Many elements go into a successful community. Of course, a proactive environment for business is important, with jobs and incomes and profit and all those other good things, along with supplying the goods and services we need.
But there are also many important aspects of community that come from the volunteer or non-profit sectors, where people donate their time and effort to worthwhile projects and enterprises work on the principle of serving rather than financially enriching their backers.
|You can see the Heart of Barrie from CWC|
The Community Wholeness Centre (CWC) is that kind of project. Founded by Yolanda Gallo and a team of volunteers late last year, CWC is still expanding under Yolanda’s executive directorship, where she is charged with mobilizing the community to embrace the CWC’s opportunities. Located in the heart of Barrie, CWC is a conference and business centre combining office space rentals and meeting facilities with a new grassroots model of self-sustainability for Barrie’s volunteer headquarters.
If you are planning a trade show or need a facility, this location offers ideally-located space that can accommodate up to 350 people in various configurations using a gym, a large kitchen, boardrooms and meeting rooms. There is also private space available for short-term or long-term rental. To date, 9 community groups are calling CWC home. What makes this business model unique is that all of the rental fees are reinvested back into the community.
Guided by a business advisory committee of local experts knowledgeable on entrepreneurialism, volunteerism, marketing, and growth, CWC has leveraged approximately $30,000 in donated materials, supplies and services from local supporters like Tile Master, Giant Carpet, Barrie Trim and Moulding, Sue Kay/Allandale Decorating, Hunter Electric, Kwik Kopy, Moore Packaging, Horizons, Simcoe North Visual Printing, Artistic Frameworks, Lloyd Management Services to name a few, as well as a similar amount of financial investments by key affiliates and up to 25,000 volunteer hours to renovate, decorate and run the day-to-day operations of CWC.
From a facility rentals perspective, not-for-profit groups will find very reasonable rates for their facility needs. Businesses can co-locate their office in a supportive, holistic environment for their staff and clients.
Do you already volunteer in the community, or would you like to? As a home to Barrie Volunteer Headquarters, CWC will serve as a clearinghouse for volunteers with an objective to support all not-for-profit organizations by providing volunteer intake, screening, obtaining police record checks, training, mentorship, networking, and free rewards. A benefit for volunteers is that they can treat themselves to free services like Spanish, music, martial arts or meditation classes offered by the CWC, to restore their energy so they can continue to serve.
If this initiative sounds as wonderful to you as it does to me, there are several ways you can connect and show your support. Rent office or facility space for your business or events. Host or attend the scheduled trade shows. Register as a volunteer. Provide financial or in-kind support to help build a legacy for our whole community.
I believe Barrie can be a more complete and resilient community if we focus on this kind of “paying it forward” initiative, don’t you? For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone 705-733-5683 or visit www.wholenesscentrebarrie.com.
Published as my Root Issues column in the Barrie Examiner as "Would you like to volunteer in our community?"