Good work happening all around us

My partner and I have set out on an end of year trip to relax and reflect after a year that had me traveling all around the country to collaborate alongside nonprofits--and the people who fuel them. 

We've had an opportunity to participate in some exciting things. Often times, for me, that translates into telling stories about people who transform communities, or people who are able to move forward in their life thanks, in part, to the generosity of another.  

I recognize how lucky I am to be the person to hear the stories, and share them with others.

As I sit here early this morning staring out at the sea with a lukewarm cup of coffee, I realized my mind was turning to some of the incredible stories that have been shared in the media because they were stories that needed to be told. Amidst all of the bad things, for lack of a better way to describe them, happening in our world, there have been many, many good things happening all around us. 

On a local level. And on a national one. 

We just need to seek them out. And ensure that they get told.

Here's just a few of the many good things our clients are doing, that have been picked up by the media, that I've been thinking about this morning. I can't wait to see what the Club for Boys, Black Hills Works and the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend does in 2016.

A Community United: Club for Boys a place where boys mature into men

Not many people — especially not many youths — would choose to spend their Saturdays rummaging through old clothes and cleaning glassware. But 14-year-old Lane Olson actually finds the task “fun.” He enjoys it so much that it has become part of his routine for the past year, and part of his plans for at least another year. Read the story here

Editorial: See the world in a new light

“It is easy to stand in judgment of others…. It is much harder to understand the perspectives of others.” And, at Black Hills Works, I think that we do a great job at facilitating that understanding. For the people we serve, we remind them of how much is within their reach. For the community, we hope that through the application of creative and innovative technologies, members will see firsthand that people with disabilities have much to offer. Read the editorial by Connie Melvin

Foundation grants target poverty in the Quad-Cities

Bridgette Ford is getting back on her feet. So is Jermaine Davis. All because of two local programs to help people overcome different levels of poverty. And those programs now are getting a boost. The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend is joining the effort to move residents of Rock Island and Scott counties out of poverty and homelessness through two grants that build on existing, successful programs operating in the region. Read the story

Generosity of our donors transforms our community

One of the reasons I love coming to work every day is that I get to witness our community transformed through the generosity of our donors. As the president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, my mission each day is to inspire and empower people in our community to be passionate about transforming our region through philanthropy. Read the editorial