters, discrimination, or accidents.
–We share a political party affiliation, employer, sexual identity or the same educational institution.
–We are families, friends and social media contacts.
–We are a community in our death—in a cemetery with former neighbors, friends or loved ones.
What defines a community? We care about common goals and mission; share similar attitudes and feelings (positive or negative), work in collaboration; support each other; donate for a need. Sometimes we don’t know each other but our lives are intertwined. In community we are not alone; we belong.
Gifts of Hope is a community: beneficiary organizations assisting others, volunteers sharing their talents and skills, donors sharing their resources, people receiving assistance. We are all children of God—a God who knows our needs, our insecurities, our gifts and our dreams. We are people of action; people who serve; people who share; people of hope.