An Important Appeal
From: Richard L. Kohlhaas (
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 21:30:39 -0700 (PDT)
An Important Appeal from Coho/US International Board Member Steven Ablondi:

Maybe you don't know the Coho/US digital auction currently underway is an 
appeal ? This fundraiser is not like Groupon - unrelenting offers in your inbox 
insisting that
you can buy something if, for any reason, you might happen to like, want or 
need it. This
little auction is how our association has chosen to fund its existence this 
year. Cohousers
are kind, gentle people who aren't banging you over the head constantly asking 
for money.
The auction was chosen as a vehicle by which we might raise money in an 
enjoyable way
for supporters during this 2013 calendar year, in-between national conferences.

My name is Steven Ablondi. I live most of each year in South Africa. In 2011 I 
the website of the Cohousing Association of the United States. On the website I 
there was a national conference! I had heard of cohousing, but thought there 
was only a
couple experimental communities and one book. Although I was only in America 
for two
months, I drove down to Washington, D.C. to spend almost a week at conference. 
changed my life!

I found that thousands of people are successfully living in cohousing and that 
hundreds of
them were at the conference. I met people from Japan, Australia, the UK, Europe 
Canada. I'm now forming a senior cohousing community in South Africa and I 
regularly with people I've met at conference. Yesterday I asked Raines Cohen 
and Betsy
Morris about an academic program in sustainability at UC Berkeley, and whether 
any of
those students might like to come intern with us at Memel Organics. My wife, 
trades ideas with Shari Leach about the two sports programs for 
under-privileged children
they respectively run. I met Shari's dad, Jim, at conference. Cindy advised 
Jessie Durrett
about her prospects to intern with the United Nations, at conference. Dave Wann 
wrote an
article about Memel Organics, our project in S.A. Bryan Bowen, in addition to 
our senior cohousing community, has partnered with me to found a charity to 
dignified, warm housing for elderly black South Africans who suffered under 
These homes are being built using cohousing principles.

Anyone can come to conference and meet many of these people and a hundred more.
Many folks come to conference thirsty for info on how to form a new community. 
just come to gloriously socialize with like-minded people.

Now I'm a member of the board of Coho/US. I've donated thousands of dollars of 
expenses each year to the organization, spreading the word of cohousing in 
America and
abroad and making my life better, one friend and contact at a time.

You are a member of a community. Statistically speaking, in America, that makes 
you a
ground-breaker, a forward-thinker, close to a visionary. You, or some founding 
members of
your community, put in countless hours to achieve this. Has it been worth it?
Congratulations on your cohousing lifestyle. We applaud you. But your work is 
not done.
Neither you, nor your community, is an island. Pay it forward! Allow people 
like me to find
out about cohousing. Don't ask what the cohousing association can do for you. 
particular year. Be broader minded than that. Without a website, myself and 
others wouldn't have been exposed to cohousing. Without a conference, myself and
countless others wouldn't have learned enough to actually form a community. It 
is the
Cohousing Association of the United States that maintains the website and 
organizes the
conferences. It costs money!

This year, tonight, there are people who will not be cold because Bryan & 
Steven met at
conference and are now building natural, warm houses based on cohousing 
principles to
replace sheet-metal shacks. This is all taking place, now, because people in 
years past
financially supported a Coho/US.

So again, Pay It Forward. Let's keep a website. Let's have future regional and 
cohousing conferences. You have put more effort into your home than any other
homeowners in America - why stop now?

Bid on an item. Or go to the Coho/US website and donate a hundred dollars. If 
you can't
do that, donate ten or twenty dollars. It will be appreciated.

To paraphrase one of the greatest speeches of our nation: Ask not what a 
association can do for you - ask what you can do for The Cohousing Association 
of the
United States. And lets keep changing the world, one community at a time.

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