Collaboration Chronicles: Here’s To Here

The world is bigger than it’s ever been. Not in the physical sense, but the psychological. Advancements in communications technology – from print, to radio, to television, to the Internet – have made it increasingly easy to follow our interests wherever they take us. By flipping a page, we can travel to any corner of the globe. By changing the channel, we can go from a hockey game in Vancouver to a cricket match in India. By clicking a mouse, we can immerse ourselves in one of countless online communities. And we can do it all without ever leaving our homes.

Today, the ease with which we’re able to experience the world is astounding, and in many ways empowering. It’s all right there before us, at our fingertips – opportunities to learn and grow and interact with others and truly become global citizens. Which begs the question: If there’s so much waiting for us “out there,” does the “here” still matter?

Before answering (it’s a resounding yes, by the way), we should clarify what “here” actually means, or indeed, where it is. To us, here means one’s community, defined by a set of geographic boundaries. Pretty straightforward, right? It’s the place you live, the place you call home. It’s the place that, to one degree or another, has shaped who you are.

For us, here is Richmond.

We say that with pride, and that’s how we know the here still matters. We’re proud of our community, of our little corner of the interconnected world. It’s far more than a jumping-off point into a vast digital ocean of information. For those of us who live here, Richmond is where we experience life most vividly, and where we can effect change most profoundly.

It’s an amazing community with limitless potential, and we can all play a part in making it even better.

When the Community Foundation embarked on a collaborative initiative with Volunteer Richmond, we were thinking big, but we were also thinking local. Our goal was to enhance and expand the services we provide, while never losing focus of our reason for being. The Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life right here in Richmond. It’s fitting, then, that our collaboration is called Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives.

Here's To Here 675Community Foundation Board Members Grant Bryan, Sylvia Gwozd, and Julie Halfnights played a
significant role in the development of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives. 

At rcrg.org, we’ve posted a short message explaining what the site – and our collaboration – will ultimately become. If you read the message, and come away with only one thing, we hope it’s this: by Richmond, for Richmond, in Richmond.

Because there’s so much out there to grab your attention, the Community Foundation has a responsibility to elevate the here – to give our community, and particularly its charitable sector, a louder voice. We’ve talked about how easy it is to connect with the rest of the world. What we feel is lacking is a way to easily connect with one’s own community. That’s the gap we intend to fill.

We all gravitate towards our interests – the things that excite us, that we’re passionate about. For many of us, community is one of those things. The question is: How do we get others to share in our excitement, and experience the same passion that we do?

At the Community Foundation, our initial answer was to collaborate with Volunteer Richmond. That was nearly two years ago. In the time since, we’ve further developed our collaboration, and further refined our answer. With Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, we’re confident we’ve landed on the right one.