Why we build community partnerships
Community partnerships are at the center of what we do at Ciudad Nueva. It has been a part of our DNA since the beginning. As we have grown and learned through the years, our partnerships have also matured and improved.
Although we might be able to do many things on our own, we believe that partnership is inherent to healthy communities. Communities are made of people, and healthy communities share resources and work together to make things better.
Some of the reasons why we build community partnerships include:
- Not duplicating efforts – We want to be good stewards of our resources so it makes sense to coordinate efforts with others.
- We aren’t always the experts – Each organization has its strengths and weaknesses. If someone else is better at getting a job done, we benefit from partnering with them.
- Relationships are important – It isn’t just about getting things done. It is also about strengthening our community by strengthening our bonds with each other, listening to each other, and experiencing life together.
Click here to read our previous post about why we love working with partners in our community, and read on to learn more about some of the fruitful partnerships we have developed over the years.
Downtown Church Connection
This is a group of people from local churches and organizations that meets monthly to talk about the neighborhood: our organizations, our events, and our struggles and prayer requests. All of us in the Downtown Church Connection believe we can serve the community better by working together. Many of the churches support CIudad Nueva with donations of items and money, and their members volunteer in our programs and events. Click here to read about how this unique partnership started.
This is an annual event where churches and organizations in the downtown area show their support for the neighborhood by providing food, music, games, and activities for everyone to enjoy for free. Not only is this an easy way for people to get to know our wonderful downtown churches, it is also a tangible way for us to serve and love our neighbors despite our different denominations. This is our tenth year hosting the Spring Festival, and we can’t wait!
This year’s Spring Festival will be April 14, 2018, 4:30-7:30 pm at Houston Park.
Mustard Seed Café
The Mustard Seed Café is a unique community cafe. Founders Christi and Carmen started out cooking nutritious snacks for our after-school programs as they were working on birthing the pay-what-you-can cafe. They work with suppliers who donate food from all over El Paso and exist to serve the local community with healthy food — for whatever payment the customer can give. They also have hosted our community dinners over the last few years, and have been longtime partners in the neighborhood, working with our youth and Border Fellows.
They will be blessing a new neighborhood with their talents soon, but we look forward to seeing how our partnership can continue! Click here to learn more about the Mustard Seed Café.
We partner with dozens of local businesses and some multinationals with local affiliates. Some give directly to support our organization. Others help Ciudad Nueva in practical ways such as hosting fundraisers and selling their products as a benefit to Ciudad Nueva. Click here to read about some of the creative ways they support us.
We are currently seeking corporate program sponsors (at $36K/year, $24K/year, and $12K/year) for our youth development programs. Some of our business partners provide matching donations from employees as well.
One really rewarding way for businesses to partner with us is by getting involved with Catalyst, our job readiness, college prep, and life skills program for teenagers. Leaders in local businesses visit the teenagers to talk about their personal story and their field of expertise. We have often done field trips to businesses and have even had some of our students obtain internships or jobs from our generous business partners.
The Ciudad Nueva food co-op is another example of partnership between businesses and the local community. We have worked hard to make connections with local grocery stores and food distributors who provide us with fresh food that is near expiration and would otherwise go to waste. This includes produce, dairy products, eggs, and many other items that feed families in our neighborhood who would otherwise go without. All the work in the food co-op is done by community members, from washing to sorting to distribution. Read more about the food co-op here.
Children’s Kingdom is a local child learning center that works with a government-funded Dept. of Agriculture program to provide meals for children. Children’s Kingdom has been a great blessing to our youth programs by preparing and delivering food to our middle and high school programs three times a week and to our elementary students twice a week. Prior to this we were purchasing food and asking families and volunteers to help in the preparation and delivery of food to our programs. By partnering with Children’s Kingdom, we have saved about $10,000 per year and been able to focus more of our energy and time on the programs rather than on food service.
Community partnerships make a difference
Connecting with people is why we build community partnerships. Do you have a great idea or a partnership that you feel could benefit Ciudad Nueva? Please call us today at 915.521.2951 or contact us here.