From Frank Finamore (Executive Director, Cleveland & Woodley Park Village)
I'm excited to share some news with you about the power of collaboration. Before I share the news, however, I'll give you a brief story about how "many hands make for light work." New readers may not know that I am the seventh (and last) child, raised by mother after my parents separated shortly after I was born. Mom soon learned to drive and then got a job, which she held until retirement. Whenever my sisters and I get together, many funny stories of those days alone in the house are retold. One of the favorite stories is about each Tuesday when mom worked late and that was our day to clean the house.
We each had a specific job to do each week and frequently traded jobs with each other for more variety, the least favorite was vacuuming the red, textured wall-to-wall carpet which showed every spec of lint. Someone, likely Peggy who was always a firecracker, came up with the idea of seeing how fast we could clean the house. To make it exciting, we'd wait to clean until the very last possible minute within enough time to get everything cleaned before our mother would pull in the driveway. Each week we'd try to beat our previous record, sometimes collapsing on the couch, trying to act nonchalant, as our mother walked in the door.
I learned so many valuable lessons from those early days with my sisters, including that it's easier to get a big job done when everyone pitches in and hard work can still be made to be fun with the right people. Well, rest assured that the other 12 DC Villages are led by some pretty amazing people and for many years we've been informally collaborating to share programs, raise awareness about Villages throughout the District, and promote the creation of more Villages. Through the leadership of the Kingdom Care Senior Village in Ward 8, we reached outside of our neighborhoods to establish a relationship with several faith communities in underserved areas of the city to help connect them to critical services. We've also recently formalized our working relationship in a new entity, DC Villages Collaborative (DCVC).