This month, the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend was asked to join philanthropic foundations across America to stand together and remind people there is hope in generosity, kindness and respect; that there is hope in community.
Through the #ReasonsForHope campaign, we’re asking citizens all across this great country, what is it that gives you hope? Not just in this moment, but what gives you hope, both in times of prosperity and want, in times of joy and despair, in times of sure foundation and uncertainty?
At the Community Foundation, we come face-to-face with hope every single day - we have a treasure trove of examples. I immediately think of the Q2030 Regional Action Plan that is uncovering specific ways we can be better, and bringing people together to take action on critical opportunities, like enhancing our 21st century workforce and the Interstate-74 corridor, finding ways to be a more welcoming and inclusive community, and strengthening our reputation as a manufacturing hub.
I think of our region’s young people, like the local Davenport Central High School students who, while traveling back to the Quad-Cities from Europe, spontaneously sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” as a World War II soldier’s remains were transported off their plane. The video that went viral is moving, beautiful and emotional.
I also think of the participants in our Teens for Tomorrow program, a group of exceptional young men and women who took their work a step further this year and called on local leaders to ask this question: How do we make sure our voice is heard, not just today, but tomorrow, and the days after that?
Today, we’re asking our regional community to take this campaign for hope a step further - to seek out the local organizations working for change in our community, and then supporting those organizations with your time and resources. Building momentum for the good things happening in our community provides an important perspective as we wade through a divisive political season, and the nation continues to grapple with serious issues like racial equality.
Our hope? That you will stand together with us and remind our neighbors and friends of the way generosity moves even the most staunchly rooted ideas. For we see hope as a catalyst for purpose, we have witnessed it manifest itself time and again in peoples’ lives as they give and receive. We see hope in the grassroots movements of individuals and organizations in communities across the country, people who deliberately reach across political, religious, and socioeconomic lines to find solutions.
If hopes stirs something inside an individual, it equally moves communities. And when we grapple with the difficult realities of living, working and raising the next generation in a sea of people different than us, it is vital that we be reminded that we are in this together. Now that gives me hope.