Connector's Table

Decide to Create a Connector’s Table.
Once the gifts, strangers, associations and institutions have been identified, to become useful they must be connected.  People in the neighborhood must do the connecting.  Some neighbors can do this individually.  Other neighbors may be especially experienced or talented “connectors.” Linking these connectors creates a powerful force for community building.

Find local connectors in the neighborhood. Natural connectors are usually:

-gift minded, seeing the full-half of neighbors
-well connected themselves, especially with neighbors and local associations
-trusted because of their consistent helpfulness

As you have “head, heart, hand and teachables” discussions with neighbors, ask each who the local connectors are.  Then ask them if they are a connector.  Would they be willing to work on connecting local people?  Would they be willing to introduce you to the connectors they know?

When you find connectors, ask them who they think are connectors (it takes one to know one.) Will they help invite the connector they know to join the neighborhood effort?

Note:  A connector is different from a leader. A leader is speaking at the front of the room. A connector is in the middle of the room linking people.

Our Questions to You:
How did you find connectors?
Were they willing to join a Connectors’ Table?

What to do with the Connector’s Table:

Bringing connectors together as a group creates a powerful means to build the local community.The functions of the Table can include:

-sharing information each has about gifts, strangers, associations and institutions
-thinking up where the gifts of each neighbor and stranger can be connected
-sharing the responsibility to make the connections
-sharing ideas about connections involving associations and institutions, as well  as making these connections or recruiting others to create the linkage.

A Connectors’ Table might have three members or ten, or more.  The Table is always open to everyone in the neighborhood.  Each neighbor should constantly be invited to sit at the table or share in its work.

Our Questions to You:
How did you initiate a local Table?
What functions has the Table performed?

Question: What are some ways that bring all the neighbors together?
Thoughts: An important part of neighborhood building is the experience of all the neighbors coming together and enjoying their creativity and productive work.  Here are several ways all the local neighbors have come together:

Celebrations:
-Recognizing children and their accomplishments
-Celebrating returning veterans
-Honoring the neighbors unsung heroes
-Listening to the newly created neighborhood band

Life Events: 
-Celebrating births, marriages and celebrations. 
-Memorializing the life of a good neighbor who has passed on

Common interests: Neighbors find common cause in working together on health, safety, children, the local economy, the land and food. These are categories that pull people together to share their gifts.

Sharing neighborhood information: Neighborhoods thrive on information that joins people together.

Create a neighborhood web site: The site can inform neighbors about upcoming events, personal landmarks or family hardships.  It can provide opportunities to share and swap from children’s clothes, to skills to be shared or subjects to be taught.

Biographies: Create a profile of every person in the neighborhood.  Join the profiles in a book to be given to every household and put the information on the neighborhood web site.

Neighborhood history: Create a history of the neighborhood. Gather information from the oldest residents. Involve the local librarian in helping with the work.

Newcomers: Visit the new residents and give them the book of biographies and neighborhood history. Ask them for their own biography and put it on a neighborhood website to introduce them to their neighbors.

Our Questions to You:
What as brought all the people in your neighborhood together?
What appears on your web site?
What information do people find most useful?