Celebrating Community this Holiday Season

Dec 13, 2023

Dear Friend,

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” (Edith Wharton) One of the many great joys of the holiday season is that it offers us opportunities to come together to celebrate and reflect, holding a mirror to our past actions and sparking a light for the future.

As I’ve attended holiday gatherings throughout Fairfield County this month, I’ve experienced steady reminders of our community’s strength, generosity, and vibrancy. Our region is home to wonderful, diverse people who love where they live and are committed to making local impact through charitable contributions, volunteer work, and advocacy.  Ours is a community that embodies Mother Teresa’s belief that it’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.

This season reaffirms my belief that we can build a brighter future for Fairfield County.  It also strengthens our organizational resolve to bring that ambition to life.

At a time when so much attention is focused on what divides us, community foundations exemplify the power of the collective. Community foundations embody the belief that when we bring together our financial resources, knowledge, energy, and passions, we can improve lives and create stronger communities.

That’s a powerful idea — and as we look ahead to a new year at the Community Foundation, we are committed to continuing to engage more members of our community in advancing our shared mission.

As we know, philanthropy, after all, comes in many forms. Many of us think about philanthropy as giving money.  And while financial contributions are a critical piece of the puzzle, philanthropy also means giving other precious capital — our time, our voices, and our expertise to support the greater good. We believe that everyone in Fairfield County — in every corner of our community, in every age range, and in every demographic — can answer that call.

We have always championed and encouraged service to others, and we now recognize our responsibility to make community philanthropy more accessible by finding new ways to engage all our neighbors.  That includes lowering barriers to giving and minimum contributions to establish charitable funds, which we will do in several ways in 2024.

It also means expanding our Fueling Community Conversation Series, which kicked off last month, throughout coffee shops in Fairfield County.  We’ve met new partners and heard about your interests and ideas.  And in the months ahead, we’ll be unveiling exciting new opportunities for you to learn and engage with us in shaping the future of our region.

Until then, I encourage you to spend some time this holiday season holding a mirror to and reflecting on your hopes and aspirations for our community, as well as sparking a light by envisioning what’s possible when our unique talents join forces.

Taken together, that is a gift that can make a difference all year long.

In Community,

Mendi blue paca