Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 5, 2014

‘Sharing Our Gifts’ way to build community

Sarah Beckelheimer-Roe
The Independent

LOUISA — Everyone has a hobby. Some may enjoy knitting, while others like to paint. From time to time, a desire to start a new hobby may arise. But, where is the best place to begin? One community-based group in Lawrence County could be just the place.

Members of the Lawrence County community gathered recently at the Fallsburg Community Center to discuss a new program being developed called “Sharing Our Gifts.”

Sharing Your Gifts was created as way for people in the community to get together, make friends, have friendly conversation and share their hobbies with others.

Angie Chaney, president of the organization, said she has been working with a council for community building since November. She says the council is encouraging members to come up with ways to get the community more involved with one another.

“I have a passion to see our community thrive.” Chaney said. “As a community builder, I hope to show my neighbors that we can help each other, as well as our economy, grow.”

Chaney says she hopes Sharing Your Gifts will connect people on a more personal level. It is a goal of the organization to become comfortable enough with one another to eventually meet at each other’s houses.

“We want to create a better community feeling,” Chaney said. “One way we can do that is by welcoming people into our homes. We want people to get to know each other and trust one another.”

Sharing Your Gifts is not limited to any specific age group. Participants at the first meeting ranged from elementary school children to senior citizens.

Those who attended the recent meeting talked about potential ideas for hobbies for future meetings. A few topics brought up included cooking parties, organization workshops and horseback riding lessons.

“I want to show our community members they are more talented than they realize and bring our community back to its roots,” Chaney said. “I know we can’t change our community over night but it starts tonight.”

Chaney says she plans to start a Facebook page for the group so people can provide ideas for future meetings. There will also be informational flyers about future meetings posted in stores throughout Lawrence County.

“Sharing Your Gifts” events will be in Louisa, Blaine and Westwood in addition to Fallsburg.