People often ask me why I founded Philanthropiece and how Philanthropiece came to be engaged in community empowerment and development work. I am not exactly sure how or when my desire to create community first took root, but I know it has been an important part of my life. Today my life revolves around community. I have organized or helped create communities of individuals that gather together to: celebrate wine (known affectionately as the “dead grape society”), play bridge, play beach volleyball, engage in our nonprofit work at Philanthropiece and engage in entrepreneurship and business mentoring. Each of these groups meets regularly, some several times a week and each consists of a community of more than a dozen individuals. Even as I write this I am gathering a group of community gardeners. I have also been part of a community of individuals dedicated to organic foods through my role as a founder of Wild Oats and Sunflower Markets as well as a community dedicated to education through my work as founder of Renaissance Home School.
In an age where more people are isolated and can do all of their work, shopping and communicating via the internet without leaving their home I am even more dedicated to creating community and connecting people to one another on a personal face to face level. It is heartwarming to hear from my friends how important being a part of these groups is to them. With my nonprofit work, I envisioned an organization that would help create a sense of community, in the broader sense of the word, around the world. Philanthropiece currently works in our local Boulder Community as well as several communities in Baja, Mexico and Chajul, Guatemala. With our help, communities come together to help identify and resolve their most pressing needs. We strive to develop strong bonds between community members through our work so that one day they will have the confidence to come together as a community and resolve community issues without our help. I am excited to share future blog posts about the unexpected and unforeseen ripple effect our work at Philanthropiece has had on individuals and communities around the world.
Libby Cook is the Founder and Co-Executive Director of Philanthropiece. When not actively engaged in helping guide the vision for Philanthropiece, Libby can be found mentoring new start ups, playing volleyball or drinking wine and sometimes all at the same time!