You may have seen the Chico ER story. Recently I told a secret the Community Foundation has kept for nearly a decade. Every holiday season for the past 9 years we’ve given out envelopes stuffed with cash as “random acts of kindness” to people in our community. Each season we give out $15,000 in little envelopes titled Project Sidewalk (so that’s $135,000 over the years).
I’ve never told this story before because Project Sidewalk isn’t about us. It’s about spreading joy and love. It’s about the sweet feeling that arises in the giver and the recipient during a random act of kindness. It’s about our amazing donor who not only came up with the idea but funds it each year. All of those things are still true. That’s why we do it. And, that’s why we will continue to do it.
However, this year I didn’t want to keep it quiet anymore. We’ve been bombarded with negative news cycles and hurtful divides in this country during the past year. A terribly unjust amount of attention has been spent on the things that pull us apart and make us feel separated from one another, different, divided. I don’t want to keep wonderful things quiet anymore. I am going to shout the truth. We are good. People are good. The overwhelming majority of us are kind and decent. Here, around the nation, and this globe – good things are happening every day. We are showing up for each other. We are caring for each other. We are acting from a place of love and kindness. Project Sidewalk is one of a million reasons why I know this is true. So I’m sharing it.
I know I say it often but I’m not going to quit.
Love is Louder. It always has been and it always will be.
Join me this New Year in sharing good news, in fighting for what connects us, and standing up for one another. We got this!
May your New Year be drenched in Love.
President & CEO
Photo with Melinda, Alexa, and Huxlee Benson-Valavanis