The Impact of the Many

I recently heard a term I had not heard in a long time.

About a year ago, myself and three other women met in a small coffee shop on the outskirts of Ellensburg to discuss the division that feels so apparent today, and see if we could come up with ideas on how we might be able to soften some lines in our community. The outcome of that conversation has since led to multiple, larger, mixed view potluck gatherings.

My friend who brought us together for that first meeting went a step further and hosted a Saturday conversation, open to the public, at our local community center and called it Civic Saturday. During her program that day, she spoke to collaboration, coming together, and leaning in toward our shared vision of one nation.

The term she recalled that day was “E Pluribus Unum: Out of many, one.”

And it was that idea that echoed in my mind as I recently joined a group of funders from across the state for a Funders Tour of the Walla Walla and Dayton areas hosted by Sherwood Trust.

In Dayton, we toured the oldest train depot, visited the oldest working courthouse in the state, learned about the complete revamping of Main Street, and visited a brand new youth space that—after only two months of operation—has already welcomed an incredible one third of the 325 K-12 students in the city as active within the space.

In Walla Walla, we visited Fort Walla Walla, WWCC Environmental and Ecosystem and Energy Systems Technology programs, and The Hub, a multi-service center for at-risk youth.

As we toured each location, we heard of the collaboration that made each of these programs possible.

The conversations at each of the youth spaces focused on providing space for LGBTQ youth and their families. Walking into these spaces and seeing rainbow flags and welcoming signage is certainly not always the case in Central Washington, and it was a true highlight of the trip for me.

I found myself reflecting on these amazing programs, and the impact that we can have on one child, one family, or one community when we come together—all of the efforts of so many that have led to each of these youth finding the resources they need.

On my drive back to Ellensburg, I also found myself reflecting on our work at Pride Foundation—the many groups and organizations we support, our scholarship program, our donors and volunteers who make our work what it is.

The efforts of so many who make such a positive impact on, and for, the one.

 

Tylene Carnell is Pride Foundation’s Regional Philanthropy Officer in Eastern and Central Washington.

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