When people work together, great things happen!

Loving the Shoals is about empowering and celebrating those who truly care about community — its people, potential, and possibilities


To live in a well-connected community where people are better informed and engaged in making a difference together


To discover remarkable ways we can all work together to help everyone live healthier, more prosperous, and meaningful lives

The Shoals

A place with remarkable people doing extraordinary things... together!

We are people just like you. We enjoy living in the Shoals and consider our community to be a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Just like you, we are very concerned about many important issues: jobs, under-employment, unemployment, economic instability, tax increases, gas/oil prices, affordable healthcare, senior care, and more. We are also concerned about our future and believe that what we do today will impact how well our children and grandchildren handle their world.

We are among a growing consensus of Shoals residents that believe now is the time for us to come together across all the boundaries that for so long have divided us and move as one in addressing issues that impact all of our lives. Working together, we will strengthen and mobilize our community caring power - helping each other achieve a better quality of life and brighter future.

We know that bringing people and organizations together for collective action is a mighty challenge, but we have hope. Cities, like Tupelo, Knoxville, Charleston, Stillwater and others are learning with great success to transform the isolation and fragmentation within their communities into connectedness and caring for the whole. If they can do it, so can we!

We invite individuals, families, associations, and institutions all across the Shoals to become more collaborative, inclusive, open to learning, and committed to making a difference together.

  • Affirm and build upon the remarkable contributions of our local residents, associations, and institutions - encouraging them to work together more efficiently and effectively to improve lives, strengthen our communities, and prepare us for the future.

  • Build a strong relational, civic infrastructure that supports innovation, invites broader public participation, escalates volunteerism, and increases local resource development.

  • Create a vast inventory of our abundant, but often unrecognized, wealth of local assets - the gifts, skills, and capabilities of people (all ages) who share common interests and are searching for meaningful ways to make a difference in our community.

  • Multiply the power and usefulness of our local community assets by connecting and targeting them for greater outcomes - using what we have to create what we need.

  • Launch collective impact strategies that advance a more comprehensive and adaptive approach for human, community, economic, and leadership development - creating best practices and collaborative solutions that future generations can build upon.

"When a group of people discover what they have, they find power. When people join together in new connections and relationships, they build power. When people become more productive together, they exercise their power to address problems and release dreams."

John O'Brien (When People Care Enough to Act)

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, hundreds of displaced families found refuge in the Shoals. Community service providers came to the rescue and did a remarkable job. To be better prepared for emergencies, service providers came together in 2006 to discover simple and more effective ways for nonprofits, churches, government, and others to work together more efficiently and effectively to improve people's lives.

After months of collaboration and with the help of a local technology company, service providers created the Shoals Emergency Assistance Network (S.E.A.N.Tracker). This web-based technology, now used by 68 Shoals helping agencies, enables service providers to keep track of the people they serve and quickly gather resources from other agencies. What began as a local community model for building capacity for increased cooperation and collaboration, has now spread to over 800 cities all across the country, and is now entering Canada and Africa.

In 2011, service providers, elected officials, and others gathered for collaborative discussions orchestrated by Ed Castile, Director of Alabama Industrial Develop and Training. The purpose of these gatherings was to discover new and exciting ways for improving people's lives and strengthening our communities. These discussions produced collective strategies for large-scale social impact, called the Loving the Shoals Strategic Plan.

On April 12, 2011, the Legislature of Alabama adopted Senate Joint Resolution No. 74 which honored the progress of the Loving the Shoals movement. This was orchestrated by Alabama Senator Tammy Irons. Click here to see a copy of the Resolution.

In 2014, plans came together that increase cooperation and develop collaborative solutions at neighborhood, city-wide, and regional levels. Loving the Shoals became an incorporated community benefit organization in September, 2014. Plans included the development of the Shoals Care Network, Community/Faith-based Partnerships, and Neighborhood Resource Centers. We also strive to increase volunteerism and create new avenues of civic engagement that inspire children, youth, adults, and families.

Loving the Shoals Strategic Plan

This plan holds great promise for creating sustainable solutions in the Shoals that enable us to:

  • Further develop cradle to career initiatives that engage school/family/community partnerships that prepare students to become highly skilled workers and responsible productive citizens.

  • Expand effective strategies that improve the economic and life outcomes of at-risk youth.

  • Create more and better jobs for the un and under-employed (estimated at 14.4% combined).

  • Use cross-sector collaboration to develop a more reliable, educated workforce in the Shoals.

  • Decrease poverty (26,321 people) and end child hunger - 8,140 children are food insecure.

  • Create regional networks of community service providers that share best practices, reduce duplication of efforts, connect resources, and save organizations 18% or more annually.

  • Implement proven strategies that increase volunteerism and community engagement by 300%.

  • Help nonprofit, church, and government agencies to better allocate resources in a way that is more effective, accountable, and worthy of public trust.

  • Reduce our dependence on state/federal funds by tapping into an abundant wealth of local community assets, including $85.3 million - estimated annual charitable giving in the Shoals.