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How Positive Monthly Meetups Connect Me to My Community How Positive Monthly Meetups Connect Me to My Community

How Positive Monthly Meetups Connect Me to My Community

by Morgan Grace

August 21, 2013

My life has always revolved around two things: a passion for helping people, and using my gift of music as a form of therapy for others. I decided that the field of social work was my home a couple of years ago while volunteering at a retreat focused on artists with disabilities. Many of the clients at the retreat were homeless, still struggling with severe addictions, and in great need of the right support systems with which to see them through to success in their goals. Their disabilities ranged from brain injuries, hearing and vision impairments, schizophrenia, autism, and many others.

One of the clients I worked with was explaining the process of fishing to me on the dock. As he was showing me how to bait the hook and wind up the reel, I realized I had seen him over the past couple of years at a stoplight in my neighborhood. He used much of the money he received on supplies to create his found object jewelry collection. His work was stunning, and interacting with him changed my perspective on how I wanted to connect with people. It was clear he had a creative strength, and that talking with me helped him see that.

The art retreat inspired me to create Positivcity. We are an organization in Austin, Texas, that aims to create personal empowerment hubs coordinated through meetup.com; we meet once a month to discuss our personal happiness projects, provide support to one another, and promote art projects in the community. Future projects include a citywide mural reflecting core tenets of happiness (painted at downtown bus stops), and taking a camera tour of our city with houseless members as our guides.

I want participants to explore causes then see how we can do something about them together. Our goal is to permanently and radically change lives, one person at a time. It is going to take more than signing up to volunteer once a month somewhere, do the time, and part ways. I'm calling out to people from all walks of life to contribute ideas and passions to this organization, so we can truly make a lasting impact. Positivcity will enable us to influence Austin in a permanent way as well as inspire others with a heart for service to make their city, a Positivcity.

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