By Chloe Learey, Executive Director
Winston Prouty is honored to be a beneficiary of the Neighbor 2 Neighbor (N2N) program hosted by Brattleboro Area Hospice this year. N2N is an opportunity to double philanthropic dollars by supporting people in the community to make purchases at Experienced Goods for things they need. Donations go to buying gift cards to the store, and this year those gift cards will be given to people who receive support from Winston Prouty, Windham Windsor Housing Trust, and the Afghan Refugee Project.
There are many examples from the past 2 pandemic years of how different parts of our community has come together to help us take care of each other, connecting the dots to design creative solutions like this that extend our efforts and make them even stronger. Everyone Eats! is another example of this, restaurants being paid to provide meals for people negatively impacted by COVID helps restaurants stay viable and increases access to food for those in need.
There can be a mindset of scarcity when it comes to fundraising as the many non-profits in our community seek support to stay afloat: there are only so many dollars and only so many donors. Ideas like N2N can turn that idea onto its head, showing how collaborations can push against that notion. A scarcity mindset comes up with other resources, too, such as housing. People ask how it will be possible to find housing for refugees from other countries when there is not enough housing for people who are already here. Housing is indeed scarce, and our community certainly needs more. Excluding people is not the answer, though. In fact, inviting more people to be part of working on some of our most seemingly intractable problems is one of the only ways forward. Yes, we need more funding. But we also need a collaborative approach that involves a diversity of perspectives, coming up with creative ideas and solutions based on an understanding that we are all connected. Our community is an ecosystem and all the parts impact each other: housing, child care, workforce, broadband, education, business, municipal government, human services. The more initiatives we have like N2N the more we reinforce this understanding of connectedness and can help each other thrive.
Winston Prouty sees itself as an organization that strives to help connect the dots on the individual level with children and families, and on the community level with other organizations and initiatives. We understand we cannot do our work in a vacuum, and it is exciting to be part of an effort like N2N that demonstrates this so clearly.
Please consider giving and doubling your positive impact in our community!