As we navigate the tail end of 2023, I find myself reflecting on the profound significance of relationships, especially during this festive season. I am thankful and overjoyed by many relationships in my life. My heartfelt gratitude extends to my cherished family, including adult sons, daughters-in-law, and the delightful addition of grandchildren. I value family and the blessings that they bring to us. Family is everything – at least this is the way I see it.
Rediscovering Meaning in Unlikely Places
Recently, while watching the modernized rendition of “A Christmas Carol” in the movie Scrooged (although I do favor the George C. Scott depiction), I was reminded of the power of introspection. The ghost of Christmas past came calling to see Frank Cross, the character played by Bill Murray. Even though Frank had become a bitter, ruthless and mean-spirited corporate CEO, his memories of the past began to trigger recollections of better times in terms of his relationships and those things that were most meaningful to him.
Much like Frank, we all have memories that evoke gratitude, joy and a deep sense of meaning. The holiday season prompts us to reflect on our journey, embracing a spectrum of emotions—joy, sorrow, remorse, happiness and longing.
Beyond the Stories: A Pause for Gratitude
In my monthly blogs, I often share client stories and delve into philanthropic research. However, as we approach the year-end, I’m compelled to take a pause. Let’s collectively appreciate what you, our generous donors, have done to make 2023 possible for the CICOA Foundation. Your spirit of generosity and caring hearts have left an indelible mark that cannot be overstated. We often hear the saying, “Together we can make a difference,” and at the CICOA Foundation, it is true – you have, are, and will continue to make a difference for older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers.
Understanding Your Impact
What sets your contribution apart? As I think back to Frank Cross and the ghost of Christmas past, I am reminded of what matters most in life and compels us to give – meaningful relationships. The deep and abiding connections fostered by your generosity are life-altering.
As we look back on 2023 with gratitude, it’s crucial to acknowledge the pivotal role donors play. State and federal funding are finite, but your support transcends limitations, allowing us to enhance the lives of seniors in our communities.
As we express our gratitude, we are also looking ahead. Your contributions are integral to bridging gaps that government funding can’t fill. With your continued support, we aim to amplify our impact in 2024 and beyond. I want you to know that you do matter, you make a difference, and you have transformed the lives of many beloved seniors in our communities! I invite you to reflect on your role in our journey and consider how you can further contribute to our shared mission.
A Heartfelt Thank You
In closing, I want to express our sincere thanks for your unwavering support. While we may not want to emulate Frank Cross entirely, we can draw positive lessons from his story—nurturing thankfulness and kindling a spirit of generosity in our hearts. To our amazing donors, your commitment is a beacon, leading the way.
If you feel inspired to delve deeper into how your support can shape our future endeavors, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Whether by giving me a call or scheduling a time for us to connect, I’m always eager to engage in meaningful conversations with our incredible donors. Your insights and ideas are invaluable, and I look forward to discussing how, together, we can continue to make a positive difference.
Wishing you and your loved ones the happiest of holidays and a hopeful spirit for the New Year.
YOUR GIFT TRANSFORMS LIVES
Renew your support
Stephen Gerber brings experience in pastoral ministry, nonprofit management and fundraising team leadership to his role as CICOA’s chief development officer. Stephen is responsible for the agency’s overall fundraising strategy, leading annual campaigns, major gifts, planned giving, grants and special events.
He holds designations for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®), and the executive certificate in religious fundraising. Stephen earned a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Temple University, a master’s degree from Grace Theological Seminary and a master’s in business administration from the University of Phoenix.