Walla Walla AreaCommitment to Community’s mission is to build a strong community through building strong neighborhoods. As such, it is designed to serve all neighborhoods in the Walla Walla area.
C2C’s current focus is on neighborhoods in the westerly portion of the City of Walla Walla from the County Fairgrounds to Washington State Penitentiary. However, through its relationship with the Sherwood Trust, a supportive infrastructure of programs is in place to assist C2C’s work in certain neighborhoods, but is also available to other neighborhoods throughout the Walla Walla area.
These supportive infrastructure programs include the:
Community Leadership ProgramBeginning in 2004, the Sherwood Trust has offered an annual Community Leadership Program, which consists of a 12-month, skill-based curriculum focused on the concept of community leadership.
Each program invites 20 to 25 participants from throughout Walla Walla with diverse backgrounds and life experiences and includes (16) 3-hour modules of training over a period of 9 months. The program also includes a 2-day workshop in Central Oregon, where the class joins with 4 other communities, sponsored by The Ford Family Foundation of Roseburg, Oregon, for further training.
As part of the curriculum, each class goes through a process of selecting a real class project to complete. This creates an opportunity for class members to apply the leadership skills being taught by the curriculum to a real life situation. Plus, to provide additional incentive, the Sherwood Trust matches what each class fundraises on a 1:1 basis up to $10,000 toward the class project.
Examples of class projects are many and include playground equipment at the Farm Labor Homes (2005) and Washington Park (2007), the Planet Walk at Fort Walla Walla Museum (2008), and public art at Walla Walla Community College and Lions Park in College Place (2009).
Neighborhood Matching FundThis program is an outgrowth of the Sherwood Trust’s Neighborhood Grant Program (see above) and was created specifically to support neighborhood residents working with Commitment to Community. Its purpose it to:
- Encourage neighborhood grassroots groups to take ownership of their neighborhoods through self-help projects and
- Build a strong sense of community – particularly within residential neighborhoods as part of the larger Walla Walla community.
Examples of Neighborhood Matching Fund grants include funding for playground equipment in Menlo Park (2007), sidewalk repair in Washington Park neighborhood (2009), and playground equipment in the Edith and Carrie neighborhood (2010).
Collaboration works! As a result of Commitment to Community working with the Sherwood Trust, all neighborhoods in the Walla Walla area have the opportunity to benefit from an infrastructure of programs that are designed to support C2C’s mission of building a strong community through building strong neighborhoods.