As we near the holiday season, we are reminded of the oft-spoken quote, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all.” The Community Foundation is celebrating successes in partnership with our donors to improve quality of life for all people in Newaygo County and surrounding communities. We are proud of our staff and trustee team, the grants and scholarships awarded, and the relationships built. But we also know the value of combining goodwill with innovation, of reaching even farther to build and leverage partnerships and resources, and of facilitating change one step at a time.
This year, we embarked on a new strategic planning process. We will be implementing a plan that continues to address poverty, education, and community and economic development, but also prioritizes civility, placemaking, and the environment. We hope to strengthen our community investments through leveraging additional funds from federal, state, and private sources. We look forward to taking a proactive approach to one of our biggest local issues: affordable housing.
Civility and how we embody goodwill will be embraced in our work. We hope you will join us in setting aside differences to work together and lift up our communities. I’m so delighted to lead the Community Foundation, thanks to the wonderful people who make that leadership possible.
I recently read George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior. He copied these rules from French Jesuits at age 16. Some seem silly—“Rule 16: Do not puff up the cheeks, loll not out the tongue….”—but others carry just as much gravity now. My favorite is the 110th rule: “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
Let us follow that 110th rule and bear goodwill to all this season. We are truly grateful for you, and we wish you and your family a blessed holiday season.