When I started working with Freshwater Future in May of 2013, I was immediately awed by the rapport staff had with the boots-on-the-ground activists from around the region. I saw respect, trust and even friendship with some of the groups. As I began digging into my work, I began to develop these same relationships with our members.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that concerned citizens have a variety of needs, including something as simple as lending a hand, or a shoulder, during hard times. I have been approached by groups who are frustrated and need help working with fellow activists. I’ve been contacted by individuals who are pouring their heart and soul into their work but they are left feeling downtrodden and unrecognized.
People don’t only need funding, technical expertise and consulting to get their work done. They also need emotional support, especially at times when they feel like no one is listening. They are all people who do enormous things for the greater good and
sometimes need a simple “Thank You.” While it’s not specifically on our list of programs and services, this organizational practice remains alive and well, setting us apart as a special resource.
We are there to lend that helping hand not only when things get tough for you every day heroes, but also when congratulation is in order too. I hope you take time to look at our Grassroots Advocate Awards and see some of the incredible work done by your fellow Great Lakes citizens. I hope it inspires you to keep up your work as it does for me.