The summer we have longed for is knocking on the door!
“Every person you encounter has a struggle, a hidden wound, something they carry that hurts them. Be kind -may be something you do or say today will be good medicine they need.”
– from the book “Keep Moving” by Maggie Smith
The month of May marks many traditional milestones, special days, and holidays in our society, from graduations and proms to Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. It is a time that can be filled with joyous celebrations, marking the closing of one chapter and the opening of another, and challenging for some. Thankfully, this year feels a little more “normal” as we begin to welcome back some of these traditional celebrations in person. Once again, we see how deeply resilient our community is as creative solutions and safe festivities mark these pivotal moments.
As we flip the calendar each month, and things continue to look brighter, it can feel natural just to get back to life “the way it used to be” – to throw ourselves into the hustle of activities, social obligations, and a more traditional work schedule. But we would be remiss to get back to how things used to be without properly addressing what was working for us and what was not. What are the things we have missed, and what can we do without? How can we take some of the most challenging lessons we have learned individually and collectively and incorporate them into our day-to-day lives?
This opportunity for reflection and change has been on my mind, especially as May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed what millions of Americans have been quietly dealing with: depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. While the pandemic has laid bare this hidden suffering, a stigma remains. Many of our community partners and grantees work with individuals from all walks of life that face mental health challenges. These organizations are essential to ensuring our community has access to mental health resources. Our Youth Fund has made mental health a focus, connecting with youth around the county, supporting peers, and letting each other know they are not alone. We can learn from their wisdom, and we are committed to continuing a focus on this need that 2020 helped us to recognize more than ever.
We are excited about our final preparations for our annual meeting. We will honor our community’s incredible commitment and impact and come together to share good news, celebrate our community, and provide updates on our plans for the remainder of 2021 and beyond. You can register here for our June 16th annual meeting.
The summer we have longed for is knocking on the door. Let’s lighten the loads we have been carrying, embrace the sunnier days, and show ourselves some grace. We have earned it. I hope to see you enjoying the sunshine soon.