What Inspires Community Builders like Linda K?


Today I’m happy to share a short profile of Linda K, the soft spoken community builder who I first met running the Live and Learn Program.  She is now an integral part of the Sunnydale Community Centre. Thanks to our BSW student Lindsay, who sat down with Linda and had the following to share with us.

Where do you work and what do you do?

“I work at the Sunnydale Community Centre in North Waterloo. It is a wonderfully warm and welcoming community which is home to many individuals and families living on a low income, including many new Canadians from varied cultural backgrounds. I work in partnership with residents and community partners to help identify and provide services and programs that meet community needs.”

What keeps you motivated?

The people and the relationships. Helping to connect people, seeing these connections make a difference in their lives and feeling connected, myself, with others.

The work we do is not always easy. What book, movie or song (Blog or other online media) inspires or influences your work?

I draw inspiration from different quotes and genres of music. A couple of my favourites are:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship” –Brene Brown

“To some people, community is a feeling, to some people it’s relationships, to some people it’s a place, to some people it’s an institution. Community is a place where people prevail” – John McKnight

I especially appreciate and enjoy classical music, four-part choral music, including hymns, jazz, folk, and children’s choirs. Some pieces of music are “heart music” for me; I find them very moving.

When I read, which I wish I found more time to do, I tend to read for inspiration, entertainment or education/insight. Alexander McCall Smith is great for entertainment. I am currently learning about the Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. Richard Wagamese is a great author for insightful reading.

If you can, what book, movie or song would you recommend to someone who wants to understand a bit about what you, or the people you work with, experience each day?

A book that could describe my experience in the Sunnydale community is The Giving Tree, a children’s book written by Shel Silverstein and first published in 1964. It offers an interpretation of the art of giving, whatever that gift may be. In this community, I see people demonstrate the art of giving every day, whether it be a gift of time, an ear, knowledge, understanding or other resource. ​

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