CARING IS CONTAGIOUS! PASS IT ON!
The CARE Darien Campaign is an initiative to build “A Community of Accountability and Respect for Everyone”. CARE Darien encourages all who live, work and play in our community to be accountable for personal actions and respectful of one another.
This all began to take shape last February when members of the Human Services Planning Council of The Community Fund were talking about current health issues in our town. Stories were shared that demonstrated the need for leadership in this area. Questions were raised: “How can we become more accountable for our actions, be they positive or negative?”, “How can we be more respectful and welcoming of people’s difference?”, “How can we encourage healthy competition and the spirit of fair play in the workplace, on the field and in family life?” Recognizing the need to be positive and proactive, the HSPC used what it has learned about the asset-based approach to learning and focused on “boundaries and expectations” as defined in the Search Institute’s “40 Developmental Assets” (for more information, please visit www.search_institute.org). From there, the concept of a community campaign was born.
As of mid-August, over fifty community organizations and businesses have signed on as co-sponsors of the CARE Darien campaign, and the list is growing daily. People and businesses are supporting this effort in many wonderful ways. 341 Studios provided its services pro bono to design a logo and marketing materials. The Palmer family and Palmer’s Market have generously donated $5000 to help with the printing of posters, banners, and bookmarks that will soon blanket the town. Speaking of their support, Greg Palmer said, “The new CARE Darien Campaign is a great example of The Community Fund and the Human Services Planning Council thinking beyond just dollars, but how to bring the community as a whole together for the benefit of all. We are proud to support such a great initiative.”
Laureen Vellante of the Darien Times has also provided her professional services pro bono by taking photos for the posters and bookmarks. D’Iorio Printing provided in-kind support by printing the Kick-Off invitations. Columnists Kathy Lake and Rebecca Martorella of the Darien Times are both actively working with the HSPC and their columns have addressed many of the issues and concerns that spurred the initiative. And the Darien Times will be running a new column for the campaign, inviting people in town to share positive stories of people helping each other.
In addition, the HSPC is grateful to all the people who kindly agreed to be subjects in the photos, and to the parents of the children. They are all very supportive and were pleased to participate!
The Human Services Planning Council is prepared to pursue this campaign for years if necessary. Fortunately, right now, they are having fun doing it! The feedback from every one has been extraordinarily positive. People have commented “It’s about time someone does something!” and “Who could be against it? If someone is, might we be able to help?” Usually people just share stories of their own and say “thank you!”
For more information about CARE Darien, please contact The Community Fund of Darien at 655-8775.
C.A.R.E. Darien encourages all who live, work and play in our community to be accountable for personal actions and respectful of one another so that kindness prevails over selfishness and “we” becomes more important than “me”.
C.A.R.E. Darien encourages each of us to ask ourselves:
- How can I become more accountable for my actions, be they positive or negative?
- How can I be more respectful and welcoming of people’s differences?
- How can I encourage healthy competition and the spirit of fair play in the workplace, on the field and in family life?
- How can I encourage adults and children to take responsibility for their mistakes as well as their successes?
- How can I help my children to become independent thinkers and resilient problem solvers instead of crowd-followers and peer-pleasers?
- How can I model accountability and respect with even my smallest actions?