I am NOT going to say “Happy Valentine’s Day”

I know. I’m in the business of relationships and I’m going to be grumpy about a day that’s set aside to acknowledge love of all kinds?

I can hear my fellow grumps going on about the commercialism of these kinds of holidays…the ways in which consumerism drives our culture etc. I can also hear the sentiments of people feeling pressure to “do something” for their significant others that doesn’t feel authentic or organic but sit with the deep awareness that if they don’t do anything, then THAT sends an even worse message.

Often, instead of creating a space to call forth and celebrate the love between us, a space (12-24 hours) is filled with the pressure, the negativity, the meaningless purchases of red roses and chocolate and THAT becomes the thing between us. Whew. Mission accomplished. Box checked. Crisis averted.

What I would like call forth and celebrate today is the love that is flowing right now and that has been flowing since the start of 2018 between us and our community.

  • We have recruited more mentors in the first 6 weeks of 2018 than any other year at this point.
  • Our mentors and their mentees have made dozens of valentines to be delivered by Petaluma People Services volunteers to homebound seniors.
  • Our community of art-interested, art-inspired, art-involved people came together in January to design a year-round art program for our mentees.
  • Our police department has formally entrusted us to partner with them in delivering restorative services to our juvenile offenders-a joint program that will keep our kids in Petaluma, in their schools and with their families while they learn to repair the harm that they caused, and be accountable for their actions.
  • The Leadership Class of 2018 and the Petaluma Service alliance have committed to helping us build a community center much like our beloved Cavanagh in partnership with The Salvation Army and Petaluma People Services.
  • We have a dedicated and heart-filled staff who consistently rise to any occasion, to answer the call to service every day.
  • We have a strong and dedicated Board of Directors that is growing by the day, and answering the call to service in their governance, in their stewardship and in their wholehearted leadership.

The thing I feel most strongly between us and our community today is TRUST. I trust you will be with us in our efforts to serve our most vulnerable kids. You trust we will do that with integrity, focus, expertise, and safety.

So, Happy Day of Trust.

And a few xoxoxo from me.