With the 2019 grant cycle open, I am reminded of the reason why I feel fortunate and humbled by the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of the JCFGP. Serving as a trustee for the past seven years and on the Grants Committee for four, this is by far, one of my most favorite responsibilities of my job. The opportunity to learn and meet with various charitable organizations within my community provides me with hope and inspiration that the human spirit to help others still exists. I love hearing the stories behind what motivates these special organizations and the individuals behind each of them. It reminds me that the human spirit is strong enough to transform and permanently impact other lives. Life is hectic, schedules are busy, the noise around us can be loud and sometimes it’s difficult to get back to “center” and be reminded of the core of the human spirit. At the end of the day we are all human – we feel, we learn, we speak, we listen, we love. There is no one that is immune to “things” in life whether planned or unplanned, but we can control these “things” with compassion and empathy to our neighbors. The grants cycle reminds me that we are able to control those things that may be beyond our control, whether it is monetary or sheer human will and compassionate aid. I am reminded of the vulnerability and fragility of life and that the human spirit will persevere. I am honored, humbled and gratified. I encourage organizations to apply and also challenge all to help them continue their missions.