A Message from Mendi Blue Paca: Meeting Our Community’s Needs, Today and Tomorrow

Jan 27, 2023

Dear Friend,

A new year is a time of resolutions — of committing to habits that will put us on the path to leading healthier lives or achieving new goals.

It’s easy to commit to pursuing better habits. The challenge comes when urgent needs collide with the long-term routines we’re hoping to create.

It looks great on paper, for example, to say that we’ll exercise five times a week. It’s harder in practice to stay committed when we are confronted with busy work schedules, an unexpected illness, or another demand.

In 2022, the Community Foundation made a resolution of sorts with our Fairfield County Forward strategy, which focuses on creating a Fairfield County where every person has an equitable opportunity to thrive.

Achieving this bold mission will require discipline and focus. We know we must sustain concentrated efforts on addressing systemic racism and ensuring that everyone in our community can access a quality education and affordable housing and are able to lead healthy lives.

But as we look ahead to the future and invest in systems and programs that will set our community up for long-term success, we also recognize that there are urgent needs that must be met.

Every day, I hear stories about the mental health challenges that many in our community have been facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day, I am reminded of the pending evictions and rising rates of homelessness in Fairfield County. Every day, I see more data on the pressing concerns facing our youngest children and oldest adults.

Our challenge will be to balance the immediate needs of today with our long-term vision. We won’t always get that balance right. But, together, we can develop strategies and muster resources to create a better Fairfield County today and for generations to come.

Looking Ahead to 2023 

One way you can support our community’s pressing needs — and help create a more sustainable nonprofit sector — is by contributing to some of the hundreds of local nonprofits that are taking part in Giving Day 2023.

Fairfield County’s Giving Day is our region’s largest annual philanthropic event. Each year, families, business, classmates and neighbors join together to support Fairfield County nonprofits and show the power of giving.

This year’s event is set for February 23. You can learn more here.

We also invite you to mark your calendars for Thursday, April 27, when history-making ballet dancer and philanthropist Misty Copeland will serve as the keynote speaker for the silver anniversary of FCCF’s Fund for Women & Girls Annual Luncheon, a celebration of the great work of our community to support women and girls in realizing their potential.

The Fund for Women & Girls is the largest women’s fund in New England and has improved the lives of tens of thousands of women and girls in our region through nearly $9 million in grants.

You can learn more and get event tickets here.

Mendi blue paca