By Mary Jo Viero
BAPA Executive Director
Where do I start? Reflecting on 2020 is difficult. Just the month of December had big highs and the lowest of lows. The highs being the roll out of vaccines and the lows being the increase in senseless violence. From my perspective, the only way to sum up the year is “the power of community.” More importantly, “the power of OUR community.”
Looking back, there is not a day from last year that I did not witness the power of our community in action. Whether it was shopping local, buying raffle tickets, donating items for people who are less fortunate, making signs to uplift our neighbors, eating takeout food from our favorite restaurants. I know this for sure, 2020 gave us countless examples of our power.
We are strong, kind, supportive, generous, engaged, creative, thoughtful, loyal, resilient, and full of love. Nothing in 2020 could change that. In a year that brought us one hit after another, we used these qualities to pull us through. The best part is that we are stronger than ever before!
My wish is that we use the qualities within us to empower us and continue to make a positive impact in 2021. As BAPA plans for the year ahead, we hope you will use your power to join our efforts. Here are just a few ideas:
Make our community safer through the power of being proactive: Be alert to your surroundings, create safer environments, call 911 to report crimes or emergencies, call 311 to report streetlight outages and other non-emergencies. Don’t wait for other people to step up and speak up. Learn more about joining BAPA’s Safety Committee, email Gary Jenkins, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help save the butterflies by joining our Monarch initiative, planting more pollinators, using fewer chemicals and reducing the size of your lawn.
Share your knowledge with area students through BAPA’s volunteer tutor corps.
Help create a healthier planet with green practices like recycling, reusing and reducing waste. Help BAPA plant trees and beautify public places on Weeding Wednesdays.
Continue to “think before you click” and shop local whenever possible.
Come together with neighbors safely to volunteer, support local schools and organizations, and enjoy community-building events like BAPA’s porch concerts, Home Tour, Ridge Run and Garden Walk – we can’t wait to bring them back!
We are already hard at work on programs, initiatives and events centered around the power we have as a community to make 2021 an amazing year. The BAPA team is in place and ready to make the most of whatever comes at us.
I don’t know what’s in store for 2021, but I know the power of community will get us through.