A month ago the Herald ran an article about the Community Foundation for Carver County and the recently formed Chaska Community Fund.
The role of the community foundations is growing across our country. They are growing in number because of their ability to engage people to build community.
Chaska’s history over its now 172 years of existence has been one of building and ensuring it has a strong sense of community. We’ve experienced it many times over these many years.
That can be cheered for by our community leadership, but they alone can’t make that a reality. In current language, it does take a village to build community. It takes us all.
So the role of a community foundation is primarily two fold: it provides an opportunity to engage people in the building of community. Every person from any background and capacity can be a builder of community. We all can be builders of community.
The CCF will provide the opportunity for anyone to support their community by engaging people and connecting resources with the objective of building a healthy community. That is the mission of CCF. This can be done at whatever level a person is comfortable. This support is so important to sustaining, over time, the effort to create a strong sense of community.
Examples. We recently got a $10 check for the CCF and we’ve had an annual contribution in the five figures, plus contributions in between. That’s encouraging! It demonstrates a commitment to community.
The Chaska Community Fund is on a journey to raise $100,000 through the commitments of 100 people who contribute $1,000 each. That effort is well on its way. With those type of numbers, along with other support, CCF can grant dollars to support the great work being done in the community by many nonprofits.
Leadership. The second role of CCF is that it will also provide leadership to understand community issues and needs, so the most effective way to use community resources to address those issues and needs can be applied.
What’s important to better understand is the varied community needs and issues that are alive and well in our community. It’s an important component for any foundation or community fund, to align its resources to effectively address those needs.
Mission. This work is not accomplished overnight, but it will grow and build and build as people say they care and want to engage and connect to this effort.
It’s a journey, but times are changing and if we can show why it makes a difference for each one of us to engage in, invest in and build a sustainable sense of community for every person in our town, our future is bright.
It’s the work of our town, our village, our community.
You can find more information about the Chaska Community Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org/chaska.
Cooper’s Foods. It was good to read about the city and the Cooper family working to place the land the store sits on into the Community Land Trust.
Taking the land cost out of the purchase price of the business seems like a really good approach to keeping Cooper’s Foods operating downtown. It also brings activity and vitality to downtown and preserve’s the family and community history of Cooper’s Foods.
Personal. On a personal note, and with a sense of not being able to express all that I feel, I can only share that I’m an extremely fortunate fellow in having my life saved after suffering a heart attack at this year’s Chaska High School’s Barbeque Bash.
It was an event I was looking forward to because I had a chance to speak to the 250 people about a couple of favorite topics, which is building community through our education system, with a focus that night on activities and athletics.
I got through the speech and was feeling good until I got back to the table and shared a thought with a person and then thought, “Something isn’t right.” That’s the last thing I remember.
My heart stopped working and some people that I’ve never met and other people I know helped save my life. A few minutes later I remember I was back at the bash after chest compressions and a shock to my heart, clear as a bell about knowing where I was and seeing things all around me, but flat on my back.
I’m writing this from the hospital with a new stent in an artery and a new defibrillator just implanted in my chest.
To all of you who helped save my life that allowed me to see my family again, and to all who shared your thoughts and prayers for me, our family says “Bless You All and Thank You!” to all of you who were there that night: your support of CHS and all it is as a cornerstone for building a healthy community makes you all builders of community!
And I can assure you one thing – at next year’s bash we are going to cheer all together, loud and proud, “ We’re from Chaska and no one can be prouder and if you don’t believe us, we’ll yell a little louder!”
God bless you all!