This past week, the Neighborhood Resource Team had the opportunity to attend the Points of Light Conference in Houston, TX, as well as Cities of Service’s Annual Convening.
We were lucky enough to be treated with a week long stay at the Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Houston, courtesy of Cities of Service’s Corporate Sponsor, JP Morgan Chase Co. It allowed us to be right along the Discovery Green park, which is right across from the enormous Convention Center where Points of Light’s Service Unites Conference was held. With a brisk walk down the block, we were in the midst of America’s (soon-to-be) 3rd largest U.S. city, and surrounded by volunteers from around the world, all with a passion to serve.
The first few days at Service Unites were jam packed with interesting panels, inspiring speakers, and an hour spent with our Love Your Block VISTA Cohort meeting the Director of VISTA, Paul Monteiro (read about him here ). Of course, this was all by day. By night, Points of Lights greeted all of its volunteers with a ‘Welcome to Texas Celebration’ on Monday. On Tuesday, we were able to have some relaxing social time with our VISTA cohort with a game of bowling in Downtown Houston’s Lucky Strike.
On Wednesday, we said farewell to our plenaries and panels at Points of Light’s Service Unites Conference, and began a very exciting and productive Annual Convening of Cities of Service Cohort Members.
With insightful words from Cities of Service’s Executive Director, Myung Lee, we delightedly kicked off several days worth of discussion with our Cohort members. We were able to share stories, knowledge, best practices (and best learned experiences), workshop our Elevator Pitch skills, and begin drafting our Citywide Service Plans.
The Lansing Neighborhood Resource Team was proud to represent Lansing Neighborhoods and the Lansing Love Your Block Initiative, as we were called upon to present and be an example City of how to most effectively utilize the Love Your Block Grant and empower neighborhoods.
We returned from Houston eager to announce our Grant Awardees and notify our LiNCS leaders of the excellent work and reputation has nationally of neighborhood service. We are only getting better!