We are quickly approaching the end of 2010. Seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that we were all worried about Y2K and now we’re heading into 2011. At the end of every year, there are all sorts of stories for the top events, milestones, memorable moments; it’s a built-in time for reflection.
For me, 2010 saw the completion of VM Class 22 and I delved into Class 23 with one full year as the director under my belt. We launched this blog in January of this year, something we had been talking about for a year or more, and we kept on plugging away learning more about how to engage with others through social media. We saw our VISTA program continue to strengthen with the full implementation of our three assignment areas. We continued to see the effects of the down economy – more community members needing services, more applicants for AmeriCorps positions, more nonprofit organizations struggling to make ends meet. We saw an early snowfall in December, bringing back the vivid memories of Snowmageddon in February.
It’s been quite a year – new experiences, lots of challenges, and some incredible lessons as well. I have some hopes for 2011; less snow is on the list, as is more volunteers and more funding for all of the nonprofit organizations that are continuing to meet the needs of communities and Maryland and beyond.
I also hope for strong partnerships in the New Year; one lesson that I’m continually reminded of is that we simply cannot do great work alone. If the economists have anything to say about it, 2011 is going to be another challenging year. It’s not all doom and gloom, though – not if we rely on each other, not if we reach out and lift each other up. So, as the year winds down, I extend a humble and sincere Thank You to everyone who has reached out in partnership this year; and I look forward to many more connections in the coming months.