Our vision for partnerships and community building

March 20, 2023

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In a world where the definition of community has changed drastically – from the people who lived on neighbouring farms within a short distance to more than one billion people who are active on Facebook – is it more important than ever that we focus on building positive relationships with the world around us. Our vision for partnerships and community building sits at three levels – within our organization, amongst other non-profit organizations and with partners in other sectors. By developing and nurturing relationships at each of these levels,

Two Wheel View can have a greater impact on the lives of young people.  

Why is community important for young people?

At a basic level, many people rely on community for practical purposes because communities are rich in both resources and opportunities.[1] Rarely can one person provide all of life’s necessities entirely by themselves; this is particularly true for young people who haven’t yet learned all the necessary knowledge or developed all the required skills to succeed in our complicated world. Community is also essential to our emotional and mental well-being as humans.[2] Communities are support systems during times of difficulty and they should also be safe places that encourage positive relationship building and protect against loneliness. For youth, who are still exploring and forging their identity, community can make all the difference. Surrounded by positive influences at home, in school or out in the wider world, young people have much more positive outcomes. This is true for behaviours, habits, decision-making and identity.

multicoloured puzzle pieces fit together

Building community within an organization

Many greater thinkers and leaders have disseminated the idea that to change the world, you must first start with yourself. That is why the sense of community that exists within Two Wheel View is so important to us. To promote community within our TWV team, we have weekly team lunches, monthly meetings and regular team-building activities. We also use the same practice of appreciation circles that we offer the young people in our programs. This helps us identify our strengths and weaknesses as a team and learn to work together more effectively.

To grow our internal community, we hold lectures and fundraisers that help us find more like-minded members who want to be a part of the difference we’re trying to make. To continue to strengthen the community that we’ve already built, we host regular volunteer mechanic nights, communicate often with our whole community through newsletters and run yearly volunteer appreciation events.

multicoloured puzzle pieces fit together

Collaboration between non-profit organizations

At TWV, we believe that for non-profits to be successful, we need to be fiercely collaborative, rather than competitive. This somewhat represents a shift in thinking for non-profits, where competition for limited resources, funding and recognition is often strong. However, we believe that the mission to help build resilience in youth isn’t our job alone – anyone contributing to that goal is a welcome partner in the work of changing kids’ lives. Whatever way you do that, we support you.

Two Wheel View has partnerships with a number of other non-profit organizations and we work together with these partners to produce a result that is greater than the sum of its parts. For example, we have worked together with the Sunalta Community Association to organize events, promote their activities and support each other as neighbours in Sunalta. We also work together with the Calgary Foundation, a non-profit foundation that does more than just supply us with funding. They also help us by providing training and resources that further enhance our ability to support young people. They also support our community building by sharing our story through their Community Knowledge Centre.

multicoloured puzzle pieces

Cross-sector partnerships

Like the resolution to any problem, the solutions for building resilience in youth often come from the collaborative coming together of ideas from many different sources. A well-known book called ‘The Medici Effect’ talks about this exact principle: that “the most powerful innovation happens at the ’intersection’, where ideas and concepts from diverse industries, cultures, and disciplines collide.”[3] Researchers have also shown that community based organizations need the support from other community members and organizations to be truly effective.[4] It is also our belief that genuinely innovative, life-changing transformations happen when lots of people work together. This is why we feel partnerships across sectors are so important.

We work with a number of different partners in the public and private sectors. Some of our most important partners in the public sector are schools. By supporting our Earn-a-Bike program in the classroom environment, schools in Calgary allow us to build an even stronger sense of community for young people. Not only does this partnership give us the space to operate our programs, it also allows us to give back to the schools by using alternative methods to promote learning amongst young people. Of course, we also wouldn’t have the capacity to impact so many lives if it weren’t for the grants we receive from various government organizations. They enable us to fulfil our mission and continue to grow our impact. And in the private sector, we are supported by businesses like SunRype and Clif Bars, (another great organization started on a bike ride), that help us provide healthy snacks during our after school programs and bike trips. We’ve also had fundraising support from Wild Rose Brewery, Brookfield Residential and Canadian Tire, among so many others.

Tree made of puzzle pieces

Communities have the power to change lives. Whether it is from within our office, amongst our fellow non-profits or with wider partnerships in other sectors or parts of the world, Two Wheel View is on a mission to change kids’ lives from the seat of a bike. To do so, we know we must collaborate and we welcome new partners who support our mission with open arms.

Interested in working with Two Wheel View? Please get in touch – we would love to hear from you!  

[1] Ikeda Centre. (2000). What is community and why is it important? https://www.ikedacenter.org/thinkers-themes/themes/community/what-is-community-responses. Retrieved October 16, 2018.

[2] Ikeda Centre. (2000). What is community and why is it important? https://www.ikedacenter.org/thinkers-themes/themes/community/what-is-community-responses. Retrieved October 16, 2018.

[3] Johansson, F. (2004). The Medici Effect. Harvard Business School.

[4] McLaughlin, M. (2000). Community Counts: How Youth Organizations Matter for Youth Development. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED442900. Retrieved October 19, 2018.

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Intentional community building should not be overlooked. When we come together, we talk through our insecurities, our uncertainties and share stories to help us better understand each other and the world we live in.

TWV Team Member

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