By Deron Hamel
A Belonging Brant participant says the citizen-led initiative is positioned to make a long-lasting impact on the local community.
Shannon Pickering has seen the good Belonging Brant does. Its members helped her expand the Kindness Card Project, an outreach program she created that sees people make handwritten cards with words of kindness that are sent to others.
She says Belonging Brant empowers people to make a difference in their community by supporting the projects they create — and this is something she thinks can continue to grow and flourish.
“I see the potential to build a supportive community where collaboration and connectedness are normalized,” Shannon says.
“I see tremendous long-term potential in Belonging Brant, and I think there needs to be recognition within the community and at all levels of government on the numerous ways Belonging Brant has and can continue to have impact on our community.”
“I also see the potential for Belonging Brant’s initiatives to have a lasting and significant impact on individuals and the community in general.”
Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Belonging Brant is dedicated to creating connections and building relationships across Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations to help people contribute to their community in a meaningful way.
The project, which creates and encourages citizen-led initiatives, is particularly focused on creating opportunities for human connection and decreasing the isolation faced by so many in the community.
Knowing the difference the initiative makes, Shannon says she wants to continue hosting Kindness Card Project make-and-take events with Belonging Brant.
She’s also interested in Belonging Brant’s Tiny Homes Working Circle, which is focused on establishing tiny homes in Brantford to address the housing crisis.
The Tiny Homes Working Circle has helped secure funding and property for two tiny homes to be built in Brantford.
“I think the work of the Tiny Homes initiative has the potential to better the lives of many and foster a healthier community,” Shannon says.
“As someone who studied community health and is cognizant of the importance of housing to overall health and well-being on an individual and community level, I hope to contribute to this initiative in some meaningful way.”
Because she sees lots of future potential for Belonging Brant, Shannon says she hopes all levels of government will take notice of the work the initiative does and consider future funding to keep it viable.
“I see tremendous long-term potential in Belonging Brant, and I think there needs to be recognition within the community and at all levels of government on the numerous ways Belonging Brant has and can continue to have impact on our community,” she says.
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What If Belonging Brant Became a Lasting Community Beacon?
Belonging Brant is already a light in our community. It is the place to be. With three years under our belt and our initial funding coming to an end this October, we have the opportunity to fashion our future anew. We’d love to hear what you’ve loved about Belonging Brant, what you’d like for it to become, and what you might like to do to make that dream come true. Consider taking a few minutes to share your answers to these questions.
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