Relias Connect is a wonderful place. I love the community feel, the fact questions are answered, and that folks from across the country come together to help one another navigate their respective LMS questions/needs/wants/etc.
The idea of community is very much in the forefront of my mind at the moment. I am fairly certain it started with work. I just finished a post for my organization's blog focused on the benefits of VITA (volunteer income tax assistance) and how VITA helps to create a sense of community. Basically, it brings people together for a common purpose and exposes individuals in the community to services and organizations they may not have known existed.
I also find myself thinking about my community far too often. In July 2015 I co-founded and currently help run a small diaper bank in my community, and through this non-profit I interact with impoverished community members whose needs are not being addressed. Not just diaper needs either. I also see the homeless population rising and watch as the city council members make it more and more difficult for those living on the street. But, then on Saturdays I walk through downtown, shop at the farmer's market, grab a chai tea from a local vendor, and mingle with complete strangers as they dote on my one year old. These experiences help me see the other side of my community.
Today, I find myself wishing my community was more like this Relias community. Like Relias Connect, we should be working together to solve problems, helping each other find answers, supporting new ideas, and engaging with one another in positive ways. Through my work with the diaper bank I see community organizations coming together to find solutions, but I also see them working alone to accomplish goals that could be more easily done through collaboration. Not to mention, probably done better and end up reaching more people.
Just as some programs, organizations, and businesses work in isolation from others, communities are isolated. This isolation is the biggest hurdle in building a sense of community. I love that Relias is tackling this isolation and I hope my community (and the many others just like it) find ways to combat isolated individuals, families, programs, and organizations to build a better community.