By Cindy Andrews
Each month throughout the year brings with it pros and cons. For some reason, February seems to make its disadvantages more evident, cluttering our roads and sustaining temperatures many of us are ready to jettison. Yet with some introspection, February can call to mind our collective need to learn to be – and to practice being – mindful. Overcoming those seasonal annoyances and tasks and just being – mindful.
A recent issue of Breathe magazine suggests five commonly cited ways to achieve well being:
- connect with people around you;
- stay active;
- be mindful;
- keep learning; and,
- be generous
In keeping with these principles, we here at Community Foundation of Lorain County try to be mindful of all the ways you, our donor partners, connect with us, your community. Lately, I’ve been thinking about that every day.
Where can we be most generous with those around us? Where can we connect people who care with causes that matter?
Through the many opportunities at the Lorain County MetroParks, we can stay active even on the coldest of days. Our community members can stay active by walking any one of the many hiking and walking trails, swimming, playing basketball and even pickleball. The many public libraries also have oodles of things to do ranging from the obvious one of finding a good book – or two – to read, running the gamut to audio and video offerings, book clubs, classes, and for some, help with our tax returns.
The various affiliate funds’ programs and initiatives of the African American Community Fund, Hispanic Fund, Women’s Fund, and Youth Fund help us stay mindful of those in our community who sometimes need a more focused kind of mindfulness to provide grants and programming in those impactful areas.
Our community keeps learning through a wide variety of day and evening classes, seminars and recitals at one or more of the fourteen local school districts, the Lorain County Joint Vocational School, Lorain County Community College, and Oberlin College. Generous donors support scholarship funds to do just that, whether an individual is just starting their postsecondary career or going back after a respite. As a reminder, the deadline is coming up on March 2.
My own personal favorite is being mindful of a generous spirit. I think of it in many ways: being generous with a talent – sharing something that we know or can do to help. Being generous with our time for a friend or neighbor who may be in need of an open heart and willing ear. Being generous with our other “treasures” – the often necessary financial generosity that supports so much else.
We all have so much to be thankful for. We are fortunate in so many ways. Thanks to you and so many others, we have so many available resources, right here in our communities. Let’s celebrate that!
This is your Lorain County. Be mindful of this extraordinary community. Come learn about how you can connect with people around you to share your talent, time, and resources. As you can, be generous. For more information, come see us at 9080 Leavitt Road, Elyria, OH, 44035 or at www.peoplewhocare.org.