Dear Co-op Members,
As I write this, Florida and Puerto Rico are facing the overwhelming task of cleaning up in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. To the west, in Houston and on the plains of east Texas, millions are trying to rebuild their lives after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. To the north, wildfires are burning more than 1.6 million acres of Canada and the northwestern U.S. To the south, Mexico (home to our friends and fair-trade coffee partners at CIRSA) is trying to recover from two natural disasters. And the list goes on. We’ve all seen the photos and headlines. The collective need is beyond description.
Never forget that no matter where we are, we are one world community, united by our common humanity. Our dignity and hope for the future finds its greatest expression in those things we do for other people in need. And with people in need everywhere, conscientious members and staff have contacted our Co-op, asking if they can get involved and make a difference through our organization. The good news is yes, you can. To put it simply, we need you.
Our Co-op has always had a strong social ethic. From the beginning, Co-op members saw caring for their communities as central to our organization’s mission. Our primary focus is local. Most of our resources for charitable giving are set up to serve people and organizations in the Upper Valley, and we have two groups in place to coordinate these efforts. But in times of great need, we also have the cooperative network to help people anywhere in the world.
Here are some ways you can help:
Visit our friends online at the Cooperative Development Foundation. CDF has created a recovery fund to assist co-ops who have been affected by hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. Remember that at heart, all co-ops are not-for-profits that exist to serve a community need. As a result, they are often vital to regional relief efforts. Helping co-ops resume operations means they can provide products and services to the people who need them.
Charitable Giving Committee
Led by Co-op board member Benoit Roisin, the Co-op’s Charitable Giving Committee takes stock of all the many giving programs at the Co-op, in cash and in kind, and coordinates efforts across programs. It’s an important group, made up of members, board members, and staff. It’s locally focused, doing the heavy lifting of directing resources to where they can do the most good. To learn more about how to get involved, contact Benoit at email@example.com.
HCCF Advisory Group
The Hanover Cooperative Community Fund (HCCF) is a permanently endowed fund with our partners at Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. Since 2001 the board has used interest generated by the fund to make annual donations to local nonprofit organizations and this year will launch a co-op scholarship program. Employees work throughout the year to raise money for the fund, and an advisory group composed of members, board members, and staff spearheads the effort. The group is led by Co-op board member Harrison Drinkwater. To get involved, contact Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few weeks ago, I wrote that members and staff don’t just have an opportunity to make a difference at our Co-op, but a responsibility, too. It’s our Co-op, our communities, and our world, after all. We can all work together to make a positive impact. Want to learn more? I’d love to help. Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open to you.