Just gotta say: 2020 has been HARD. For EVERYONE. On so SO many levels. Some days I’ve wondered if this is really real…? Can all these challenges be happening all at once, right now? Of course, when I close my eyes, take a breath, and tell myself, “yes, it’s real.” I find that quiet center from which I can source the strength to open my eyes and take that next step forward.
Here at the Homestead, we threw our business plan out the window mid-March, and we’ve been flying by the seat of our pants ever since. All events cancelled, we had our one, brand new Market to rely on to get us through the year. And, amazingly, we’re still here! Now, I’m not going to lie: there were definitely times this year when I was looking for the exit sign, when I was ready to throw in the towel, and when I would lose sleep with anxiety wondering whether I just have the worst timing to practically start a new business during a pandemic and a recession!
So, what has kept me going – and what keeps me focused on the finish line?
Often it’s our volunteers who have kept me going with their enthusiasm and encouragement: Kathleen Henningsen, Susie Reed, Imy Rich, Loran Rich, Andy Ciszek, Nicole Straub, Kelly and Terry Ragland, Dennis Duckett, Dianne Fleming, Emily and Ryan Kelzenberg!
Our Board of Directors, Helene Arendt, Linda Lehrer, Erin O’Brien, and Pam Thompson, who have reached out with amazing support – helping me remember the big picture when I get caught up in the details.
The Homestead’s co-founder, Aiyanah Gerhard, who is ever present and caring for this budding nonprofit, and our new Market Manager Casey McCalip (also founding board member) who knows the mission through and through, and brings her vision to the ever expanding potential of the Homestead Market.
Last but not least, our 136 members, and especially our NEW members who have joined in the last 8 months!
Hundreds of volunteer hours, generous donations and fiercely loyal community support has gotten us through the hardest year EVER.
Which is a really great, amazing, and humbling perspective looking back at 2020. May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and abundance! Wishing you and your family healthy and happiness this holiday season!
Sincerely, Arwen Ek, Founding Director