Lately, when you read the headlines or turn on the news, or when you scroll through your social media feed, it’s easy to think that the negatives far outweigh the positives, that the common bonds that hold us together – compassion, respect, shared responsibility, a belief in service, and a willingness to embrace our differences – are a fading memory of a distant past. Fortunately, that is not the reality we see every day in each and every one of our towns.
We see so, many good people of diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and abilities, making the choice to have a positive impact on their communities. We see neighbors, friends, business associates, and local nonprofit groups working together to create community instead of isolation; to provide opportunity instead of setting limits; to act with compassion instead of indifference; to celebrate inclusion instead of exclusion; and to foster passion instead of apathy. We see them each choosing to participate, to be a solution, taking one step at a time to be an upstander instead of a bystander.
Our story is one of positive impact, and thousands of individuals coming together to tackle the issues specific to their communities and to improve the quality of life for all through the arts, education, human services, animal welfare, the environment, heritage enhancement, and more. It is a story best told by the dedicated volunteers who provide vital assistance to those in need through organizations like the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries, the Common Good Garden in Old Saybrook, the Food For All Garden in Clinton, or Friends in Service, which gives the elderly rides to important appointments. It is a story best heard through the joyful glee of sponsored children who are able to enroll in programs at the Community Music School or enjoy camp at the Connecticut River Museum, Camp Hazen or Kate’s Camp for Kids. And it is one of commitment to community through partnership, like the “Compassion Counts” Mental Wellness forum that took place in Westbrook, or the collaboration between the CFMC Council of Business Partners and the Ivoryton Playhouse that helps our youth develop life skills and overcome adversity through educational and inspirational programming.
Our story is one of community members supporting their passion, or helping to right a wrong, by giving of their time, their effort, or financial support so that everyone, regardless of income, age, race, or ability, has the opportunity for a better today, and a better tomorrow. They are proof positive that by working together, a greater good is possible. We encourage you to be an active chooser, to help make a positive difference in your community, and we invite you to learn more of the many opportunities to do so by calling us at 860-347-0025 or visiting us online at middlesexcountycf.org.
This article also appeared in the July editions of the Valley Courier and the Harbor News.
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