What are your New Year traditions? For me, they generally involve a brisk hike on a mountain trail or a meal of that Southern staple, Hoppin’ John. I don’t usually make resolutions, but during these quiet winter days when we flip the calendar page to a new year, I do pause to reflect on what is past and what may lie ahead. I think about the balance and tension of endings and beginnings. And because these days follow the winter solstice, I also think about the contrasts of light and darkness as we begin to see more of the returning light of the sun.

Darkness and light. Beginnings and endings. I believe these themes capture what it means to be human- a human living with others on this beautiful blue planet we call home. Here at United Way, we also see the interplay of these contrasts. We are helping children who experienced a rough start find a happier ending. We are making life brighter for families who are getting help with housing, food, medical care, and legal services. We are chasing away some of the darkness for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and helping them find new beginnings. And we are providing a good ending for indigent hospice patients who get compassionate care during their last months of life.

And so, as we prepare to leave 2021 behind and move into a new year, I hope you will join us in this work. To those who have already made a gift, we say a heartfelt “thank you”. If you have not yet contributed, we would welcome your support.

We know that whatever 2022 has in store, we will continue to shine a candle in the darkness and do whatever we can to put love into action. Here’s to new beginnings.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year,