The Door County Community Foundation recently
awarded Door County Master Gardeners Association a Sustainability Grant from Green
Fund and the Clifford and Clara Herlache Heritage Foundation for the Door
County Seed Library (DCSL).
DCSL is a free seed lending program where participants
can learn about gardening, grow a bounty of food and flowers, and save seeds
for the next season.
“The Door County Seed Library is a repository of open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and flowering seeds that participants can ‘check out’ for free and grow at home.” said Kacie Mueller, Community Relations Officer of the Door County Community Foundation. “We are pleased to support a program and hope that the benefits of the Seed Library will ripple through our community as more and more residents become aware of the importance of eating wholesome food.”
The Door County Master Gardeners Association, Inc., in partnership with UW-Extension, shall strive to make a positive impact on horticulture in our community through education, community outreach and stewardship of our environment. To learn more about the Door County Master Gardeners, please visit www.dcmg.org
The Door County Community Foundation’s
Sustainability Grants program distributes grant dollars from funds such as the
Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Green Fund, Health & Human Needs
Fund, Education Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, Healthy Water Fund, and
For more information about the Community
Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.
The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is
a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families,
non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed,
invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. The
Community Foundation was launched in 1999, currently administers more than $22
million in assets, and distributes nearly $2 million to charities in Door
County every year.
County Community Foundation recently awarded Altrusa of Door County a
Sustainability Grant from Carol Coryell Charitable Fund and the Door County
Kairos Fund for the Back to School Fair.
Back to School Fair, Altrusa supplies students with grade-level school supplies,
backpack, shoes, toiletries, underwear. Socks, a school spirit shirt, and
school registration fees.
“The Altrusa Back to School Fair provides 600 Door County students with the materials they need to thrive at school,” said Jeff Ottum, Treasure of the Door County Community Foundation. “The other component of the Back to School Fair is that the identity of the students receiving these supplies are kept confidential, so all students walk into school on the first day ready to learn, achieve, and maximize his/her potential.”
Founded in 1917,
Altrusa is relevant to many civic-minded people who are interested in creating
better communities. Last year, Altrusans proudly gave over a million volunteer
hours around the world, including clubs in the United States, Puerto Rico,
Canada, England, Bermuda, Ireland, India, Scotland, New Zealand and Russia.
ago, Altrusa decided to institute literacy as an area of focus for the
organization; since then, service areas have expanded to include HIV/AIDS and
disaster relief. During our last biennium, Altrusans assisted in relief efforts
for the Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes, as
well as the Tsunami in Japan. Most importantly, Altrusans give their time and
resources in areas that are deemed most important in their local communities.
The Altrusa story
is evolving every day through club accomplishments. When you visit any Altrusa
club, you will see leadership and service in action. Please visit:
http://www.altrusa.org for more information.
County Community Foundation’s Sustainability Grants program distributes grant
dollars from funds such as the Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Green
Fund, Health & Human Needs Fund, Education Fund, Historic Preservation
Fund, Healthy Water Fund, and Women’s Fund.
information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant
programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.
The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate
charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations,
private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for
the current and future good of Door County. The Community Foundation was
launched in 1999, currently administers more than $22 million in assets, and
distributes nearly $2 million to charities in Door County every year.
The Celebration of Giving is a free, annual community luncheon that honors the great philanthropists of Door County. As president and CEO of the Door County Community Foundation, I offer the event’s closing comments and summarize the lessons we can draw from the honorees’ lifetime of service.
The 2019 Philanthropists of the Year are Mike and Marge McCoy, who have always been passionate about philanthropy, both as volunteers and benefactors. Their civic and community service was celebrated in Iowa and Minnesota, and they continued their giving tradition when they retired to Door County. Through organizations such as Bethany Lutheran Church, the Crime Prevention Foundation, the Door County Land Trust, Northern Sky Theater, United Way and the Door County Community Foundation itself, the McCoys’ wise counsel, tireless volunteerism and abundant generosity have touched many lives in our community.
During the weeks leading up to the luncheon, I spoke with people who know the McCoys well and listened for common themes. The word people used to describe Marge and Mike more than any other was “commitment.” They don’t do anything halfway.
Whether it’s traveling long distances to spend time with family or diving headlong into a fundraising campaign for a favorite charity, the McCoys fully commit themselves to the people and things they love. And the depth and authenticity of their personal commitments inspire others to join them.
These days, when we talk about commitment, we tend to refer to it as the terms of a contract, as in, “I’m legally committed to do this.” Yet when we anchor our definition in the context of a contract, we diminish the very spirit that makes a commitment unique.
A person negotiating a contract seeks to balance the costs and benefits of a relationship: You give me this; I give you that. At its best, a contract is a fair and equitable exchange that serves both your interests and those of the other party.
But author and New York Times columnist David Brooks argues that a commitment is far more than that: It’s a promise made from love. At its best then, a commitment is an obligation willingly made to another without any expectation of compensation in return.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the former spiritual head of the largest synagogue in the UK, goes even further than Brooks to say that a commitment is a covenant. A contract can benefit you, but only a commitment has the power to transform you.
When we commit ourselves to someone or something we love beyond ourselves, we discover that it’s almost as if we’re serving a part of ourselves – that carrying the mantle of responsibility for the people and places we love doesn’t weigh us down, but rather, it gives our life meaning and purpose.
Brooks says that the best life is lived by those who make voluntary commitments, then fulfill them. That is, we are our best selves when we make a promise to another and then remain faithful to that promise.
As one person who knows the McCoys well told me, “They don’t do things for recognition. They don’t even do it for self-satisfaction. They do things because they’ve made a commitment, and it needs to be done.”
In this life, we have been blessed with remarkable freedom, and its value is not that it frees us from obligation. Its blessing is that it frees us to choose for ourselves that which we will love and to fully commit ourselves to it.
There’s an old Tibetan saying that the Dalai Lama is fond of quoting: “Wherever you have friends, that’s your country, and wherever you receive love, that’s your home.”
We who are at home here in Door County celebrate Marge and Mike McCoy not because of the boards they’ve served on or the money they’ve given away. We celebrate the McCoys because of the commitments they’ve made. Through their actions, they’ve said, “Door County is our home.” They’ve found the parts of it they love the most, and they’ve accepted the responsibility of making those parts stronger.
The best way we can celebrate Mike and Marge McCoy is to learn from and follow their fine example: Find a part of Door County that you care deeply about. Then willingly make your own commitment to make it better.
This article, written by President and CEO of the Community Foundation, Bret Bicoy, originally appeared in the Peninsula Pulse.