Director’s Note: Helping

Director’s Note: Helping


Jill headshot

Jill Ryan, Executive Director


I always love this issue of Freshwater Voices where we announce the winners of our Grassroots Awards. What strikes me this year is that these grassroots heroes give so much and freely of themselves to benefit something much bigger than they are. In my work I often hear “I can’t make a difference, I’m just one person.”


But when you think about it that is the only thing that does make a difference: individuals acting by themselves or in cooperation with others to make the world a little better. Today I want to say thank you to each one of our amazing award recipients. Thanks for helping in your community, thanks for the difference that makes for your friends, family and neighbors, and thanks for what all your work does for our region and our world. Because individuals and groups are willing to act not just in self-interest, but for the common- interest, we live in a world full of hope and inspiration.


While the information we hear on the news can make the world seem a scary place where we each need to care for ourselves; the stories of the amazing groups and individuals working every day to make our world a better place remind me that no matter how small our actions seems to be, we simply need to act. Thank you to each of the amazing heroes receiving our awards this year, and thank you to all of you who we haven’t yet been able to honor!



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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.