Come for coffee leave with change | SierraSun.com

Come for coffee leave with change

Lisa Dobey

My annual review is right around the corner so I want to talk about the successful day we had at Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation yesterday.

We didn’t do a thing.

One of the ways we measure our success is by what we didn’t do. Our most triumphant days are when we remember never to do for people what they can do for themselves.

Within Truckee-North Tahoe, let alone the rest of the world, there are plenty of critical issues to be addressed. Few are solvable with money. While we have assets approaching $10 million, money is the least of TTCF’s assets. Our true assets are people committed to investing themselves in the community.

There are only about a million different ways to make a positive impact in our community. We believe that by bringing people together to work on their own behalf, they create their own choices, make their own decisions, and shape their own community.

To grow our people assets, TTCF’s board created a specialized grantmaking pool called Civic Engagement Funding and recruited volunteers to encourage broad-based community involvement. TTCF’s Civic Engagement Team is Paquita Bath, Julia Santos Coy, Mike Livak, Laura Read, and Alex Terrazas. This team is tasked with building connections, creating collaborations, and supporting the emergence of great project ideas. For this opportunity to be realized, we need your participation.

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TTCF’s Civic Engagement Team is hosting a Community Cafe and you’re invited for coffee and sweets. One Community Cafe will be on May 5 at the Brick House in Kings Beach and one will be May 10 at Olympic Village Inn in Squaw Valley. The Cafe opens at 9 a.m.

Based on the World Cafe model, the purpose of the Community Cafe is to create “conversations that matter” about how to stimulate more volunteerism and leadership.

Come and have a conversation that could change the course of our community.

It’s a simple process. You come in, sit down at a cafe table for four, and talk with others at your table. Tables will have butcher paper on them so you can draw pictures or diagrams to help explain ideas. After 30 minutes, you switch tables, share ideas from the first table, looking for shared patterns, ideas, and themes.

We’ll have some questions to start the conversation, but it’s up to you where you go and what threads you follow. By talking with others, we hope to figure out collectively how to create opportunities beyond the most obvious.

A new coffee shop and a bookstore, rejuvenated blocks in Tahoe City, rising high school test scores, a new recreation center or theater in Truckee, are all the result of choices. Good things don’t just happen to a community. They are a result of choices. Help identify choices about the future that makes sense. Determine the kind of community you want to live in and then participate in building it.

Invest yourself in your community. It’s your job and mine.