We care.

It's a simple concept that packs enough potential to wipe out a complex problem worldwide. Community Renewal Shawnee held its kickoff banquet Friday evening, showing many signs –– both physical and spiritual –– that residents do care.

We care.

It's a simple concept that packs enough potential to wipe out a complex problem worldwide.

Community Renewal Shawnee held its kickoff banquet Friday evening, showing many signs –– both physical and spiritual –– that residents do care.

Though an intentional caring program may be a prototype in this area, community renewal has been around for a couple decades.

About 350 attendees –– more than expected –– heard keynote speaker Mack McCarter, founder/coordinator of Community Renewal International, share his message of restoration. McCarter has been championing the project for 21 years.

The Avedis Foundation has taken delegations to Shreveport, Louisiana, to see how the effort works there –– re-establishing neighborhoods by re-establishing relationships.

Brandon Dyer, employed by Avedis, is the coordinator for the Pottawatomie County Community Renewal project –– the local effort to bring caring back into the community.

Dyer, along with Jan Tipton and Travis Flood, rolled out the red signs and challenged the audience to make a purposeful effort to reach out to others.

To learn more about Community Renewal International, visit communityrenewal.us or, to learn more locally, visit wecareshawnee.org or call (405) 273-1035.

Watch for the full story about the event's launch in a future edition of The Shawnee News-Star.