Building community, with a personal touch
By ROC-NH staff
Heron Point Estates's Random Acts of Kindness Committee pays attention to the little ways of helping that bind a community.
Audra Anderson of Newmarket believes in the "knock and visit" approach to community-building.
She and her husband, Karl, had lived in Heron Point Estates, a manufactured-home park in Newmarket, for 17 years. Last August, they and their fellow residents formed a cooperative and, with a loan from the Community Loan Fund, bought their community.
Audra Anderson at ROC-NH's 2014 Community Leadership graduation.
Soon after the conversion, when the co-op needed to conduct a household survey, Audra volunteered to go door-to-door. She was amazed to learn that, even though the community contains only 37 homes, she had never met some people who lived there.
That soon changed. Audra served on the committee that established the new co-op's rules, joined Heron Point's membership and social committees, and was elected secretary of the board of directors.
Her brainchild is the co-op's the Random Acts of Kindness Committee. Heron Point has a lot of elderly residents, and Audra is acutely aware of the need to help them with tasks. Committee members mow lawns, take neighbors to medical appointments and cook meals. By their example, they encourage other co-op members to get involved with their neighbors.
Something we often see in parks that convert to resident-ownership is a new sense of pride among the residents. Before Heron Point became a cooperative, Audra says, the neighborhood wasn't very cohesive or united.
That has all changed in a few short months. Heron Point Estates Cooperative has become a community in the best senses of the word, thanks to Audra and the people around her.
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