New Venture: Edgewater Collective

Ever since we moved to Edgewater, Colorado we have seen our small, one mile by one mile city as our “mission field.” We enrolled our daughters in our neighborhood school and began to network and build relationships. As we did this, we noticed a number of different needs in the community.

All three schools in Edgewater are Title I schools and over 85% of the students are on free or reduced lunch. The test scores are lower than those in the suburbs but they are improving. The teachers and staff are excellent yet some in the community just look at test scores and the schools suffer a bad rap. So I decided to network with other community leaders are start a project called Support Edgewater Schools to improve the image of our local schools and rally Edgewater around our schools. 

I also connected with a police officer in Edgewater who is seeking to live out his faith as he serves the community. As I interacted with him, we talked about launching a chaplaincy program in Edgewater to support the police officers. With the help of Golden Chaplaincy, we are in discussions with Edgewater Police to make this program a reality.

On top of this, as Hillary and I interacted with those in our daughters’ school and in the community we realized a need for a holistic community development organization to invest in the next generation of Edgewater children and youth. What would it look like to have a Kid’s Club where we instill Jesus inspired values in children and a Youth Leadership program where we trained teenagers in leadership skills? This community development organization would also need to equip and encourage parents as well as possibility provide them with job training and skills so they could provide for their families.

But we couldn’t pull this off on our own. Through connections that can only be explained by God moving, I came in contact with a social entrepreneur wanting to start a coffee roaster as a way to train those who need a second chance at life. He also knows of other social entrepreneurs wanting to create sustainable enterprises while training people new skills. Instead of just giving people food or money, these enterprises train people to be self-sustainable and provide for themselves and their families. It moves people from entitlement to ownership and empowerment.

What would it look like if we created a space for these social entrepreneurship projects to coexist together for mutual encouragement and dreaming? And all these projects would be focused on creating a better future for the children of the greater Edgewater area and a better community for all.

So we are taking the first step of forming a nonprofit called Edgewater Collective.

The vision and mission are still being finalized but here is what we have now:

Vision

Creating a better future for the children in the greater Edgewater area through community development based on the teachings and values of Jesus

Mission

The Edgewater Collective exists to be a partner for educational excellence and equity; facilitator of economic empowerment and leadership; developer of the next generation through youth leadership and family health; and a catalyst for neighborhood renewal in the greater Edgewater community.

I still will continue my role at Mountair Christian Church but we will invest a good amount of energy into this new venture in Edgewater.

You can help us get Edgewater Collective off the ground by investing so that we can establish it as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Find out more about this initial investment here.

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About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Dangerous Obedience, Personal and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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