Building the Sentiment of a Community

by Cate Stone, National Program Intern

Silas Red Cloud and Leo White Bear show off their Ground Source Heating certificates at the 2012 Rhythms for the Planet fundraiser in Fort Collins, CO.

Through sustainability and learning, a greater knowledge of yourself and your community can be achieved. Having pride in what you do, what you have accomplished, and seeing that pride reflected back through others’ eyes offers one of life’s greatest rewards.

As a new member to the Trees, Water & People family, I was exuberant about the chance to attend Rhythms for the Planet, an event that would allow me to see firsthand the special relationship TWP shares with the Fort Collins community. Although I enjoyed the entire evening, one moment in particular stands out in my mind as the shining star. Watching Leo and Silas receive their certificates for completing their Ground Source Heat Training made me feel so honored to be a witness and to be involved with TWP. Seeing their excitement, their eyes light up with happiness and pride as they were applauded for their awesome achievement was truly moving.  Having only been with Trees, Water & People for a few months, this was the first opportunity I had to see how our program affects individual lives. As I watched Henry hand Leo and Silas their certificates and sensing the mutual pride and respect shared between them I became aware of the equal amount of pride spread throughout the audience. People Leo and Silas have never met, like me for example, grinning wide, clapping loudly, and being genuinely happy and proud of these two men. Feeling that sense of community, the notion that I do not need to know you to be appreciative of who you are, is exactly why so many people support TWP and the programs they create.

Building the sentiment of a community that crosses boundaries is what will one day help those boundaries to disappear. Leo and Silas, congratulations on your success, and thank you for letting me share that with you.