The last couple of years have been a period of reflection for many of us. It doesn’t feel that long ago that our staff meetings were held around a picnic table, but as we celebrated ReSOURCE’s 30-year anniversary and my own 25 years at the helm, I realize that the organization and my leadership have both evolved.
The pace of change is ever faster, and especially in recent memory, it has become harder to imagine what the coming years will bring. Some of the most pressing needs facing our global community are well within ReSOURCE’s scope to address. In 1991 ReCycle North opened a thrift store providing work experience for homeless individuals, now we place hundreds of people in employment each year in industries from construction to retail to administrative and environmental services all over the state with over 150 employer partners. We’ve opened four new facilities, taken on building materials that make up over 40% of the US waste stream, adopted and expanded the only two YouthBuild programs in the state of Vermont, running both successfully for more than a decade. We don’t just keep thousands of tons of material out of the landfill each year, we weatherize affordable housing, have installed solar, built a deconstruction crew that spun off into its own industry, and are still growing. But, we can’t do it alone. Climate change, joblessness, persistent poverty and the ever-widening gap between our wealthiest and most in need remain. I have seen progress in real time; over the last 30 years, ReSOURCE has, and will continue to, evolve.
If you’d asked me 25 years ago to describe where ReSOURCE would be today, I’m not sure I would have predicted the turns my work would take in serving ever-evolving community needs. I’m dedicated to improving our future. I’ve been working alongside many who share this same passion and dedication for the last 25 years. We must embrace actionable, sustainable change that will lead to a better future. This is exactly what we ask of our trainees every day as they reshape their lives, working toward an often-distant goal. It is because of them, I’ve been shown time and again that when you believe in someone, they will rise to meet the challenge.
I believe, we can do more if we focus on where we agree; that all people should have opportunity to learn skills and become gainfully employed. It is our collective impact that will drive change and I hope you agree. Please make your gift before the end of the year if you can.
I have set a personal fundraising goal of $25,000 in celebration of 25 years and would love for friends and family past and present to join me in building a future that’s more sustainable for all of us. Thank you.