November CEO Blog

“What if today, we were just grateful for everything?”

– Charlie Brown 

This quote, shared in the classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, simply captures the essence of Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. The holidays can be a paradox – both joyful and challenging. It can be difficult to feel gratitude, especially when those challenges are out of our control. 

As I think about what I can control and what brings me joy and gratitude, I think about how I can impact my community. It can be overwhelming to think about significant change, but it begins with each of us taking action. And this means not just the larger community of Lorain County that we call home but also the smaller circles we all have in our lives.  

Reaching out to older relatives facing insolation during the winter months can have a surprising impact on their well-being. Friends that might randomly pop up into our mind—why not give them a call or send them a note? A neighbor we have not seen or talked to for a while – take a moment to knock on their door and check-in. These small actions are the building blocks of community and gratitude. I plan on holding myself accountable and taking these small actions, and I hope you will join me. 

As we embark on the holiday season, it is also a busy time here at your Community Foundation. December 15th marks the opening of the application period for our scholarship program. Please share this fantastic opportunity with Lorain County students in your life that could benefit from scholarships to pursue higher education or trade school. Or just spread the word to those who may know students looking to take the next step on their journey. For more information, visit  

There is one more reason that this is one of my favorite times of the year: the launch of the Toni Morrison Essay Contest for Young People. This essay contest is a fantastic way to keep our hometown hero, Toni Morrison’s memory and legacy, in motion while inspiring the next generation of writers to find their voices. This year the committee has decided to offer two options for students to respond: “If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.” and “What’s the world for you if you can’t make it up the way you want it?.” Hopefully, one of these quotes will inspire our young people to use this safe space to explore.  

We can only effectively meet the needs of our young people as a Community Foundation and community if we take the time to listen to what they are telling us. We began our Toni Morrison Essay Contest three years ago, before the pandemic, to hear from and understand what our young people were experiencing. Since then, we have learned from and been inspired by the thoughtful essays submitted by students across Lorain County. I eagerly look forward to hearing what they all have to say this year.   

Before I finish, I would like to congratulate the 2023 Difference Makers: Dr. Norva Ross, Carmen Verhosek, Tim Harris, Linda Styer, and the Lorain County Chamber. Each of the recipients has a connection to the Community Foundation, and we are excited to celebrate all their hard work at the gala with Leadership Lorain County in February.  

I wish you and your family good health and happiness this Thanksgiving.  

In gratitude,