Heidi Pruess, Hayden Commons
How has working together with neighborhood leaders from across the City positively influence your own ability to serve your home community?
Working with neighborhood leaders from a variety of neighborhood sizes and locations across Charlotte has really been fantastic. Experiencing each neighborhood leader's reality as they told their story or shared their expertise has given me the confidence to tackle some of the more challenging issues in my own neighborhood. I now know that I do not need to go it alone but have developed relationships with others that have or are working on similar issues. The demonstration of successes and challenges through neighborhood visits and tours sparked innovative ideas for my own neighborhood and as I then shared these experiences, the trickle down reaction from my neighborhood leaders was energizing. Working together and learning together, face-to-face with other neighborhood leaders has been much more impactful than simply reading about what other neighborhoods are doing.
Has your participation in Stitch Together CLT broken down any misconceptions you had about other parts of Charlotte or other communities?
Yes, developing relationships with "boots on the ground" leaders from a variety of areas across Charlotte has impressed upon me that the basic needs of each neighborhood are the same. While each neighborhood has unique interests, backgrounds, make-up, etc., Stitch Together CLT has demonstrated to me that we all have some of the same basic needs and questions that need to be addressed.
What have you accomplished and achieved by coming together with other leaders?
Stitch Together CLT has helped me connect more effectively with my own neighborhood as well as with my adjacent neighborhoods as we developed our project together. The team of five individuals that joined me as neighborhood leaders have all commented to me that there were times during a discussion or presentation that "wow, I had no idea" and they really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Charlotte and the quality people that live here. Simply spending time together accomplishes more than it is given credit for, especially when it is the coming together of neighborhood leaders.
Have you developed a relationship with any other leaders on the Stitch Together CLT Steering Committee or other influencers?
Yes, I believe that many of us developed special relationships that will find our paths crossing even after our Stitch Together CLT experience has ended. I have encountered these special leaders at non-Stitch related events across the City already and expect that we will even find reasons to gather or cross paths well into the future. Once you find a valuable resource you continually want to know more!