01 January 2012
A Heartfelt Thank You to Flood Relief Donors and Volunteers
We’d expect a lot of mail to arrive in the Sustainable Woodstock office during the holidays, but this year we’re receiving more than Christmas cards and end-of-year greetings. Every day, we open many gracious thank-you notes from people who have received financial grants from the Woodstock Area Flood Relief Fund. They’re expressing their deep gratitude for the assistance the Fund offered them.
Of course, we are very touched to read and hear warm words of appreciation from the more than 220 individuals and families who received a grant from the Fund.
But those of us on the front-line of this relief effort know that we represent hundreds of people from this area—and far beyond—who contributed their time and money to do good for others in need. Clearly, the Christmas spirit has been at work in this community for months.
And while we are on the topic of gratitude, Sustainable Woodstock offers our sincere thanks for the many volunteers who made it possible for us to administer this Fund.
When we signed on for this job in those first days following the flood, like everyone around us, we had no idea of the scope and scale of what we faced. We just knew that we wanted to do our part. Now, having managed more than $400,000 in donations from individuals, organizations, businesses, faith communities, clubs, foundations and more, we, too, feel deeply grateful for the numerous volunteers who stepped in to make this effort work.
The poet Marge Piercy writes, “The people I love the best jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows.” The Flood Relief Fund volunteers must have inspired her words.
This dedicated corps emerged overnight to handle the Fund’s dollars responsibly and to treat people seeking help respectfully. They answered phone calls, opened mail, updated spreadsheets, kept records, got the checks in the mail, ran errands, wrote thank you notes (700 of them!), sent receipts, arranged for propane deliveries and contractors to be paid, and on and on. And in the midst of managing all of the administrative details meticulously, most important of all, they listened with care to the stories that needed to be told.
We won’t name the names of all who have done their part. The spirit of this team has been: it’s not about us. But we hope that everyone who joined in this effort will recognize that we are talking about him or her. Thank you for all you have done.
By Denise Lyons