Around the Institute

On Building Meaningful Relationships and Other Nuggets of Wisdom (or Coal)

September 2, 2011

From Me to You
Miriam’s Kitchen works every day to tackle homelessness in the DC area by offering food and services to roughly 4,000 people each year. A tough job, certainly—but volunteers lighten the load. Among their creative strategies to engage volunteers, Miriam’s Kitchen has turned a common medium (emails) into a valuable relationship-building tool. Casual, candid and witty, their post-earthquake email blast is like a note from a good friend. As all of us know, it’s hard to say no to a friend.

Building Communities, One Online Connection at a Time
Some of our friends at the California Convergence were really impressed by what they saw at the “Community Commons,” a new online platform seeking to connect community groups and leaders working on health-related, place-based initiatives across the country. Set to go live this fall, the Commons can help local leaders collaborate across sectors and locations to find solutions to common problems.

The Peace Corps Turns 50 – Kinda Makes You Stop and Think!
In honor of the Peace Corps’ 50th birthday, Stephen Groff asks: is fifty years enough? His answer is no, but he argues that the Peace Corps should still pause and think about its role. The “Third World” ain’t what it used to be. In fact, the Third World ain’t. The Peace Corps is doing some re-thinking, but Groff says it needs to go further. Like the Peace Corps, advocates need to think about re-thinking as our context changes.