November CEO Blog

“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” – Robert Holden 

What an incredible autumn it has been here in Lorain County. This season of gratitude brings a host of opportunities to reflect and be thankful for our family, friends, community, and all that brings us joy. I hope you are embracing this beautiful season with intention, gratitude, and purpose.

For nearly two years now, we all have been challenged to find new and meaningful ways to connect with each other, whether it has been with our family and friends, neighbors, or a stranger in the grocery store. In our effort to keep each other safe, many of us have retreated from each other, which can result in building walls in our community rather than bridges. Trust in each other is essential to moving Lorain County forward.  We embrace this at the Community Foundation, and trust has been at the core of what we have done for over forty years.

We can continue to see examples of bridges being built as our Residential Engagement Initiatives take place, including our partnership with In Our Backyard (ioby). This non-profit is a crowd-funding organization that focuses on neighbors taking care of each other, encouraging civic participation, and building trust between neighbors. This initiative seeks residents to create, lead, and crowd-fund projects in the City of Lorain, turning hope into action. With the incredible support of our Board of Directors, we have set aside $10K to match projects up to $500 each in the City of Lorain and look forward to expanding this initiative in the City of Elyria in 2022. That may seem like a low dollar amount, but it is incredible to see how effective this grassroots effort is and how neighbors use small grants to make real connections and impact.

One of the projects that recently came to fruition is “Pillow Therapy”. This concept sparked from Mone’t Roberts, a Lorain resident who found healing in the sewing, stuffing, and creation of beautiful pillows. She wanted to share this experience with others. She imagined small groups of women coming together to create and share their thoughts, pain, worries, and trauma. She was able to get her project funded, share her passion with her community, and make lasting connections between neighbors in doing so. We don’t have to look far for innovative ideas or individuals that are committed to making Lorain County a better place. They are all around us.

Do you have an idea that could make an impact on your neighbors or know of a group looking for the next step in the evolution of their concept? If you have a special community project and are not sure where to start, give us a call to learn more about opportunities for matching funds.  We want to hear from you.

During this holiday season, let’s vow to take the time to chat with a neighbor, ask a friend to go for a wintery walk, or reach out to a senior in your life who may be feeling lonely. We can all take small steps to build bridges and make our little corner of our world a brighter place.

I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season full of gratitude and warm hearts.

Be well,

Cindy