Sustain-A-Raisers – a youth-driven sustainable home and yard retrofit community service project – is one step closer to $5000 and winning the national Strong Communities: Engaging Citizens, Strengthening Place, Inspiring Change competition. This initiative of Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.) was selected by CommunityMatters and Ashoka’s Changemakers as one of 24 semi-finalists in early September, and was just named one of 8 finalists.
Three $5000 grand prize winners will be chosen by online voting between September 22 and October 7, so Sustain-A-Raisers needs your vote! Visit www.changemakers.com/strongcommunities to read about Sustain-A-Raisers and cast your vote.
All finalists have already won a free trip to the national CommunityMatters’10 conference in Denver, October 5-8
(www.communitymatters.org/conference), which brings together leaders, thinkers and doers working to build stronger communities. The three grand prize winners will be announced October 8 in Denver.
The Strong Communities competition seeks to identify innovative projects and ideas that engage citizens to steer change and build strong communities across the United States and Canada and to address problems ranging from economic decline to one-size-fits-all development, from decreasing social capital to the global energy crisis. The competition is sponsored by the Orton Family Foundation, which works to build vibrant, enduring communities in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain West.
Josh Arnold, Founding Director of G.A.L.A., believes that Sustain-a-Raisers may become the organizations most successful organization for its innovative way of building strong community while also reducing our environmental impact. Inspired by barn-raising, Sustain-A-Raisers are teams of youth in Lakes Region and greater Carroll County NH who provide sustainable home and yard retrofits, or “raisers,” that promote resource conservation and self-sufficiency. Raisers include garden-raisers, clothesline-raisers, compost-raisers, rain-barrel-raisers, etc. Each Raiser also serves as a platform for youth to develop entrepreneurial and project management skills.
Sustain-A-Raisers was selected from among 260 entrants in the competition for the unique way that it is helping to create positive change, address community challenges and build a more vibrant future.
The finalists were selected by a panel of expert judges (Majora Carter, Founder of Sustainable South Bronx and President of the Majora Carter Group; Rich Harwood, Founder and President of the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation; Jared Duval, author and Fellow at Demos; and Bonnie Shaw, Founder and Director of BYO Consulting).
Visit www.changemakers.com/strongcommunities to see the entrants and finalists, join the discussion, and to vote for the winners. Call G.A.L.A. at 603-539-6460 to learn more about Sustain-A-Raisers as well as ways you can help spread the word to get the vote out before October 7th!