By Jan Farr
My meeting with Cindy Cosenzo, like so many discoveries lately, took a different turn. Cindy is the founder of AgeCelebration, a consulting business which specializes in helping businesses, organizations, and individuals grow through creating community.
“As humans,” Cindy says, “we are hard-wired to connect with others. Meaningful connection with others is as important to our health as food and water. When we align our businesses and our lives with this natural truth, we each feel better and do better. It’s that simple!”
As one component of her city-wide volunteerism initiative My Hillsboro Creates Community, Cindy started FIND YOUR TRIBE, a one-on-one service to help people match their skills and interests to local community needs. So, I thought, here’s the introduction to my book’s and website sections on volunteering.
The turn was Cindy’s focus not so much on volunteering itself, but that volunteering is just one of many helpful ways for us to find meaningful connection to each other.
We each find our tribe in different ways – through work, education, continuing education, fitness, church groups – and volunteering in our community is just another great way to find connection with others.
“Every volunteer opportunity will not be right for everyone, the trick is to keep trying different things till you find something that feels good for you – don’t give up, your health depends on it … and the world needs what you have to offer!”
Beyond volunteering to help the community, the FIND YOUR TRIBE service is really about helping people who finds themselves temporarily without a “tribe” re-connect to one.
“Our tribes evolve and change for many reasons over the course of our lives,” she says. “FIND YOUR TRIBE is specifically helps people with expanding their social network in meaningful ways. The connection to a tribe where we feel loved, accepted and included are vital to our health and happiness.”
FIND YOUR TRIBE one-on-one interviews are offered FREE on the last Thursday of the month at the Hillsboro Community Senior Center. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Connections to others are natural. Each of us is deeply connected to each other, Cindy says. It’s simply the nature of being alive. Individuals, businesses, organizations, and communities prosper and sustain when growth strategies are rooted in human interdependence, caring, and authentic connection.
Cindy walks the talk. Her AgeCelebration.com website, is all about the words inside the image of an irregular shaped metal heart. “If we’re not connecting with each other in loving caring ways we’ve missed the point of being alive.”
You can’t escape Cindy’s camera. She features lots of photos of people connecting in the community while learning, exercising and just having fun. AgeCelebration programs encourage small group or one-on-one exchanges, all the better for people to connect.
Another AgeCelebration city-wide community initiative is Walk with Friends Hillsboro, in which Cindy leads Monday through Friday community walks from the ZOO Health Club, the Hillsboro Community Senior Center and Hare Field, as well as monthly special walking events to support local businesses. From February-June, Walk with Friends also walks on Saturdays in support of the Liberty Fit high school half-marathon training group. Another local fitness initiative that AgeCelebration sponsors is Hillsboro Pickleball. The common denominator to all these programs and events is offering diverse opportunities for community connections.
Cindy is in the business of creating community where community doesn’t exist … yet.
Through her consulting business, AgeCelebration, she helps businesses and organizations forge strategic and innovative partnerships with others in their community so that they can prosper and grow together. Creating community is the most natural and sustainable way for growth because relationships are at the heart of being human.
Among her current pursuits are:
- Creating community partnership programs which extend the reach of the Hillsboro Community Senior Center, including “I Love Hillsboro Plus” a monthly educational travel bus program to showcase “how things are made” at local area businesses. The “Just Between Us: A Women’s Wellness Series” taps into local business experts for lecture series on common women’s wellness questions.
- Creating community in Hillsboro through “My Hillsboro Creates Community” the initiative that promotes existing and creates new opportunities to come together through community service in Hillsboro.
- Leading a daily Walk with Friends community fitness walk to build community through fitness and to help each other lead healthier lives. We walk Mon-Fri 9am, leading the walks from different locations, partnering with local businesses and organizations to continually inspire fitness and expand community horizons.