Circles of Sharing

At the Ogden Community Round Table

NewScoopYYC rejoined the gathering of community groups who meet quarterly in Ogden to discuss community goals and initiatives. Before the meeting, Rick Clarke, Rick head shotChairman of the Board for the Odgen United Church set the tone: “This group has been amazing for me. We all know the things we are doing, and here we can find out what other are doing. I can’t believe that 30 people are continuing to meet around this table. We are learning more about our community that we ever did before.”

As representatives from community organizations shared their success stories since the last time they met, a theme became abundantly clear.

Ogden is connecting its seniors and youth.

bill head shotBill Weaver, student pastor for the Ogden United Church acknowledged the success of this group is that they are all sitting around the table, and sharing their stories and breaking down silos. He noted that since the group started meeting, the Ogden United Church has seen increased partnerships with other community groups, including sponsoring the 77th Scouts.

Debbie LaRocque, in charge of Programming and Volunteer Co-ordination with the bustling Ogden House Seniors Centre shared her excitement about a new initiative that is about to come to fruition. Ogden seniors are knitting winter hats for local students. The idea started with a single volunteer, who wanted to provide a hat for every student at St. Bernadette School.  When the scope of the project became apparent, Ogden House was able to bring in another dozen knitters to work on it. Each hat will have the child’s name in it, and can be used as identification – including by teachers when the children are on field trips. The hats will soon be distributed at the School Assembly, and Ogden seniors will be able to look out across the road to the school field to see the fruits of their labour, running through the playground.

The Ogden Seniors Centre also hosted cooking classes over the summer where local teens learned to cook in the community kitchen and shared the spoils, from cookies to pizza with local seniors.

The South East Community Resource Centre (See our article about it here.) asked their Round Table partners to share that they also offer career counselling, resume development, and job interview practice.

Ward 9 representatives updated the success of the photography project which was unveiled at MOCA 60th Anniversary Celebrations (See our article about it here), and all were invited to see the permanent installation of the photos in the MOCA Boardroom and meeting room following the round table.

The newly renamed “Avenue” Church (formerly New Life Community Church) is also reaping the reward of engaging with youth. John Cuyler said they sought out help for the design and implementation of their rebranding and website from local youth and couldn’t be more pleased with the results.

Tracey Jones of the 77th Scout troop agreed they had benefited greatly from the support of the community and through the new Apex Awards, each Scout, from the youngest Beaver to the eldest Rover are looking for opportunities to give back to the community.

Are these the kind of stories your organization has to share?
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After reflecting on the change each group had experienced over the summer months, each turned their thoughts to the future, with a primary focus on Christmas hampers.  This also was positive for Rick Clarke, as he said: “No one had ever asked us to be involved before this group began.”

The meeting ended with Bill Weaver noting he is hoping to secure funding for the group to meet for the next three years.

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