You know Mom & Pop Culture. We all do. They are us. They surround us. They appear on reality TV shows. They eat, drink and sleep gossip. They complain that people complain too much. Let’s listen in as they get ready to call it a day in the life…
[Full Disclosure: The author chairs Yorktown Organizations United in Westchester County.]
MOM CULTURE: Pop, ever hear of this book “Bowling Alone”?
POP CULTURE: [CHUCKLING] You calling me a pinhead, Mom?
MC: You? Never! You like life in the fast lane, having a ball.
PC: At least you didn’t say my mind’s in the gutter.
MC: Anyhoo, it’s from 2000, by Robert Putnam, subtitled, “The Collapse and Revival of American Community.”
PC: Collapse sounds cynical. What’s his beef?
MC: His research claimed people have been drifting away from belonging to traditional civic organizations.
PC: Not us. We love the Lions and Rotary and all those groups. They do a tremendous amount of good.
MC: That’s why we belong and volunteer. But we’re also considered the old guard.
PC: Thanks for the words of encouragement, Mom.
MC: No, it’s just that younger families do volunteer work too, but their circle of influence tends to be things like youth sports. You know, that whole “soccer mom” thing.
PC: Yeah, but then you also have a lot of young solid citizens doing community service through local teen centers and groups like Lions Club’s Leos and their schools.
MC: It’s mandatory now in more schools.
PC: As it should be.
MC: Even so, it seems volunteerism altogether has declined. Remember the woman from United Way’s Volunteer Center who came to the Yorktown Organizations United meeting?
PC: Oh, sure. She was bowled over herself by all the enthusiasm in the room, saying New York has a poor record of volunteerism among the 50 states…
MC: … and that Yorktowners forming the core group of “YOUnited” thankfully didn’t get that memo. She couldn’t believe how many charitable Yorktown organizations were at the meeting to help kick start it as a community foundation to help each other and solicit donations from larger corporations that can be disbursed to the foundation members.
PC: More areas should start their own community foundations. There are a lot of ways they can get more creative beyond being an umbrella for endowments and grants and such. There’s a lot of room for smarter marketing strategies.
MC: Plus, it’s a wonderful way to start the next generation on the right road to doing well by doing good.
PC: For sure. What’s that famous phrase again?
MC: YOUnited we stand, divided we fall.
PC: Oh, sure. I remember that song!
MC: That's not exactly what I had in mind, Pop.
PC: Well, the group who recorded it had the right idea with their name, no?
MC: I forget the group's name.
PC: The Brotherhood of Man.
MC: And let us not forget The Sisterhood of Women.
MC: Ah, women.
Read Bruce the Blog at www.PennySaver Community.com. Follow on Twitter @BrucetheBlog.“Bruce the Blog Goes Bazzo!” airs on upper Westchester County (N.Y.) Cablevision Channels 74 and 15 Thursdays at 10 p.m. and is on YouTube. Email
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