We may look back at 2020 with heavy hearts—a year of unrest, illness, isolation, and loss. We were forced to disengage from what we previously knew as our everyday lives, we were separated from family and friends, we learned to fear the embrace of strangers, and to distrust our leaders. Inequality, ignorance, violence, and hate flashed across our screens and ran through our streets, and we were finally forced to digest that which we already knew lingered beneath the surface of our nation for far too long.
But, surely there was some good to come from the year as well. Confined to our homes, we were compelled to take a hard look at ourselves, what was important to us, and what we gave our energy to. Sure, we can all laugh about sweatpants, skin care routines, and the fact that we will never take toilet paper for granted ever again, but I think (or at least hope) that for many of us, it gave us the quiet we needed to discover who we really are—what we want from the world, and what we are meant to give back to it.
I think we are all capable of contributing something great, regardless of where we live, what we do, how much money we make (or don’t make), how much time we have (or don’t have), or what our talents are. There is something every single one of us has to give that can make a significant and meaningful difference to our community. But, finding that voice and feeling empowered to share it isn’t always easy, which is why I am so excited to feature this organization for the TKB Winter/Spring 2021 campaign.
Neighbor Up is a group of thousands of individuals—just like you and me—who have been giving their talents and skills to better our neighborhoods for many years. But what is now a blossoming initiative started with just a few handfuls of people looking to make a difference and was born from the need for a stronger, more inclusive community—a feeling so many of us share right now.
By nourishing a broad spectrum of small-scale initiatives, Neighbor Up aims to empower community members to share a diverse range of gifts and talents, have tough (but oh so important) conversations, and work together to build a community they love to call home—proving that the tools we need to strengthen our communities are not something we have to search for because they already exist within us.
The list of all the incredible projects, initiatives and grants that are fueled by Neighbor Up is too great to list here in a single post, but I am excited to feature at least a few as we move together through the months ahead. And even if the greater Cleveland area isn’t home to you, I trust you can still find inspiration from this organization to take back to your own communities. Find your voice. Share it. And welcome others to join. Neighbor Up is the big ol’ group hug we have all been craving.
For more information about Neighbor Up, please visit their website here.
The profits of all TKB sales between 2.1.2021 and 4.30.2021 will be donated to the Cleveland Foundation, a funder and partner of Neighbor Up.
UPDATE: Together, we have raised $699.82 for Neighbor Up! Thank you for your big heart, your sweet tooth, and your generosity toward this very special organization. Please continue to show Neighbor Up some love!