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Twister
“Today, however, local governments are being asked to do far more. In Jackson Hole, Teton County and the Town of Jackson are not only expected to provide core services, but take the lead in addressing many other challenges facing the community, including affordable housing, transit, and environmental protection.” – Jonathan Schechter
 
Dear Foundation Friends,
 
Our community is like a game of Twister. Do you remember the white mat with bright circles laying across the floor? You spin a dial and put your hand on a red circle, then a foot on blue. Meanwhile, other players are tangling across the mat in ways that begin to look like human architecture.
 
We are tangled together by community – each playing a part to deliver services, selling products or buying them, planning, building, protecting, and activating. Some of the things we do overlap with others, so we partner.
 
If you haven’t read Jonathan Schechter’s thoughtful piece this week, it’s worth your time. He makes a point about original government services provided by the Town of Jackson and how our expectation of those services has changed as our community has grown.
 
His words neatly align with some of the Community Foundation’s future thinking.
 
The Community Foundation established services 30 years ago – managing donor funds and partnering them with nonprofit organizations – to positively impact the community. Recently, we heard from you, our local voices, that you want the Community Foundation to get involved in exploring solutions to systemic issues – to address changing community character, high growth, and sustainable infrastructure, and to help assure care for the environment and culture that makes this place so special.
 
We can be more flexible than the government because our set of rules allows for nimble innovation and response. This is how we were able to have a Community Emergency Response Fund up and running in two weeks last March. Through the Response Fund, our community asks, and our nonprofits deliver.
 
Current community pressures certainly involve food, shelter, and protection from harm but there are also modern needs such as addressing the asymmetry in our community as accentuated by the pandemic and the economy. Beyond investing in our current nonprofit and donor services, the Community Foundation is growing into a new role – one where we invest in initiatives that further the potential of our community.
 
And, of course, we do this work on the same Twister board, with our humanity entangled as community, and our hands reaching out to steady each other.

We made it through January, and from here it only gets lighter.
 
Enjoy your weekend,

Laurie Andrews
President, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole

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