A message from President and CEO Maryam Elahi
In our 35th year of serving this community, we take stock of ways in which we can have more impact in delivering on our vision of a healthy, thriving, sustainable Eastern Connecticut.
In the last year, we embarked on creating inclusive spaces to hear about concerns and different views on critical issues through the “Thriving Communities Conversations.” We are now a part of a newly-established Connecticut coalition of funders who support civic engagement in our communities. We convened many partners to address the increasing opportunity gap that exists for our children and supported programs and initiatives that help them succeed in school and life. We intend to extend these gatherings from New London to Norwich and Willimantic. We care about our environment, wildlife and animal welfare and support initiatives that protect our habitats. And we care very deeply about the basic needs and rights of all of our residents, especially the most vulnerable. Thus, we are working with partners to leverage resources and technical skills to bolster our nonprofits, who are the heroes on the frontline delivering these services, during these difficult budgetary times.
These are challenging times for nonprofit organizations -- but they are also ripe for more meaningful examinations and new opportunities. These times call for bold leadership guided by a moral compass. We pledge to you that we will always have our ear to the ground to better understand the needs in our community and to be more strategic in our response. Leadership requires that we sometimes walk a few steps ahead to identify strategies that are impactful; that we sometimes walk beside you to have a better grasp of where you are coming from; and that we sometimes follow your wise lead.
The promise to do good begins with the spirit of caring and empathy. If we have the capacity to put ourselves in our neighbor’s shoes, we understand that a community only thrives when there is kindness, justice, equity and inclusion. And this understanding guides how your
Community Foundation invests in the region and delivers on our donors’ desire to do good.
As we begin our 35th year of serving this community, we celebrate the accomplishments and progress that have only been possible because of all of you. We are inspired by current and former trustees, fund holders, donors, nonprofit staff and board, teachers, mentors and all thought partners who believe in the simple premise of “together, we do better.” And with great humility and unwavering commitment, we are determined to do better every year.
There is a special place at the table just for you. Please join us.