Desi’s Desk: Brookwood’s Network Days Event, June 5-6
If you are planning, developing, or managing an intentional community, you don’t want to miss Brookwood’s Network Days! It is a two-day immersion into their day-by-day operations with in-depth seminars led by staff. Learn how one mother’s school in a room at a church transformed into Brookwood, an intentional community on a beautiful 400-acre campus. It employs over 180 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and provides a home to 100 of these ‘citizens.’ Not to mention, it’s a whole ‘lotta fun!
Here are some highlights from March, 2014’s Brookwood’s Network Days:
As we worked side-by-side with citizens in horticulture and crafts, the Brookwood staff divulged their secrets to planting over 45,000 poinsettias in just 4 days and creating 33,000 pieces of art every month. Their best advice to create income-generating social enterprise opportunities is to find a proven professional in the field to assist in identifying and developing one or two original, high-quality, in demand products. Afterwards, determine the product’s appeal by selling it at church bazaars. Start somewhere and embrace the journey – even if you are simply creating ornaments from self-dry clay, cookie cutters, or bunches of herbs.
The Brookwood Community and its staff shared volumes regarding best practices in social enterprise. Interspersed with time for networking, Brookwood staff led nine seminars such as ARM Your Mission: Attracting, Retaining and Motivating Staff, Admissions: A Process and Pathway to Hope, and my favorite, How to Raise $1M with 3% Expenses: Brookwood Golf Benefit. Vivian Shudde, Executive Director and daughter of Brookwood’s founder, imparted her wisdom as well, “If you have the right leadership, money will follow.”
Not only did we get to see Brookwood citizens at work, they invited us into their homes for dinner, and we had a rousing basketball tournament together that night! The energy from everyone gathered, learning, and growing together was palpable. Joe Mazzu, Brookwood’s Director of Development, exclaimed, “We are making history together!”
Take a look at the video below for more information on The Brookwood Community.