By Cindy Andrews
We hope you had a fantastic holiday season! Here we are into the New Year, preparing our resolutions and trying to remember how to dress for the coldest month. January is the beginning of the calendar year, and it’s always a good time to reflect on the extraordinary work being done in our Lorain County communities every day. It is also a great time to visit with our community partners and review strategic planning ideas. In doing both, we are reminded just how blessed we are – in what we have been able to do so far, and in what we still have the opportunity to accomplish.
Quite recently, one of the county’s local school district treasurers offered how wonderful it is to have a partner like Community Foundation of Lorain County working in concert with them and their respective partners in community. Another one of our community leaders suggested that without grant funding from the Foundation over the years, we would be hard pressed to see so many successes in our community today.
It is especially at this time of year that we are reminded of Eleanor Roosevelt’s observation that, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
And so it is also a good time of year to ask, “What are your New Year’s resolutions and who will you work with in the new year to achieve them?” What is your best opportunity in the new year to help the causes that matter the most to you? Is it volunteering, mentoring, or donating? Is it all of the above?
Here are a couple of thoughts to consider – the community grants deadline is February 1st; these grants assist Lorain County non-profits. The scholarships deadline is March 2nd for those who are either just starting their postsecondary education or those who are returning to college or career tech in the fall. And, the small mini grants, made available by the Lakeland Foundation, are awarded on a monthly basis. All the necessary details are available at the Community Foundation of Lorain county’s website, peoplewhocare.org.
Because community foundations generally accomplish their work fairly quietly and often behinds the scenes, it can be easy to lose sight of how important they can be – not just here in Lorain County, but everywhere. According to the National Council on Community Foundations, community foundations play a key role in identifying and solving community problems. In 2011, they gave an estimated $4.3 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in fields that included the arts and education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief. The Community Foundations National Standards Board confirms operational excellence in six key areas. Foundations that comply with these standards can display the official National Standards Seal. This includes Community Foundation of Lorain County. They often serve a unique role in a community. While their giving role is often the most visible and most often discussed, the true value of community foundations lies in the fact that they bring people together from all walks of life to tackle problems and seize opportunities. We invest in the people and organizations that work to make our communities better for everyone. We work to inspire generosity so future generations have the resources they need to keep making our communities better and stronger after we are all gone. We do a lot of things, but we never do it alone.
We hope that you can find a way to include us in your 2019 New Year plans. There are so many ways to do that. Join one of our community conversations. Work with your favorite local non-profit, or support your hometown school endowment. Community members choose community foundations like ours because of our presence in the community and because of our ability to make connections in the community. We hope you will join us, if you haven’t already. And we hope that 2019 brings you much success as you pursue your New Year’s resolutions and plans.