A Year of ChangeMaking

An overview of the impact involveMINT has had in 2020 alone. Read more about it in our yearly portfolio!

Over the past two years, through the work of ChangeMakers and ExchangePartners, involveMINT has been able to help address systemic issues throughout Pittsburgh communities.

Our Community Exchange Network, supported by our Community Currency, has expanded on several fronts. In 2020 alone, ChangeMakers were able to earn $7,922 in Community Currency while contributing to an estimated $14,200 in economic value.

Several projects have been initiated this past year in spite of the ongoing pandemic. In Braddock, ChangeMakers assisted in the COVID-19 response by delivering food and supplies, including masks & homemade cleansers, throughout the neighborhood to elderly and physically vulnerable residents.

Initiatives such as Food Security, Refreshed and the new composting and community garden in Hazelwood are working to bring fresh produce to the surrounding community.

Additionally, the involveMINT web application has entered a new era, adding several functionalities and a whole new design system to more easily and effectively enable communities to tackle chronic challenges. Some highlights include, the Proof of Impact (POI) feature that confirms that ChangeMakers have completed their direct, on-site community service via mobile devices.

ChangeMakers can now create Proof of Impact by documenting their service in the form of photos, videos, geolocation and Sustainable Development Goal impact data through a conversational user interface. This enables partners across the network to see the effect of their participation and associated economic impact, as well as track progress in attaining benchmarked goals. Proof of Impact also catalogues a ChangeMaker's service in their Timeline, forming a social resume to document their contributions.

The involveMINT Passport and Proof of Impact, and Timeline allow ChangeMakers to easily join new projects and chronicle their impact through a social resume.

With the Community Exchange Network in place, the work to identify four local business for the Minority Business Enterprise Protection Program (MBEPP) will be realized, allowing local business owners part of marginalized communities to grow and expand as ExchangePartners within involveMINT’s network of businesses. This year we're proud to have grown our Exchange Network by 15 businesses and we're poised to grow exponentially in 2021.

We are excited to see our Community Exchange Network grow through the work of our ChangeMakers, ServePartners and ExchangePartners. We know this year has been difficult for many of us, but we are optimistic and committed that we can continue to serve the Greater Pittsburgh Community in 2021 with new programs and partners. On behalf of involveMINT we wish you a happy new years! To view our full 2020 Portfolio, click here!

Get involved!

Become a ChangeMaker and "Make Change" with Us

Food Security, Refreshed is one of our exciting initiatives in Hazelwood. ChangeMakers can gain experience in sustainable agriculture while earning Community Currency!

Are you looking for a new way to get involved in your community in 2021? Become a ChangeMaker! ChangeMakers earn Community Currency (CC) for their time and effort, and in return, will gain access to involveMINT’s growing, sustainable network of ExchangePartners on our web app. We are currently looking for ChangeMakers in the following positions:

Minority Business Enterprise Protection Program Development Liaisons - The MBEPP Business Development Liaisons, will work with grant awardees within the MBEPP program to use the CC Grant to effectively scale their businesses, by providing consultation and coaching for best business practices. Hazelwood Food Security, Refreshed - Work at the 4501 Sylvan Avenue site, to turn collected food waste in to compost though our hot grid-composting process. involveMINT will be working with community partners to turn the compost in to soil to grow food for the surrounding community. Delivery Driver - Work with Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Braddock to pick up food from food pantries and deliver to recipients. Delivery Coordinator - Call, text, and email food pantries, delivery drivers, and food recipients to arrange food delivery. Coordinate times and share contact information among players. Coordinate delivery of masks, cleansers, handouts, etc. for the Braddock Food Systems Collaborative.

If you are interested in learning more about these new ChangeMaker positions, please join us here!

Get involved!

ChangeMaker Spotlight: Cindy Underwood

Cindy Underwood preparing to make a delivery for a family in need in Braddock.

We caught up with Cindy Underwood, a ChangeMaker who has been working on the Covid-19 initiative with Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Braddock. Cindy gave us some great stories and insights into her experiences as a ChangeMaker! What's your favorite memory of being a ChangeMaker and what makes it special? One of my favorite deliveries was for a lady called Ms. Myrtle, who lived in an apartment building on the second floor. She was on oxygen, so she could not get around easily. She would have to throw her key out of the side window and I would open the door and deliver the boxes up to her. We developed a bit of a rapport and relationship through my deliveries. I've had a chance to talk to her and get to know her. I like that I get to see some of the same people and the appreciation from them during this time especially. Seeing the need in our community, it feels good to be able to help someone less fortunate, and to be able to give back and develop a relationship of community even though I don’t live in the neighborhood. I just feel like a part of that community now since I’ve done those deliveries. What benefits have you received as a result of being a ChangeMaker? I think my biggest benefit is the sense of satisfaction and help. I get to engage with other people who are helping, and get to see other work being done by organizations and groups, like the church that donates food and the organization where I pick up food in Braddock. I think the relationship I’ve been able to develop in the beginning phases and getting to know those people has been important. I really didn’t go in with any expectation except just to help and extend a hand, so the benefits have exceeded expectation. The value of knowing you can help someone better their life a little bit, even in a small way like bringing some groceries, gives me that sense of satisfaction. Are you interested in working on another ChangeMaker project? Yeah, I would love to do that. I enjoy painting and home remodeling, so I’m looking forward to doing those types of activities as well. My background is in accounting and I really have a strong desire to help small businesses, so that's another area that I would love to be involved with. I also want to help get some small businesses up and going, provide more financial stability in our community and educate people in those types of things as well. I’m retired now, so I can put my time in different places. Would you recommend to a fellow community member to become a ChangeMaker? Oh, absolutely. I’ve been talking to different people about what I’ve been doing and I definitely would recommend it. I think educating people to the value of the whole ChangeMaker concept in their community is important. If someone were to participate, they would understand the value it brings to their communities, the value to the relationships developed and the changes overall in the mental and emotional health in our communities and our people. I think that even the generations behind us need to see that, so there is a reconnection, instead of all the disconnection that's taking place. I think the relationships and rapport that can be built between people who participate is invaluable, and you can’t put a price on that.

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Copyright © 2020, involveMINT, a Project of New Sun Rising, a 501c3 organization. All rights reserved.

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