A significant component of the Leadership Cape Cod program is learning about leadership, teamwork and collaboration through a community service project. Community Projects are meant to assist participants to develop their leadership skills and provide assistance to a community non-profit. Community Projects are an integral part of the curriculum of the six month long program.
The projects provide opportunities for people to learn together, utilize their leadership skills, and create networks that support the development of community capacity and social capital. The term social capital refers to far more than just warm feelings about community and good works; it emphasizes a wide variety of specific benefits that flow from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with social networks. Social capital creates value for the people who are connected, and benefits others. These benefits include things like increased volunteerism, increased philanthropy, better directed and implanted corporate social responsibility programs, increased social participation, and better citizenship.
2018 Group Projects
30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands (BBBSCCI) works to match children who could benefit from a caring, additional, adult mentor. Early in 2018, BBBSCCI had 68 boys waiting for a Male Mentor. For our CLI project, our group helped support BBBSCCI during their “30 Guys in 30 days” campaign, which focused on attracting more male volunteers. Through our CLI Group efforts which include such outreach as tabling, social media marketing, print ads and email blasts we estimate we reach over 3,000 individuals helping to spread awareness of the BBBSCCI Program and their need for male mentors. Not only did BBBSCCI receive over 30 Male inquires in 30 days, the campaign was extended in order to meet 30 Matches in 30 days, an all-time agency record.
FEEDING FALMOUTH’S FURRY FRIENDS
Our group partnered with the Falmouth Service Center (FSC), a non-profit organization that works with the community to educate, support and improve the quality of life for Upper Cape residents in need. A major component of the program is an extensive food pantry that clients may visit once every two weeks as needed. Our group approached FSC for volunteer opportunities and they proposed that we assist them with a targeted need. The FSC Executive Director, Brenda Swain explained that a large portion of the food pantry’s clients have pets that they are unable to adequately provide proper food for. We partnered with the service center, developed marketing materials, and scheduled and coordinated a two-day pet food drive at the Falmouth Stop & Shop. The pet food-drive not only generated a large amount of pet food to be sorted and donated to FSC clients, but also raised money through community member donations and helped to promote awareness of client’s needs.
THE CLEAN TEAM
Our project was designed to assist the Family Pantry located within Cape Cod Community College, which is an extension of the Family Pantry of Cape Cod in Harwich. The mission of our project was first to raise awareness of the pantry and second to complete a toiletry drive to stock the pantry. The team set up various drop off locations to collect toiletry items as well as used our personal and professional networks to spread the word about the drive. The pantry will pass out the toiletry items to their clients when they come down to get their groceries for the week. The Clean Team volunteered during an informational fair held in the campus cafeteria promoting the different services available to students. We displayed some of the items raised during the drive and passed out flyers to students and faculty to inform them of what the pantry had to offer. Due to the amount of items collected the pantry put in additional industrial shelving to store the items for the next school year!
YOUTH COUNT AMBASSADORS
The Youth Count Ambassadors assisted the nonprofit organization Homeless Prevention Council of Cape Cod to expand the reach of their 2nd annual Youth Count. We met with Executive Director Hadley Luddy on several occasions to brainstorm outreach ideas to increase participation to Upper Cape, Mid Cape, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard. Ultimately, we contacted 34 youth-serving organizations across Cape and Islands where we dropped off and picked up paper surveys and flyers. We also partnered with Cape Cod Community College where we staffed tables equipped with laptops, engaging the students to take real time online surveys on three different days. The data collected will be used to better understand the needs of at-risk youth and, more importantly, increase funding and services available to this underserved population.
PARTNERS FOR A HEALTHIER TOMORROW
Our mission is to educate and aid our community on sun safety and the importance of sun protection and early detection. To achieve this goal, we partnered with The Glenna Kohl Fund to install two sunscreen dispensers along the bike path. Funds for the dispensers were donated by local businesses.
2017 Group Projects
Everyone LOVES Babies
Our project was designed to assist A Baby Center with a 2-pronged method. We used our social networks and various marketing methods to organize and execute a donation drive to create layette packages for new moms. A Baby Center will use these layette items to add to the new Baby Boxes given to new moms to provide a safe sleep space for babies. Additionally, we volunteered on-site to assist the center with organizing and sorting their various clothing donations. This helped the center in switching their inventory from winter to summer.
