I’d Love to Change the World

Dear friends,

I’d like to ask for your support for my latest community-building endeavor.

Through my years of advocacy I’ve learned that those working at the ground level have ideas to make their neighborhood a more connected place to live, work, and play. However, they often struggle to find the resources necessary to make those small changes that lead to a better, stronger community. I’ve also seen a lot of “what you need is …” from the most well-intentioned.

In an attempt to address both of these issues, I’m asking for your support for the Think Locally, Act Neighborly Community Grant Program, a new fund within the Athens Area Community Foundation. The grant program is designed to support neighborhood and community-led efforts to improve connectivity at the street level.

Community leaders are already identifying the changes that can help connect their neighbors and create a stronger sense of identity and place. Their ideas include physical improvements – helping create community spaces with tree plantings, a neighborhood barbecue grill or garden, a park, a bike repair station, or a sheltered bus stop. The changes may also be social – celebrating long-term neighbors with storytelling/interviews, a day of service, events held around neighborhood schools. They may be around building leadership – through vision board parties or training. The ideal project would include all three elements.

There is no single answer, but it’d be great to offer financial support for people with boots on the ground to foster and implement their ideas for creating connections, by and with the people who know best what their community needs. 

My goal is to seed the fund by raising $20,000, beginning with a significant donation of my own. This will create an immediate impact while raising awareness of Think Locally, Act Neighborly’s mission to create a sustainable funding source to build community for years to come. 

I appreciate you considering a donation to the Think Locally, Act Neighborly Community Grant Program. Donations may be directed to the Athens Area Community Foundation (details on following page), a registered 501(c)3 corporation in the State of Georgia.

Every person you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Some have good ideas about how to make things better. Be kind.


P.S. To launch the project, I plan to work with community leaders to select a representative sample of residents to award a total of $3,000 in competitive grants in fall, 2019, for proposals meeting the connectivity goals of this fund. Let’s see what works!

Founded in 2008, the Athens Area Community Foundation improves the quality of life in our 6 county region and beyond by helping passionate donors shape effective responses to community needs and leave permanent legacies that benefit future generations. 

Checks can be made out to the “Athens Area Community Foundation” with “TL/AN” in memo line; dropped off at our office at Synovus Bank, 153 W. Hancock Ave or mailed to PO Box 1543, Athens GA 30603.

Online donations can be made via AACF’s PayPal Donate Button. Online instructions specifying purpose of gift can be made via “My donation is designated for” link.

The Community Foundation also accepts donations of marketable securities. Contact Sarah McKinney at smckinney@athensareacf.org for details.

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