Community Heart & Soul Testimonials

"One of the things Community Heart & Soul has done is make the community believe in itself."
Patrick Wright,  
Executive Director, Gardiner Main Street,  
Gardiner, Maine
"Our foundation has been leading effective community engagement since 2005. We believe strongly that local decision-making is key to building strong, sustainable communities. With Orton’s experience and support, we see an opportunity to move our work from good to great."
Nancy Van Milligen,  
resident and CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque,  
Dubuque, Iowa
"The fabric of a community is built by its volunteers. By placing volunteers front and center, Community Heart & Soul has helped to weave the fabric of our community."
Mike Bestor,  
former City Manager,  
Golden, Colorado
"The best part of Community Heart & Soul is it filters through what you like about your town. Puts discussion and stories in a positive direction that drives decisions and future in a positive direction."
Sue Lessard,  
Town Manager,  
Bucksport, Maine
"We are creating successful economic development that pays tribute to where we came from. Without that base, we risk becoming ‘some revitalized city’ instead of an evolving Biddeford with culture and flavor and strengths that need to be maintained while adding the new."
Delilah Poupore,  
Executive Director, Heart of Biddeford,  
Biddeford, Maine
"Our partnership with Orton to bring Community Heart & Soul to small towns in Hancock County has changed the way the Community Foundation does business in a powerful way by making our grant-making less transactional and more transformational."
Julie Brown,  
former Program Director, The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation,  
Findlay, Ohio
"We created new ways for the council and residents to meet like “Mondays in Mt Blanchard” where everyone can come together to plan how they can make the Heart & Soul of our town come alive every day. All over home cooked food."
Cynthia Morrison,  
Mayor,  
Mt. Blanchard, Ohio
"People from other towns know about what is going on in Cascade because they hear about the new ideas and more volunteers that are creating momentum."
Molly,  
Heart & Soul Team member and resident of Cascade, Iowa,  
"Heart & Soul is a positive disruptive force in most communities. It causes residents to turn out for meetings and conversations in ways that are outside traditional norms."
Doug Easterling,  
Ph.D., Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy,  
Wake Forest School of Medicine
"The most important thing that Community Heart & Soul has done is create a connection among people. The people who are now connected are going to continue to work together. "
Vasanthi Meyette,  
Heart & Soul of Essex Team Member,  
Essex, Vermont
"The power of Community Heart & Soul is that it created a critical mass of positivity that overcame old differences that had become obstacles in the community."
John Alden,  
Planning Commissioner,  
Essex Junction, Vermont
"We passionately believe the humanities inspire people to make a difference and come together to advance cultural diversity, economic vibrancy, and an equitable society. With humanities at the heart of planning and development, local values and voices become the foundation for building communities that are connected, innovative, competitive, and strong."
Laurie Zierer,  
Executive Director, Pennsylvania Humanities Council,  
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
"If you really want to take an in-depth look at what matters to the members of your community and create a stronger, more cohesive community, Heart & Soul is the way to go."
Thom Harnett,  
Mayor,  
Gardiner, Maine
"Community Heart & Soul helped us instill confidence in investors and secure grants. How did this happen? It starts with the first guiding principle of Heart and Soul: Involve Everyone. The private sector looks for a level of certainty when they invest in a community, and that level of certainty means something."
Daniel Stevenson,  
Economic Development Director,  
Biddeford, Maine
"Community Heart & Soul develops our identity and our plans together. We know who we are and want to be – the character of our community. We want business with an ethic – it’s the only type of businesses we want – and Community Heart & Soul represents the ethic of our community for all to see. Businesses can see how they can fit in. And that this is a place they want to be."
Jackie Porcello,  
Heart & Soul Coordinator,  
Mt. Blanchard, Ohio

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Take the first step by downloading our free guide to Heart & Soul. It's packed with information that will show you what Heart & Soul is, what to expect, and how to get your community started. Get your download today, and start along the path to a stronger, healthier, and more economically vibrant community based on what matters most to everyone in your town!