Woman rock climbing
Photographer Steve Abraham, Courtesy of Wilderness Leadership & Learning
Dear Reader
As we write, more than a year into the pandemic with vaccines widely available but once-low case numbers rising, the hope that COVID-19 is winding down is one we hold onto – though things seem somewhat precarious. The emergence of the Omnicron variant, breakthrough cases, and a somewhat stalled vaccination program have slowed recovery and renewal both here at home and across the country. Exactly where we will be when this publication comes out is hard to say: we remain watchful but hopeful.

What we do know is that, regardless, the climb to recovery is likely to be a steep one – and steeper for some than others. Disparities and injustices that existed before the pandemic were also exacerbated by it. Local nonprofits are well positioned to support our collective recovery and to help advance racial equity across our region.

Arts organizations took a huge hit during the past year and are eager to bring audiences back into their spaces and kids back into programs that are, for many, a lifeline. Education nonprofits are focused on repairing learning slide, thinking about how students learn better and best, and understanding how to capitalize on lessons learned during online teaching.

Across the board, human services groups are doing what they have always done – feeding the hungry, healing the sick, housing the unhoused. That there is even more need than before puts added stress on everyone but also builds the commitment to address it.


there is even more need than before

Finally, everyone is thinking about how to be nimble and resilient in the face of change. If the in-person work we describe here needs to go virtual again, we know our partners are prepared. Last year we saw evidence of extraordinary adaptability and creativity and we are confident we will see it again if need be.

In the meantime, we wish everyone health and safety as we move, however tentatively, into recovery, and seek to build back better.