We learned about Stone Soup Network in late 2019 and we decided immediately that we needed to become involved. Firstly, our very own City Councillor from back when we were Ward 13, Sarah Doucette is the Director of the Parkdale/High-Park chapter. We’ve known Sarah to be a true community champion and we were thrilled to hear of this new initiative.
The idea is simple: Stone Soup Network imagines a community where every neighbour is cared for. Through this program, a neighbourhood of strangers becomes a Stone Soup Network.
Stone Soup Network has gone ahead and created an online database of products and services they’ve received by donation from participating businesses in the area (anything from grocery and pharmacy gift cards; vouchers for legal, dental and financial services; movie tickets or dinner out at a restaurant). They then share this online database with their Social Connectors, who are front line workers at social agencies and religious leaders through the community who work with clients in need. These Social Connectors then link up clients with the goods and services that are available.
Stone Soup Network believes that in years gone by, this work was done by churches and other organizations who formed the centre of community life. If anyone was unwell or in need of a little extra support, their neighbours would know about it and pitch as they could.
These days, the instruments of community seem to be spread more thinly. People can become isolated. Needs remain unmet.
The Stone Soup Network is hoping to address this by centring community again. An enormous amount of goodwill and community building energy is already present. Stone Soup Network helps to harness it and channel it for maximum impact. You can learn more, or get involved by visiting their website.