Dear Foundation Friends,

Here we are, standing tiptoe to a fresh, new year. I’ve been thinking about 2021 and what all of us, and each of us, have experienced this past year. For me, this year has been about diving deeply into what you, as locals, are thinking and feeling. For the Community Foundation, 2021 has been a year of bringing local voices to the table.

After listening sessions in 2020, when you let us know your needs and wishes, this year we spent time resetting our systems, examining our strategies, and deepening our understanding of how the pandemic is changing our community. Your input has been key to designing the Foundation’s new strategic plan – one that will guide us for the next three years.

You came to the table for mental health when you took the Behavioral Health survey (thank you!). You joined us again to look over the results and to let us know your thoughts on how health partners will use the countywide data to improve the wellbeing of our community members. This feels so hopeful.

And then there was an astonishing Old Bill’s Fun Run. You were flexible as our plans for Run Day changed. You showed up across the community with volunteer spirit, and you supported the community through your incredible generosity to our nonprofit partners and the Foundation.

This year, we asked you to raise your voice so we could learn from your experiences. You have provided motivation for the Foundation to change how we support community by enhancing nonprofit partnerships, reimagining Old Bill’s, examining our grants process, and introducing initiatives. With your insights, we are also changing our technology so our interfaces will be more friendly and flexible and so that you hear what’s happening through social media. Our strength is that we are community-facing, and our community shares values that hold us together as a society.

There is a full moon rising on the 19th. Winter solstice is one of my favorite times of the year because it is a time of burrowing, of quiet through the muted sounds of snow. From this thoughtful place, we can all emerge into the new. And it feels like the right kind of change is coming.

At the Community Foundation, we are thankful that you brought your voice to the table this past year. With you in mind, we hope to bring meaningful change and support through the work of our nonprofit partners and address challenges that became insistent during the pandemic. With your help, we will rise as a community.

May this winter season bring you experiences that nurture your soul. Be well.

With my deep appreciation,

Laurie Andrews
President, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole


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