A Community Centre is a kind of a miracle…

How do you run a Community Centre? Lots of good will, hard work and a powerful determination to make your little corner of the world a better place. The only way it can work is to bring together a dedicated and passionate group of volunteers willing to give up lots of their time! They’ll all have bunches of ideas and powerful voices. The first part of the miracle is when all the voices and ideas are heard and acted on. A disparate group recognising their commonalities and drive to improve their neighbourhood thus creating a powerfully bonded group.

Money is brought in through renting space, memberships, fundraising and grants. Just like any household, sometimes the finances work great and other times there’s a need to scramble and watch every nickel. Where do those nickels go? They pay the bills for the building, staff, supplies, and all the necessary fixes needed to keep an aging building in good shape. If your Community Association is smart and careful the next part of the miracle happens, there are extra funds to use! That’s how low cost and free programs get started, a way to offer everyone a chance to participate regardless of their financial situation. This summer that meant a couple weeks of low cost Volleyball Camps for kids as well as a new Basketball program. This fall there’ll be new and returning programs offered at really affordable rates.

What happens day to day in your Community Centre? Lots of people stop by! Residents and others looking for space to rent for their events or sporting groups. Contractors and volunteers come and go all day, fixing, cleaning, organising, preparing meals and planning for the future. Members stop by for a coffee, electronic recycling or to have a question answered, even local politicians keeping their finger on the Community’s pulse will turn up! Regular renters host classes, events, meetings and games bringing as many as a 1,000 people or more through the front doors in a single day! An everyday miracle that means your neighbourhood has a hub, a place where everyone can come and find a way to get active and get involved.

What does that all add up to? It becomes a miracle all its own. A single parent who can afford to send their children to a sports club. A solitary senior who can call up and get advice on who to call about that issue with the neighbours. An apartment dweller without a yard has a space to grow a vegetable patch and you, any one of you, has a voice and a way to make the world a better place by starting in your own backyard.

“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come form, or how often they should appear.”                                         -Lemony Snicket