When I think about non-profit organizations, I mostly think of helping those who cannot help themselves - those suffering in some way from poverty or illness or both. So why would I support The Cohousing Association? Isn’t cohousing about the place you live? Aren’t most of the people who live there middle class or above? Why would I want to be part of an organization like that?
The answer is the same as any organization. We join because we are stronger together, because we can accomplish things as a group that we cannot achieve alone. Cohousing is about the place I live, but it is also about the places other people live and the impact we all have on the broader world. Cohousing is about the things we learn by living together and the ways we take those lessons to those who will never live in cohousing themselves. Cohousing is about community living and community life, and it is about so much more that we can become when we are supported by community.
Often as we do the tremendous work of creating a cohousing community the word “cohousing” comes to mean simply the community we are building on our one piece of land. It makes sense as a sort of shorthand for the huge package of things that have to come together to make it all work. At that same time, cohousing is so much more. Cohousing is a community not only of 20 households, or even 50, but of thousands of households that live this way of life and thousands more who aspire to community living.
In that sense, cohousing desperately needs the work of The Cohousing Association of the United States to bring us together. When we connect, we inspire each other, nurture each other, and prop each other up when we get discouraged. We share resources. Maybe most important of all, we help each other spread the word so the world can learn about the amazing power of cohousing to build strong, joyful, healthy communities and so that those who are already believers can find each other.
Perhaps that is why Katie McCammant recently told me that “every cohousing group, forming or built, should be supporting the organization financially.” Katie has been working with cohousing communities for decades. She knows how much support we can get from each other and how important it is to have a connecting foundation like the Cohousing Association.
We hope you will consider supporting cohousing with your talents and your treasure. If you would like to volunteer with CohoUS, send us an email at karincohous [at] gmail [dot] com
and we’ll be glad to help you find the right fit for your talents. Community contributions can be budgeted ahead in an amount of $25 per household per year. Individual monthly contributions of as little as $5 can help spread the social movement of cohousing across our country and into our world.