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Insights & ideas to Ignite your coalition

Sizzling Summer Volume 2 Issue (1) 2013

Well, Summer usually follows Spring, except that it should happen in the same year! I have been so remiss in continuing my blog this past year and for that I apologize! HOWEVER, I have been busy writing. In fact, I’m happy to announce that I just submitted my second book to the design team and it should be available this Fall! The book is called Ignite! Getting Your Community Coalition “Fired Up” for Change. It’s a resource for community volunteers and practitioners who are working with communities to change policies, systems and environments that will make their communities safer, healthier and more enjoyable places in which to live, work, learn, play and pray. More on Ignite! as  soon as it is available.



Summer is a time of maturing and ripening.  Fruits and vegetables are abundant. Flowers bloom. The summer sun heats our ponds, lakes, rivers, streams and oceans. Even people take on a healthy glow.


Summer usually is a quieter time for coalitions. People take vacations from work and school, spend more time with their families and friends and generally try to take advantage of nicer weather and time outdoors. It often is more difficult to get volunteers to spend time working on coalition initiatives.  So, my advice to you is to use this time to reflect on your action plans, evaluate your progress, train your staff and leaders and pay attention to those structural parts of the coalition (bylaws, budgets and other documents) that may have been neglected during the hectic winter and spring seasons.  But, get ready for the fall – a time of new beginnings. School begins again, vacations are over and your volunteers are ready to get back into a of work and play that is more predictable and planned. It;s a great time for a Summit or coalition gathering to celebrate past achievements and plan for the work to come.

As for the cabin chronicles, things are moving slowly, but surely – kind of like a coalition. We have put the insulation, wood and trim on the bones of the structure, just as you do when you flesh out your strategies. It’s really taking shape and we can see ourselves around the table, sitting by the fireplace or climbing the loft to bed. As your coalition matures, you will begin to generate that same kind of excitement. You even may be able to visualize what a healthy, safe community looks like after it benefits from the positive changes in policies, systems and environments enacted by your coalition and its partners. Here are some pictures to show where our cabin is now on its journey to completion …. Til the Autumn, Fran

Kitchen is coming along ….


Stained glass window in bathroom!


Hand and footprints of our kids & grandkids!