The Hidden Energy Within a Community

Guest Blogger - Cheryl Hughes

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” – Mother Teresa

I personally experienced the greatness of collaboration in the City of Palmdale, California, where we were able to repair and improve parks, landscapes, and facilities—even during the economic slump.

We started overcoming our funding challenges when our City Manager created a strategic plan, which included community engagement as a component of creating a “sustainable community.”

To achieve this goal, we involved everyone in the community.

Community volunteers participated because there was a common desire to enhance the city in which we lived. The business community showed support in the form of discounted material prices, donated materials and supplies, food for the volunteers, and even labor. Local media provided coverage of our effects. Our local government departments even had to collaborate to identify needs, set dates, and start planning this project. (And it didn’t hurt that the city provided coffee, donuts, and water for the volunteers at each event.)

The energy of collaboration has been contagious and inspiring! And better yet, the numbers prove our success.

For the 2013 volunteer events, the city had more than 1200 volunteers completing over 5,300 hours. That’s equal to $53,180 in labor!

The City of Palmdale will carry on its interdepartmental collaborations to continue to drive the energy of community engagement, creating valuable community partnerships and building community pride.

If we can do it, any city can! Just think of what can happen when you involve local businesses, schools, employees, organizations, and other groups into your local government initiatives.

How has your community involved everyone to come together for the greater good?

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