Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

We’re losing control…and it feels great! (Part 3)

Posted by sebastianbrown on December 10, 2009

Naturally, Ray and I saw it as a perfect moment to bring up our door knocking/outreach and why we see it as such a key component of the larger Neighbors Campaign. But it wasn’t until we mentioned that we had only completed 500 of the 3500 door knocks that we had committed to that Juventina jumped in and said “But how can you guys do it on your own? Can we help?!!”

Before we even had time to celebrate her offer, she had convinced the others that instead of meeting, we should spend next Wednesday evening out in the community knocking on neighbors’ doors. As always, we immediately ran into another hurdle: What to do with the children? But instead of allowing that to slow them down, Marina and Rosario–both of whom had already expressed excitement about the possibility of door knocking–immediately offered to watch the kids while the others knock on doors for a couple hours. Looking to me and Ray, they both wondered if they could schedule other times when we could meet with them to go door knocking. Upon Marina’s suggestion, we made a weekly schedule tracking exactly what times different people are free to volunteer an hour or two each day.

Before concluding, we quickly went around and shared–in just a sentence–one thing that each of us had gotten out of the meeting. While they expressed in various ways, the message was resoundingly clear: we feel like we’re now in control of this group; whatever happens or doesn’t happen is because of us. If that’s not empowerment I’m not sure what is! Even though it might have taken us four weeks, we are now well on our way toward handing over leadership of the group over the group itself. Who knew losing control could feel so good?

Check in next week to see how their very first group door knocking goes.

One Response to “We’re losing control…and it feels great! (Part 3)”

  1. Sam Frank said

    Another way to respond to the kids-going-door-knocking problem is to take them with you! I went doorknocking this summer and the kids around often gave us a conversation starter when people with kids opened the door, and often our kids played with theirs while we talked about the Neighbors Campaign. Having kids made us seem down-to-earth and even lent us some legitimacy. Just an idea!
    -Samantha

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