The summer is winding down and Portland Enrichment recently went out for their last canvass on Saturday August 11th. On Sunday the 12th, the group volunteered at the farmers market for the last time of the summer as well. In one-way or another, I’m sure everyone in our group learned a lot from their experience with Portland Enrichment. Everyone had a chance to communicate with literally hundreds of people during the summer. I believe an important skill is learning about how others interact, and we interacted with a variety of great people and received some in-depth feedback about Lents.
During the summer we knocked on about 1000 doors and collected around 200 surveys. At the conclusion of the program, Portland Enrichment will release its End of Program analysis and final statistics. We will be able to fully assess data from the residents of Lents. Many people in Lents will be receiving emails from our partner organizations, which explain how they can get involved in the community. Our team encountered many people who were enthusiastic about getting involved.
At the beginning of the program I didn’t expect that we would have as many people as we did commit to participating in community actions. Out of the people we had a chance to talk to, I would estimate more than half of them took the survey and challenge. Unfortunately, we knocked on a lot of houses where no one was home. Something our group will address at our next meeting is the best times to canvass. This summer we usually canvassed on Saturdays in the early afternoon. This seems like a logical time to catch people in their homes because typically most people have weekends off from work. However, many days this summer were very nice and I’m sure a lot of families were out enjoying the weather Portland has to offer this time of year.
We will try our best to reach as many people as possible next summer. Nowadays, it seems people are so busy and some people don’t spend much time at home like they used to. But it does seem like many people are still eager to get involved. While canvassing, I heard a few people say how they wish they could communicate more with their neighbors and have more community events or block parties. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems people don’t talk with their neighbors like they used to 10-15 years ago.
I remember talking to a man who had four kids, had a job, went to school and was also involved with the community. I thought that this man must not have time to do anything. It was great getting to hear stories from the residents of Lents. It has been a pleasure getting to know people in the community and I plan to see some of the people I met again in the future.