June 10th, 2020
By Kim Sproul, Community Development Manager
I like to think of engagement in Community Development as a Venn diagram. In one overlapping circle is the connecting of EAFWR to those we serve. This year, that included Special Sibs (in partnership with Kerry’s Place Autism Services and KidsAbility), On the House (in partnership with Bridges to Belonging and Waterloo Region Family Network), Board Games Café and Open Space, to name a few.
In another overlapping circle is the work of Community Development in engaging the broader community. We are a member of Wellbeing Waterloo Region’s Social Catalyst group, as well as the Mayor’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We partnered in planning inclusive events like the Rainbow Community Coalition’s Meet and Greet and the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation’s On the Table. We have provided I Choose Dignity in the Classroom in two schools, with a total of five Grade 1 classes.
However, it is where all three circles overlap that brings life to Community Development. Annual events like Neighbours Day, Jane’s Walks, and Warming a Community are planned collaboratively, inclusive of all. Of note, true success is when the overlap between the broader community and those we serve, WITHOUT EAFWR, shines. In that, EAFWR takes no credit. It is engagement at the level it belongs – person connecting to another, with no need of a social service agency.