“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness.”
—Maya Angelou

So, as we reflect on intentional gratitude this season, I wonder what it takes for me to thrive and flourish as a woman of color leading a nonprofit in the midst of our cultural  challenges. What does it take to thrive as racism receives its much needed focus and intention, as we increase awareness of differences and the damage of color blindness, and as we grow  empowered to claim our  identities and expressions--all the signs of being in the throes of a twenty-first century revolutionary shift in our culture?

And I realize that our supporters have been the key!  

Day in, day out we are faced with challenging questions--Who will we choose to be as US residents and global citizens? What will we choose to stand for? What will unite us all? How will we treat our neighbor and how will we welcome newcomers into our home in their full humanity? How will we work together towards restorative justice?

Our supporters have made it possible to rally, to pause, to raise consciousness AND then to pose and answer these questions!

I want to share one recent example of how BRIDGE and its many representatives have become a local resource and how we strive together to find solutions (and then continue to strive for understanding by asking questions):

BRIDGE received an emergency call from partner ally Construct, a homeless shelter in Great Barrington, to seek a solution for someone who desperately needed a voice. A young woman brought into this country under false pretenses went to local police for protection from violence, and was taken to Construct. Members of BRIDGE’s Women to Women Project who spoke the victim’s language - and some who had even shared similar journeys - visited her, learned her story and listened to her plea for help to return home to her family and young daughter. The legacy of strength, love and wisdom coming from this program, under the leadership of Estervina Davis, our Family and Client Coordinator, allowed this young woman to be embraced by our Berkshire community and receive the help she wanted to be reunited with her family.

The donations we receive help us make a difference in everyone's life--your dollars empower us to see the light in each of us and to connect through our humanity!  

This #GivingTuesday, we thank our supporters for their gifts of generosity.

Serving it forward,
Gwendolyn