Monday, February 29, 2016

Happily Taking the Leap

It's February 29th and I've had a great day inspired by the vision of Chamber President Todd Shimkus. He's the genius behind Leap of Kindness Day. The Saratogian quotes Todd explaining the concept, “We thought the best way to use this extra day was to encourage our members and our community to do something kind for someone else,” he explained in a press release. “Rather than simply asking people to do random acts of kindness, we launched this effort 30 days in advance and have worked diligently to connect organizations looking to make a big impact with others in the community who could benefit from a simple thank you or a donation of some kind.”

So today I asked Wellspring staff to think about people or organizations they work with every day that go above and beyond. Those chosen for recognition today varied from individual employees, to organizations that partner with us in innovative collaborations, to businesses whose bottom line is their community. Here's just a few examples:
Wellspring advocate Christie and Chief Veitch

  • the  Saratoga Springs Police Department which partners with Wellspring to offer support to domestic violence survivors not only in the crisis, but  in the days or weeks that follow.
  • the sexual assault nurse examiners at Saratoga Hospital, Ellis Medicine and Glens Falls Hospital. The compassionate response of these nurses is often the first step in healing for a traumatized survivor of a sexual assault. It's tough work, and intensive training, but these nurses show such  passion and dedication to helping survivors.
  • Adirondack Trust Co. and Stewarts Shops, two local businesses that not only are in our community- they're unquestionably for our community, supporting projects and agencies that help address community needs.
  • The Downtown Business Association in Saratoga Springs. These primarily small businesses demonstrate caring and compassion for those less fortunate. Every day these businesses support local causes and help people in need, through donations, fundraisers, and simply human concern.
  •  Leadership Saratoga- for almost 3 decades, LS has trained community members to be volunteers and leaders. Their members serve on the boards of local nonprofits (my personal thanks to all the LS grads who have guided Wellspring over the years) and donate their time to hundreds of local organizations.
    Leadership Saratoga's Kathleen Fyfe and me
It's been gratifying to recognize all the great things that happen just here in our community. What I love about Leap of Kindness Day is that one man's idea has spread so quickly, not just here in Saratoga County, but across the country. Listen to the news-- we focus so much on the negative; yet each day there are so many people doing such inspirational good works. It's gratifying to make the time to recognize them; thanks for giving us the opportunity Todd. But I do think 4 years is too long to wait for another opportunity... let's figure out how to make this an annual event.

" I think the world is going to be saved by millions of small things."
Pete Seeger 

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