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Your Dream For Community Involvement

Rev. Dr. Anne Hays Egan Author Interview

“Building Communities of Hope” provides a roadmap for personal growth and becoming a force for positive change in your community. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’d just finished research for my dissertation on the impact of substance use disorder, which is devastating our communities. I’d also been working with leaders who were passionate about their work, skilled in the field, and who had been making a positive difference in their communities. I was also at that point in my life where spiritual practice, gratitude and hope were increasingly important to me. That’s what served as the impetus for me to write the book. That and the fact that my cat liked to play with the computer when I was writing.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone that is struggling to get involved in their community?

That’s a great question. We can all become involved, but it’s a matter of when, how and why. I recommend that people first spend some time thinking and meditating about what they care most about, what they’d like to do. Imagine your dream for community involvement. Talk about it with a few trusted friends. When engaging, I recommend scheduling meetings with a few agencies you think might represent a good fit, and interview them. See how their values and the work fits for you. Spend some time there to check out the vibe. If it fits, dive in! If not, keep looking for what’s the best fit for you right now.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

There is a real power in building our own capacity for gratitude and hope in our lives. That then can build our ability to influence others and work together to make a positive difference. When that compounds, it becomes collective action. So, watch out! Change happen which creates collective impact. When we lift others up, we lift up our entire network. I want people to know that, even in hard times, perhaps especially in hard times, we can get through the tough stuff with support from others. Some of my heroes are people who persevered, no matter what! Maggie Kuhn, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The Dalai Lama, the 11-year old who got a community to care for its homeless.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

You have unique gifts and deserve to live in hope, and make a difference in this world. 

Author Links: Amazon | Website

Would you like to bring more hope and power into your life? Can you see yourself as an influencer and force for positive change?

Each one of us, deep down, has the spirit and fire within to make positive changes that bring joy and hope to ourselves and others. Most of us have wondered more than once: “How can I make a difference?” This book helps you answer that question!

This Expanded Version of Building Communities of Hope helps us to:

• Believe in ourselves.
• Take steps to improve our lives.
• Address challenges and break through barriers.
• Build hope that’s our own – that’s practical and works for us.
• Strengthen our personal purpose and power.
• Win friends, influence, lead, and support others.
• Be a force for positive change in our communities.

Building Communities of Hope is a guide for those of us who yearn for a change in our lives. It’s a roadmap for creating positivity and a meaningful difference in our communities and society. It’s a resource for those who need support and motivation to recover from life’s challenges.

We can face multiple difficulties in life. Things like natural disasters, accidents, health challenges, economic setbacks, addiction, inequities, climate change, and war. We often feel overwhelmed when we go through these challenges. This book teaches that there is a way through and beyond these challenges, especially when we rely on each other. Together, we have the power to do just about anything. That power is life-changing. This book is a practical guide with lots of stories and examples.

Building Communities of Hope shares how people from many walks of life bring positive changes to their lives and those around them. Settings include Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Louisiana, California, New York, Texas, Wyoming, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, England, Central America, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. Readers shared they found practical tools from the stories about the people featured in the book. A few of the stories include:

• The “little old lady in tennis shoes” who led a movement for positive change for older adults.
• A boy who influenced others to help the homeless, which grew into a large housing nonprofit.
• A model of recovery on a motorcycle who brought health and healing to communities.
• An engine on fire who engaged her entire community to give and build resources for children.
• Someone who moved from an office in a broom closet to lead sweeping change.
• People who are living through health crises with love, faith, and hope.

Every step makes a difference.

Every single thing we do makes a difference. What we do to promote compassion and justice matters. Our work together builds over time, and creates positive change that can be unstoppable! That’s because every single act of kindness, compassion, love, shared action, advocacy, and justice has ripple effects. This my friend, is how we make lasting, positive changes in our lives and the lives of others. It’s how we influence others, lift each other up, and power up our communities!
You have the power within you!

You have a spiritual power and force deep within you. When connected to others and the energies of the universe, this power within you can create immense and positive change. You can connect with that spiritual “slipstream” and power up your life and the lives of those around you.

Let that spark in you connect with the energy all around you to light up your life. Connect with others. Support one another on the journey. Let that create a movement that powers up your life, and builds your community.
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