A Whole Pie or Not?

“You can’t carve up the world. It’s not a pie.”  ~ Patti Smith.  I hadn’t heard that for a long time. Thanks, Anthony Poponi, for the reminder. I’d like to use that quote for my musings today.

Singer/songwriter Patti Smith was talking from a political world view; I’d like to bring the idea home to our Valley and drop the politics. We aren’t a pie either. We can’t carve up the Valley. It isn’t north and south; it isn’t up there, down here. It isn’t them vs. us. It isn’t age-related or economically-related. The Valley is the Valley and we each have a part to play within the context of “our place” in creating the strong fabric that holds us together.

We do, however, sometimes have missing threads or we have a thread that is broken and needs to be repaired or removed. Just like with a favorite old sweater.

“They” (whoever “they” are) aren’t going to solve the issues we deal with today. Only “we” can change the fabric of our community. Together. That means individuals, businesses, governmental agencies and nonprofits all working together.

If everyone knew that we have hungry children in the valley and we all said, “that’s unacceptable”, would we be willing to stand together to make sure no child was ever hungry? I believe we could do it. Free and reduced lunch, the Gunnison Country Food Pantry and Gunnipacks can’t do it alone. They can alleviate some of the symptoms, but until we all want child hunger to go away and are willing to make systemic changes, we’ll have child hunger in the Valley – a definite gap in our fabric.

The same is true of the opioid and suicide crises, the lack of affordable housing, domestic violence and any number of other things we don’t like to admit are part of our community fabric. Each of those is a gap or a broken thread.  Enough of us have to work together to eliminate the causes – not just treat the symptoms – for each issue we truly want to solve. Sure, sometimes we have to take it one bite at a time, but it’s together that the big problems will be resolved.

The Foundation intends to be here forever . . . doing as much as we can to support our nonprofits and the community as we work together to maintain a strong fabric. The problems of today hopefully won’t be the concerns of tomorrow.  Have no doubt, there will be fresh ones – there will always be new breaks or weaknesses in our fabric. And we’ll all adjust. As we often say, we can’t predict the future, but we can prepare for it. And that’s what we do every day.

Improving services, adding and expanding programs, keeping our finger on the pulse of the community.  Watch in early 2020 for the Gunnison Volunteer website – and get connected to make a difference. It takes us all.

Be a part of the whole . . . let’s not let our differences slice up our wonderful pie. Fill those gaps with your love and caring. Keep our fabric strong and intact.


Donors: It’s your unwavering support of the nonprofit community that gives your favorite agencies the resources to do their magic.

Nonprofits: Let’s work together to look into the future and prepare for it.

Community: We’re better together. When we pull out the bad threads in our fabric, let’s fill the gaps with love.

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