The Master Gardeners provided Community Connections Inc. a Yarmouth-based non-profit with a landscaped welcome area flanking the main entrance of their new location. Since 1985, Community Connections has been providing life-enriching services that promote optimal independence for people with disabilities. After a few meetings and emails in between Community Connections and their new landlord, we designed the space and reached out to potential donors. Agway of Cape Cod provided the team with a bench, pots, ornamental grasses, annuals, junipers and hollies to furnish the garden. Covell Brothers Landscaping generously donated mulch for the site. On installation day, the Master Gardeners braved wind and rain to completely transform the welcome area. Lots of calories were burned by all!
The Red Bellied Cooters
The Red Bellied Cooters organized a day of service of painting and interior rehabilitation at the National Marine Life Center (NMLC) in Buzzards Bay. We aided the NMLC by helping to fast-track the goal of improving the Animal Discovery Center before April school vacation week, one of the busiest weeks of the year for the Center. The Center provides an educational experience about helping sea life on Cape Cod and features numerous educational displays, specimens, and information about marine animals, strandings, rehabilitation, marine science and ocean conservation. We helped give the Discovery Center a much-needed face-lift by painting the walls and interior building structures of the Center as well as painting educational displays: two very large needs of the NMLC.
RUK Reinforcers provided social media coverage and food stations at the RUK4HIT Cape Cod Relay Race, a 220+mile, team-based endurance relay event, through all 15 towns on the Cape. RUK4HIT raises awareness and funds for Heroes in Transition, Inc. and its Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) programs. We organized locations for food stations, set them up, staffed them and broke them down. Our group also facilitated social media the days of the race, organizing and training volunteers eager to help with posting to raise awareness about the event.
Working with the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce and Town of Yarmouth, our team helped to build awareness for and encourage group participation in Yarmouth’s Annual Spring Cleanup Day. We obtained prizes from local vendors that were awarded to volunteers for Best Team Spirit, Youth Leadership and Most Unique Item Collected. In addition, we worked with the Yarmouth Chamber on beautification of the first of several vacant storefronts that were filled with local artwork. The intent is to improve the town’s aesthetics and build pride in the community.
2016 Group Projects
CLI Rocks! based our community project on The Kindness Rocks Project, a grass roots movement to promote random acts of kindness and inspiration to unsuspecting recipients through artfully decorated rocks with uplifting messages. Normally, the rocks are placed randomly throughout the Cape at beaches, boardwalks, and nature trails. We partnered with various organizations to help us decorate the rocks, including the Mashpee Senior Center and the Cape Cod Mall, and then distributed them through Meals On Wheels to one of the segments of our population most in need of an uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging message – our homebound seniors. Our hope is that these rocks will brighten the days of the recipients and encourage them to pass along their own messages of kindness.
FRIENDS OF THE COVE
Our group helped Children's Cove landscape an unused area to create a tranquility garden where children, staff, and visitors can enjoy nature and find peace from some of the challenges they face. To achieve that goal, we built a bench, cleaned up the yard, applied mulch, and planted indigenous perennials and wildflower seeds that will continue to grow in the years to come. We engaged local businesses by soliciting donations of wood, mulch, plants and money. And even better, we promoted the idea of children helping children here on the Cape by engaging a team of enthusiastic Boy Scouts who worked side by side with us, planting and cleaning up.
Our group decided to help the Wellfleet Council on Aging maintain their community gardens. The community gardens offer the seniors an opportunity to garden and socialize with others. They have difficulty keeping up with the public areas of the garden and the town cannot afford to help with the costs. By assisting with the clean up of these areas, we helped to recreate a well-groomed, inviting space of which the members can be proud.
INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
It was more than a meal for the homeless women and children of Carriage House in North Falmouth. Ten young moms learned about all that goes into preparing a healthy dinner on a budget. Then they prepared it with our team under the guidance of a professional chef. The moms enjoyed a satisfying meal with their toddlers and hopefully came away with some ingredients for living a successful life beyond the shelter.
MARY'S CLOSETED GREEN THUMBS
Mary's Closet, a thrift shop associated with Corpus Christi Parish in Sandwich, was in need of some “greening” of their property. They are a highly utilized thrift shop, re-selling clothing and home decor for many needy people and families across the Upper Cape. The Green Thumbs spent a Saturday morning doing an outside spring cleaning and planting to spruce up the thrift shop for their spring and summer seasons. All plantings and other materials were donated by Scenic Roots in Sandwich, Punkhorn Farm in Brewster and Jackie DeRuyter.