By Tamra Ryan
Alone we can do so little, together we can do so
much.” – Helen Keller
Women’s Bean Project is a community. At a local level we have been part of the Curtis Park neighborhood since 1990. We have done our best to be a good neighbor and our neighborhood has been a source of program participants, volunteers and customers for decades. We are part of Denver, a city I am proud to call home and to which many people have flocked recently, validating what a fantastic community we live in.
The need for community has never been more relevant than in 2020. We are grateful for the love and generosity both our local and larger community have shown by continuing to buy our products and give donations to support the mission.
We take seriously the responsibility of keeping everyone around us safe. For us that is about physical safety as well as emotional safety. It means not coming to work when we are not feeling well. It means cleaning our work surfaces and anything we touch at the end of each day, washing our hands frequently and always wearing masks. It means giving each other grace, acknowledging that we are each carrying much more than usual.
We are a community that appreciates the value of good food.
We are a community of women who choose to lift up one another for the greater good.
We are a community of humans who believe in the potential of all of us.
Now is the time for each of us to lean into our communities, to give and get in equal measure. We need each other to help everyone in our community build the future of their dreams.
Sometimes we realize we have become part of a community when we realize how interconnected we are. For the Bean Project, these connections occur when the women, each hired independently, go on to develop lasting friendships that continue beyond their graduation. While working to change their own lives, they help one another succeed. Their journeys become interconnected
The connections occur when members of our community get engaged with the Bean Project and realize that most of us know someone who has struggled, that any of the women we hire could be our sister, our mother, our friend. Through these connections we build empathy and our ability to give grace.
We are not alone. We are a community. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much. Together we will weather the load we currently carry and what is yet to come.
“One lives not just for oneself but for one’s community.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg