Dear Community folks, we miss you! It’s good that we are all sheltering in place and doing our part to keep our most vulnerable community members safe and healthy, but it feels pretty strange to run a Community Center that community members can’t visit right now. It’s even harder when we know that some of our friends and neighbors are really struggling.
There are some positives. We are getting a lot of maintenance, cleaning, and reorganizing work done at the Clair Nelson Center right now while it’s closed. We are checking in regularly (via teleconference) with program staff to adapt and plan for the future and to make sure staff are supported during this time. Staff have really stepped up to keep themselves and others safe while still enthusiastically collaborating online on projects that can be done now while we wait for the time when we can all see each other in person again. We are continuing work on our organization’s evolution and structure to better serve community needs in the future.
And…there are so many things on hold. So many unknowns that make decision-making difficult, if not impossible. Friends of Finland was already in the midst of a lot of growth and change before COVID-19. Core Staff had already been practicing being graceful and comfortable with uncertainty because of changes within our organization. The COVID-19 situation forces all of us to get comfortable with uncertainty. Graceful…? Anyway, we’re getting through it. And we hope you are too. Please reach out if you or anyone you know is in need. We will do our best to help or direct you to someone who can. We continue to monitor phone messages and email during this time and will do our best to respond.
Things we are thinking about and working on right now
- Ways to help folks who wish to donate their forthcoming stimulus payment to those in need.
- Ways to make sure community members have their basic needs met while sheltering in place.
- How we are lucky to live in a place where neighbors help each other and we still have resiliency built in to our community.
- How necessary broadband internet is turning out to be. And how to support and assist those who don’t have it.
- Supporting the Finland Food Chain in the work of building a more resilient local food system for situations just like this.
- How awesome it is to have locally-owned grocery stores like the Finland Co-op and Zup’s still operating in our communities (many rural areas don’t).
- How to support and assist many of the small businesses that are hurting right now.
- How lucky we are to live in the woods – many people don’t have access to nature right now at all.
- Planning the upcoming Finland Farmers Market to comply with social distancing requirements.
- Spring! It’s slow, but it’s coming!
Hang in there, folks! We’re going to get through this. Community is still powerful despite the distance. We can still hold each other up!