By Nathan Stretch
There are many ways to contribute to the community building work of the Working Centre. You are invited to volunteer your time and gifts at one of our Community Tools Projects, invest in established services, support one of our social enterprises, make a choice to work and grow as part of our staff, lend financial stability to innovative and informal activities, visit our open spaces, see a film, share a meal, have a conversation, or read a newsletter. The list is long; there are many ways to contribute to The Working Centre, just as The Working Centre works to contribute in many ways to the community.
In the community of Working Centre projects and tools, participation is contribution. Eating a meal at St. John’s Kitchen, browsing in our thrift stores, or reading the newspaper in the Resource Centre are all valuable additions to the social fabric. But finding ways to partner further can be hard work.
The Working Centre is a hive of activity and there are few catchy slogans or sound-bytes to synopsize its many projects, its broader goals, or its depth of culture. And because The Working Centre prizes relationship over bureaucracy, established methods of giving are sometimes hard to uncover or to follow, and may have been re-imagined into new forms through unique and creative partnership opportunities, and The Working Centre’s commitment to reciprocal relationships in every situation.
In order to help people find the ways and places to contribute at The Working Centre, we have chunked the idea of contributing into four parts: Volunteer, Donate, Support Our Community Tools, and Work. These chunks are represented in an online tool we are building to complement our current practices: a dedicated way-in for people who wish to join with The Working Centre as we explore Good Work, receive and walk with people, nurture emerging projects, and continue our on-going work in downtown Kitchener.
In the Contribute section of our website—where the online tool will be located—people will be encouraged to give what they have; be it time, money, goods, spirit, wisdom, or skill.
Of the four chunks (Volunteer, Donate, Support Our Community Tools, and Work), the Donate portion may benefit most from this growing vision. In the tool we are building, interested individuals or organizations are invited to contribute to The Working Centre, St. John’s Kitchen, Community Tools Projects, Mayors’ Dinner, The Annual Golf Tournament, or to allocate their funds where they are needed most. The process is convenient and embedded in our website, making use of established and secure Paypal and Drupal web-based processes and modules.
The Donate section will also serve the practical purpose of cataloguing our emerging activities and special projects in a timely way. The website will guide you in the event that you wish to contribute specific goods to a specific project or make a re-occurring donation; we are hoping to help people give in the manner that is most honouring of their contribution—in a manner that recognizes the unique and purposeful act of giving each time.