It’s Thanksgiving week, and for many of us, that means spending time with family, watching football and eating way too much food. During this season of giving thanks for what you’ve been given, I’d like to challenge you to think about what you have to give to enrich the lives of others around you.
Your community is hungry. For some, that’s literal, while for others, they’re hungry for change. They want change that breaks the cycle of pervasive poverty in their families and neighborhoods. They want change that ends injustice, acknowledges privilege, and provides access and opportunity to a better life for all of us.
We are working for all these types of change at ReCity. By we, I mean not only the ReCity staff but especially the leadership and staff of the 33 organizations that make up our Network. These are the people working to make a difference in Durham, building a Bull City that’s better for all. Durham is one of the hottest places to be, especially if you’re a young entrepreneur or professional with access to capital. But for many of our citizens—too many of them—opportunity gaps persist, so here at ReCity, we’re committed to closing those gaps by connecting and equipping community leaders to accomplish more together than any of us can do alone.
This is hard work, but we don’t shrink from it. It takes time, talent, and treasure. We all have time—some of us more than others due to family and work constraints. We all have God-given talents: some of us are creative, others are analytical, and others are blessed with great hands for building and fixing. We all have hard-earned treasure, too, and we know that when we give back to community-based organizations, it’s returned to us in many ways.
As we head into 2018, the question I pose to you is this—are you thinking about how you can give more of your time, talent, and treasure to the Bull City’s betterment in 2018?
I think a helpful way to frame this consideration is to think of how great restaurants and chefs—and we have hundreds of them in Durham—are known for a signature dish. Whether It’s the outside brown at the Pit, the Buff Brahmas at Dame’s Almost Famous Chicken and Waffles, or the Drunken Horse at Pompieri Pizza, we have some seriously good signaturedishes in this town.
How does that translate to our community? I like to think of my own signature dish as connecting people–to resources and to each other, such as helping one non-profit with great program ideas work with a church that knows people who would benefit from it.
Some of our partners are perhaps even better examples of what happens when you bring your signature dish to the community table. The team at StepUp Durham brings a high level of passion for fighting unemployment through job skills training. Partners for Youth Opportunity is known for excellence in non-profit operations, which increases multi-fold its impact on youth empowerment. Housing for New Hope help the homeless find a place to call their own. The Helius Foundation is fighting to add equity to entrepreneurship.
So, what’s your signature dish? Next week, as a part of #GivingTuesday, we’ll be sharing ways to serve with ReCity in 2018. While you’re eating that extra helping of turkey, dressing, and all the fixins this week, I’d encourage you to identify your signature dish and exploit it to the hilt for a better Durham next year.
About ReCity Network
Founded in 2016, Durham’s ReCity Network serves a fast-growing group of non-profits, faith-based organizations, and mission-driven businesses serving the Bull City. The area’s first hub for nonprofit innovation and leadership, ReCity is home to a network of 40 community partners driving a more equitable future for all.