National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month is held each year in November. One week in November, Rapid City as well as many other cities dedicate a week to runaway youth awareness and prevention, a well as homelessness and hunger awareness. This is specific time set aside as an annual week of action where people can come together to draw attention to poverty in their communities.
It's Friday night, and at this point, I'm somewhere between Ohio and Massachusetts, a solid 33,000 feet in the air. I'm heading back home to Boston after am enjoyable, fun, and sure... I'll admit it... exhausting week in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Let's just say that I'm not used to 5 consecutive days of 5:30am alarms from the iPhone. That's a fact.
I had an opportunity last week to go to Chamberlain, SD to take part in the South Dakota Housing Development Authority’s 11th annual Homeless Summit.
The social issues theater group from Teen Up that I am a part of, Take Action, was performing a skit called Lost, about a homeless teen. I was also invited to take part in a panel discussion about ways our state can better support runaway and homeless youth. This was of course, the first panel I had ever taken part in. I was very nervous to be speaking in front of all of these important leaders in South Dakota.
I'm 39,000 (or so) feet in the air right now en route to BushCONNECT in Minneapolis. The flight has been pretty bumpy (not my favorite). But the chicken salad for lunch on the plane was actually amazing (for once!).
My colleagues and I are pretty darn excited for the next few days of conversations and connections with people all across the upper Midwest region who are doing good work to strengthen communities and make life just a bit better for all.
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for all of us, I think. There is great movement on a number of projects we are partnering on. In Boston, I've been shoulder deep designing season brochures and subscription collateral for a number of the Off-Broadway theaters in New York City that we work with. They will all be announcing their new seasons shortly (and let me tell you, there are some kick butt plays heading toward the Great White Way this fall).
While living and working from my home in Illinois hasn’t been all that conducive to attending Morning Fill Up every month, I have been introduced to the topics discussed, conversations provoked and ideas that have come out of these events from behind the scenes (ah… the benefits of the interwebs!).
I'm en route back to Boston after a wonderful few days in the Quad Cities, primarily to celebrate Numad Patrick as he married his lovely wife Rachel at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport on Saturday. Kelly was able to fly in from Rapid City, and I came in from Boston.
Matt held down The Garage back in Rapid City because, while Kelly and I were sitting on the sidelines watching the wedding party "cut a rug" on the dance floor, Minneapolis-based indie rock group Bad Bad Hats were taking the stage as part of The Garage Concert Series we co-produce with Jason Alley at Jackalope
Numad isn't just a consulting firm. Matt, Kelly, Patrick and I have a lot of different interests. We love supporting other people's ideas. And we do what we can to offer opportunities for people to come together to enjoy life.
One of the fun things we've been able to do over the past year is work alongside Jason Alley of Jackalope Studios to partner on The Garage Concert Series, which transforms the historic coworking space in Downtown Rapid City into a super chill concert venue a few nights in the spring and fall.
When we dreamed up Morning Fill Up a few years ago, we didn't realize how many wonderful people would be willing to say "yes" to an invitation to spend 24 hours immersing themselves in conversations with people from across our Black Hills region. We have been humbled by their presence, and have learned from their wisdom.
Our second guest ever--back in December 2014--was Jen Ford Reedy, president of The Bush Foundation, an organization that has been an important champion of this conversation series from the very beginning. Today, we are excited to announce that we'll be sitting down with Jen again when we take Morning Fill Up on the road this May for bushCON.
Morning Fill Up is this Tuesday, March 29 at 7am, featuring special guest Brent Phillips, president and CEO of Regional Health. We've got a bunch of questions for him, but we want to know what you want to talk about. So, please take a moment now to submit your questions for Tuesday's Morning Fill Up below. We'll do our best to integrate your questions into the conversation.
Click below to fill out the form and submit your questions.
As we look to the New Year, each of us at The Numad Group have taken a moment to reflect on all that we are grateful for.
We have learned from you.
Grown with you.
Been changed because of you.
And are inspired by you.
This year, much was different, and yet, much remained the same—namely, the passion you bring to your missions that make us want to be better, and do more. To us, that is what being a Numad is: the pursuit of a greater good.
The newest issue of Scene hit mailboxes earlier this week, and I've got two piece in there--a feature on Ambrosian entrepreneurs, and the other the "definitive Brian Hemesath profile" (I've written about his work as a costume designer for "Sesame Street," "Saturday Night Live," Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway, and "The Today Show" Halloween Costumes a few times before).
When we co-founded The Garage coworking space in Rapid City, South Dakota, nearly two years ago now, we hoped that it might become a place for community. For conversations. For collaborations.
A place for people to come together. To enjoy one another. To meet new friends. To do good work. To dream up new possibilities.
As I zipped down the coast yesterday on Amtrak toward New York City for a meeting on this beautiful fall morning, and spent a few minutes (okay maybe longer) on Facebook seeing what friends were up to, an article from The New York Times popped up on my feed (thanks Erica Rieder and Heather Border for sharing it). "Choose to Be Grateful. It Will Make You Happier." Here's how it spoke to me.
Though I don’t walk as much as I should (which is why my Fitbit step count has barely broken the 4-digit mark today…eek), I do enjoy taking an afternoon stroll. And after a parade of small to-do’s move across my desk, it is helpful to unclutter my mind to focus on the tasks ahead.
Matt Ehlman doesn’t really want you to meet him. He wants you to meet everybody else. He’d rather you connect face-to-face with the nonprofits, business owners, musicians, politicians, university presidents, and other folks in the Black Hills of South Dakota, around the United States, and across the seas that he works to bring together. Because, remember: people really are hungry to become a part of something that’s good. And when they join in, communities become better, stronger places.
She placed two ideas in juxtaposition. One being the “culture of helpfulness,” a work philosophy that says you “don’t have to know everything, you just have to work among people who are good at getting and giving help.” The other, being the “super chicken” mentality, where competition and individual accomplishment are primary motivators.
Everyday at Numad we're doing something different. And while this may not be reflective of a typical Numad day, this is a pretty fun “day in the life of" story. Aside from the anticipation of working from the Quad Cities the next day to visit a dear friend (which required an unspeakably early alarm), last Thursday was pretty exciting at this Numad office in Rockford.