I always work on the last day of the year. There are plenty of administrative details to see to, and there are usually several active projects for Citizens Project in late December, so there’s enough work to keep me busy. But there’s another reason I work on the last day of the year and I want to share it with you: gratitude.
December 31 always provides a great opportunity for reflecting on the previous year and looking at the things that went well for us: in our personal lives, our professional lives, and our community lives. 2009 went really well for Citizens Project, in lots of ways.
- CP sent 12 editions of Freedom Watch Online to more than 1,500 subcribers and 41 Action Alerts to more than 1,000 activists
- We moved our office and held an open house
- Our fifth annual Divine Award Celebration honored Richard Skorman and our Creating Community Breakfast event rasied $40,000
- We published two comprehensive local voter guides and co-sponsored four election forums
- We completed a fantastic strategic plan, which will lead Citizens Project boldly into the next decade and maximize our ability to promote our values in the community
- Citizens Project mailed information about inclusive and legal practices at graduations and over the holiday season to all local schools
- We totally renovated our web site and electronic communications, created this blog, and tapped into the social networking sites Twitter and Facebook
- Citizens Project unveiled a proposal to extend Plus One health benefits to family members of City employees and advocated for the policy with elected representatives, the media, and our supporters
- We began planning our inaugural Citizens Religious Freedom Institute, a one-day symposium that will educate and empower students, parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders around religious freedom issues
- We spoke out when injustices occured in our community, such as the appearance of Jesus Lives banners on city-owned lightpoles
In all truth, I know that these things were possible for only three reasons:
- We have the greatest volunteers on the planet.
- We have the greatest advocates on the planet.
- We have the greatest donors on the planet.
Citizens Project is the perfect name for our scrappy organization, because we truly are by the citizens and for the citizens of the Pikes Peak region. It is your support, whether emotional support, volunteer support, monetary support, or advocacy support, that makes what we do important and possible.
Earlier today, I prepared the last deposit of the year (and by the way, CP exceeded our individual income goals this year, thanks to people like you), and I was struck by the largest donation ($5,000) and the smallest donation ($4). For each person making these gifts, that amount represented a “stretch” for them – a real commitment to our values and our community – and I like to think that they are equal partners in this thing we call Citizens Project. We all do what we can, when we can, but at the end of the day – and the end of the year – one thing is true: we believe in a vibrant community that values diversity, equality and religious freedom.
Happy New Year!