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Community Heart & Soul Update: July 2023

by Mary Hastings

For the past two plus years, Friends of Downtown Sanford has been hard at work bringing events to downtown, advocating at City Hall, generating a positive vibe everywhere they go, and raising awareness of our great Sanford businesses and the community of Sanford, Maine, as a whole.

Recently, they embarked on Phase II of our Community Heart & Soul of Sanford initiative, Story-Gathering. The activity of story-gathering is being led by a group of talented residents and business owners. They have been attending workshops to learn how to be the best listeners and the best relaters of all the stories gathered.  

The mission in this phase is to talk with as many residents as they possibly can, during the next 4 – 6 months, in a number of ways. They would like to meet individually or in a group setting. Some stories will be gathered online, some written, and some recorded. You may see them at the Farmer’s Market, the waterski show, the library, summer concerts, and National Night Out, just to name a few. They have only five, but they’re very important, questions.  Like, “what would you like to preserve about the past?” and “what they would like to see in the future.” Also, what would you tell a new resident?” and “what would you tell a city official?” 

In Phase III, these stories will be logged and the statements will be categorized from most important to least, based on the stories gathered. They are excited for that phase too, but really need help to complete this phase first.  

Maybe you are a civic or religious group, a group of teachers, a business association, or a non-profit. The list of groups is endless. The Friends of Downtown can give you the tools to hold your own story-gathering session for your peers and/or the residents you serve. If you have been thinking about what Friends of Downtown really does, and about getting involved in something that makes a difference in your community, please click this link.

Fill out the “Join our Community Heart & Soul Project.” There are many descriptions of how you can help. Maybe you have talent in something we haven’t even thought of yet. Thank you for your consideration in becoming a part of this important work!

Someone will contact you shortly after receiving your volunteer form!

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