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Introducing…Vecinos por Vecinos!

Posted by katieschmahl on March 16, 2010

Good news from Gaithersburg! So from a couple weeks ago, we were eager to hear what had happened with Roberto and Maricar’s electricity, and it turns out that he went to PEPCO and they gave him a 55 day extension! AND through his connection with George, he got a painting job at Mercy Seat Chapel!

So at our 4 hour retreat session at Laura and Pedro’s apartment two Thursdays ago, we had a long discussion on why we were part of this group, and where we saw ourselves in the future.  A lot of great ideas popped up, such as: a community emergency fund, starting a party or moving business (using the skills of the participants), and getting a grant from LEDC. From the idea process, we also came up with some hard questions such as: Is this what the whole group wants? Do we need to come up with a name first? Do we need to get more organized before going to LEDC? What if not everyone can contribute to the emergency fund? Finally, we realized that these questions were not going to get answered that night and decided to just read through some sample vision statements for next week.

So this past Thursday at St. Martin’s, we decided to try and come up with some ideas for group names and vision statements to just make it less overwhelming. First, Ray led us through an exercise on personal visioning using Sonia as an example. He had her come up with a vision of where she sees herself a year from now. She said, “finished with her GED, in college, with a car, and her daughter is in a Head start program.” So then George and I acted out her visions with just actions or words. Then she heard the encouraging words from the group and the discouraging words that she might hear from outside of the group. After that, we listed a bunch of ideas for names and voted on them. The winner was: Gaithersburg Neighbors for Neighbors or Vecinos por Vecinos! Then we came up with some words that we think describe our group: consistent, support, information, solidarity, diversity, inclusion, humor, fellowship, connections, job support, help, family, advice, etc. Lastly we took all the words and each person came up with some vision statements. Next step is for Ray and a small group to meet on Monday to come up with more visions and missions for the group.

Let’s see what happens vecinos!


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