Here Are Some Ways to Get Involved (and Get Working Member Hours Too!)
- Run for the Weavers Way Board of Directors.
- Attend a New Member Orientation. See the Online Events Calendar at www.weaversway.coop/events for times and locations.
- Have a vision for how the Co-op can better serve children and families? Attend the newly forming Ambler Youth Outreach Committee at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 in The Café at the Ambler store.
- Come to an AAC meeting! We usually meet on the fourth Thursday of the month. The next meeting is 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Ambler Senior Center, 45 Forest Ave.
- Have a talent or skill to share with your neighbors? Host a workshop, do a demo or give a talk to earn Working Member hours! Contact Programs Coordinator Stephanie Bruneau at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- Starting Jan. 19, attend a $4 Friday Dinner! Every Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m., get a main course and two sides, with a vegan option available, made from scratch by the Prepared Foods staff, for just $4. Dine in the Café, or take out! The menu changes every week.
- Volunteer for area organizations with like-minded goals, such as Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, Ambler EAC, Plant Ambler, Ambler Main Street, Meals on Wheels at the Montgomery County Senior Adult Activities Center or Ambler STARS tutoring program. You can earn Weavers Way Working Member hours too! Email us to learn how to get your hours recorded.
There is an amazing amount of energy in Ambler. Our community organized for five years before Weavers Way Ambler became a reality. The Ambler Food Co-op worked tirelessly to make our walkable neighborhood grocery store a reality, and once a partnership with Weavers Way became an option, our 550 member households were thrilled to unite with such a well-known and established cooperative.
Before our partnership, the AFC Board of Directors wanted to ensure that Ambler-area participation in the Co-op remained strong and vibrant. Will members see this new store as an outcome of their efforts? Will Weavers Way be able to effectively incorporate the unique needs of our community into its programming? Will the store become the neighborhood hub we wished for? Will our members become engaged working households — or passive non-working shoppers? It was from these concerns that the Ambler Advisory Committee was born.
Initially, AAC comprised former AFC leaders and volunteers, and our focus was the merger of our organizations and the opening of the store. Now here we are, several months later, with a store of our own in Ambler. Our membership numbers continue to grow; since our doors opened in October 2017, more than 700 new Ambler-area households have joined Weavers Way. This has exceeded our expectations and underscores how committed our neighborhood is to this movement.
Our challenge now is to engage all these new member households. It’s a big job! The Co-op is getting used to Ambler, and Ambler is getting used to cooperatives. We are still at the beginning of a journey. Opening Weavers Way Ambler took an immense amount of work from both staff and volunteers. And though we are toasting with champagne, our community’s work has only just begun!
Over the next several months, AAC will concentrate on meeting the current needs of our community and store. Our goals include:
- Maintaining and monitoring the Partnership Agreement originally developed by AFC and Weavers Way.
- Engaging Ambler-area members and encouraging them to share their talents with the community and support local events.
- Educating the community about the unique opportunities the Co-op provides. Though we are a prime neighborhood for a co-op, we still have hearts to open and minds to shift.
- Facilitating the creation of committees and clubs that meet the needs of our community.
- Choosing a “Giving Twosday” nonprofit recipient once a year. For our turn in 2018, we proudly chose the North Penn Valley Boys & Girls Club.
- Encouraging everyone to shop the Co-op!
We also hope this committee will consistently represent the concerns and needs of our community so the Ambler store will continue to evolve into our own unique marketplace.
As with all new beginnings, our community has been vocal about the ways our store can be adjusted and improved. We are thrilled with the rapid and thoughtful response of the Weavers Way Ambler team!
Each day, our market better fits the needs of our community. We encourage our local members to continue to shop, participate, and be vocal.
Carly Chelder, left, and Wendy Fry co-chair the AAC and are both former educators and mothers of small children. Carly formerly ran the School Marketplace Program at Weavers Way Community Programs.