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Dec 21, 2021
Posted Under: Foraker News

Happy Solstice! Today is a day I am reminded of all of the nonprofits that bring us light and hope. Last year I wrote about a walk I went on to admire all of the lights strung around my neighborhood. Again, this year, I imagine stringing lights for the incredible bright examples of our nonprofits. 

Holiday lights for Diwali, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, and Kwanzaa – that is what I savor on an evening ramble through my neighborhood during these dark days of winter. They’re in the trees, windows, and roofs – inside and outside. Their sparkle lights my way both literally and in my heart.

If I could string a set of lights to display our collective learning and have those lights lead us – not just to the end of this year but through the challenges that lay ahead  – I would hold up the incredible bright examples of our nonprofits.

There would be lights:

  • For our arts and culture missions that are adapting, sharing, and engaging us and each other even when their physical spaces were dark
  • For our healthcare providers who are working in unimaginable conditions to save our lives even when it means risking their own
  • For our human service providers who are working alongside our most vulnerable Alaskans who only double and triple in their numbers and their needs as this pandemic and economic crisis rages on
  • For our education heroes who are teaching us and our children about adaptability and resiliency
  • For our environmental champions who encouraged us to take a break and go outside to breathe clean air and drink clean water knowing that Alaska is worth protecting for all of us to live, work, and play
  • For our animal caregivers who simultaneously met unexpected loneliness with rescue puppies and kittens we never knew we needed, while also helping those who had to give up their furry friend when they lost their job or their home, and to those who safeguarded our Alaska wildlife in their care so they will be with us on the other side of this time
  • For our civic leaders who strategized, activated, engaged, partnered, and raised their collective voices for relief funding and policy that could help us keep going – most will never know the endless hours of their meetings all with one purpose, to serve their community
  • For our religious stewards who heeded the call to keep their congregations safe and found new ways to be together – to heal, to pray, to celebrate, to mourn, to find community – and to always be there when we needed you
  • For our philanthropic investors who shifted, rallied, and listened – yes, the money mattered but so did your compassion and commitment to Alaska’s missions

Each of you is a brilliant light, all the stronger as you shine together across Alaska – in every community, in every home, in every way. We simply could not deliver our missions without you. You are our brightest lights in this season and the next, and with you we will find our way forward.

From our Foraker family to yours, may you keep each other safe through this season.