Be more awesome than last year.

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Welcome to 2017! I, for one, can’t wrap my head around where exactly 2016 went BUT… I will embrace this New Year and have much confidence that it will be a GREAT year for our community and for Linking Lives.

Of course with the start of a New Year comes much reflection of the year that has ended. We’ve done a lot of reflecting! Over the last few weeks we have discussed at length all of the amazing things that we’ve seen happening around us. Being a part of this organization has placed us in a position in which we are able to see the best in people and the best in our community as a whole. We’re overwhelmed and amazed at the reception we’ve received from all of you and at the genuine desire and commitment in those around us to help their neighbors and friends. We’ve (please know that anytime I say ‘we’ I mean all of you as well!) distributed thousands of dollars in groceries, formulated plans for countless individuals and families to work towards brighter and better futures, moved many to safer more adequate and affordable housing, transported the stranded, hosted many successful fundraisers, helped to warm homes and hearts, been a safe place to fall, given Mama’s the resources they needed to feed and love their sweet babies, made so many life-changing connections with new friends, clothed children for back to school, fed warm meals to those who needed it most, played Santa for over FIFTY families and managed to grow Linking Lives from infancy to a wobbly toddler stage! …Holy run on sentence… sorry but it was too exciting to stop to breath!

We’ve made no secret of the fact that this organization was launched with a somewhat limited vision as to what it may transform into 6 months down the road, a year down the road. We can now say we’re feeling steady on our feet and narrowing in on exactly what we want to represent and achieve as an organization and how we plan to meet those goals. We thank all of you for helping to shape us, guide us and show us what it is the community most needs. We thank you for your trust in us to provide services to a vulnerable sect and for turning to us as a place for YOU to give back and support your community members. You continue to motivate and encourage us to keep growing and serving and working towards our vision of a caring, supportive, transparent and “no person left behind” community.

And suddenly that vision doesn’t seem so far from our grasp!

We have seen such a real and tangible movement towards kindness in our community and perhaps that is the one thing that has made us the most hopeful moving into 2017. We are contacted as regularly by people who want to help as we are by those in need. You continue to come to us with new ideas, campaigns and suggestions for greater impact. We are seeing a gentler and more understanding approach to poverty and those who live in it. Every day I’m seeing posts on social media from people “looking to give to a family in need” as opposed to making a few extra dollars selling something. We were moved to tears by the consideration and genuine care demonstrated by our “heroes” that participated in our Christmas sponsorship program. Many of them shopped for these families as if they were their own. They met them to deliver personally and did so with such authentic enthusiasm. Life changing stuff!

Following all of these experiences how could we NOT feel anticipative of a New Year that will shine very brightly!

Speaking of that! Along with the thoughtful reflection of the year passed comes planning for the year ahead. This year starts off with my return to work. Up until this point I have been endlessly available to serve the needs of the organization and of those who reach out to us (kind of.. you know the 3 kids thing can be a little bit of a barrier at times!) and would be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a bit apprehensive of how I will manage to juggle the responsibilities that lay before me. I know that we are entering into a period of adjustment and, apprehension aside; I don’t feel negatively or discouraged about that. I am as committed as ever and will continue to work passionately and unreservedly towards poverty reduction and change in our community (I just might do it with a little more caffeine and a little less sleep). We’re in the process of brainstorming and formulating a plan for the year that continues to allow us to help on a personal and intimate level… but perhaps on a bit of a larger scale. We of course will continue to need all of your love and support to accomplish this and hope that you will also feed us full of ideas, direction and continue to be an invaluable part of this growth.

Stay with us— We’ve got this!!

2017 is going to be big!!

                                                                                                                      -Maegan

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. -Chinese Proverb

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