Update from the Wheaton Network
Bounded by Veirs Mills Road, Georgia Avenue, and Randolph Road, the Wheaton North neighborhood boasts more than 3,000 houses. IMPACT Network Builders Carmen Hernandez and Carolyn Lowery have plans to visit each and every one of those homes over the next couple of months to help grow IMPACT’s network in Wheaton.
Carmen and Carolyn are going door-to-door, meeting residents and inviting them to participate in community conversations with their neighbors. The door-knocking and neighborhood dialogues are part of IMPACT’s ongoing network-building work in Wheaton. This current effort builds upon the existing resident-led action circles (supported by IMPACT) already hard at work in the neighborhood by identifying and engaging additional residents who want to be a part of a connected community.
Going door-to-door allows for deep community engagement—the kind that is essential to sparking resident action. Door knocking, done right, is both personal and communal. Connection is at the individual level, but there is an invitation to be part of something bigger.
“Door knocking is the moment when we get to see the human face of what we are always calling community,” Carmen explained when asked what she enjoys most about meeting residents on their front steps.
Carmen and Carolyn have already knocked on some 90 doors and hosted the first community conversation last Tuesday at Catholic Charities in Wheaton. While the group was small, the conversation was rich.
Neighbors talked about the things they love about North Wheaton: Its beautiful trees, helpful neighbors, convenient location, and abundant diversity. And, recognizing the power of the space, they also shared things they hope to talk to more of their neighbors about during upcoming community conversations.
“I think if we could all come together and have a conversation like this one, where we really hear from each other, it would make a big difference,” remarked resident Jacqui Morrison. That’s the idea.
Carmen and Carolyn will continue with their door-knocking over the weeks and months to come. They plan to hold regular community conversations with an eye towards helping neighbors build more and stronger relationships; move into action collaboratively around the things they care about; and, for those residents who are interested, get training and support to serve as connectors in their community.
Only 2910 more more knocks to go!