It’s December. Isn’t every post supposed to talk about pretty lights, Santa and a sleigh, and the prospect of a White Christmas? You know it could because that’s what’s usually done. Recently something less romantic but unusual has happened that may make next year happier for organizations and individuals who are trying to be charitable or creative, but may not have the funds to make it happen. Freeland Library, part of the Sno-Isle Library System, now has become one of the few sites in Washington State where people hunting for funding can access two databases that can provide links to funding, one database for official organizations and one database for individuals. To many people that can sound dull and look like drudgery and bookkeeping. To many individuals that can open a door for hope and progress – and something to cheer, eventually.
Ready to dismiss it? Before you go, what do you hear people complain about? Think of the things you’ve wanted to do, or the things you wish someone would do, that aren’t being done. These dull sounding databases might contain links to people who want those things done, too; they may have the money but need someone to actually do that very work you want done. If course, if you think everything is working smoothly and there’s no need for any improvement and there’s no thing to complain about – well – congratulations!
Why mention it? Because it really is an uncommon opportunity. The Foundation databases usually required people to drive to The Big City. Now, islanders only have to drive (or take the bus) to Freeland’s library.
A better person to describe the opportunity and the database is Katrina Morse, Adult Services Librarian. She was interviewed for a local podcast, WritingOnWhidbeyIsland.com, (disclosure: I help co-produce it with Don Scoby.) Here’s a link to that blog/podcast.
Katrina Morse – Adult Services Librarian
One example is something simple. Whidbey Island has a large writing community. One Facebook group, Whidbey Authors, has over 340 members, mostly people who have written at least one book. Then, there are the writers who haven’t finished, yet. Add in the island’s list of editors, publishers, illustrators, publicists, librarians, book store owners, book collectors,… The writing community is large. But we can’t list them because the list is so long that no one can find the time to contact hundreds of people. Ah, but if there were funds to do so,… The same is true for lists of writing groups, updated lists of classes and instructors, etc. Imagine how handy it would be at gift-giving times to have a list of every book written by a Whidbey Author, many of whom have many more than one book.
No wonder no one has compiled them all.
And what about the other things you want done? Conservation? Education? The Arts? Human services? Whidbey Island has one of the highest non-profits per capita in the nation. (Feeling Charitable On Whidbey) We have plenty of examples of what to do, and those folks will tell you that there is more to be done.
Freeland may be a surprising place to look, but why not? Whidbey has charitable people, philanthropic people. Some will find folks and quietly hand them a check. Some are more noticeable by showing up on the front page of the local paper. Some, however, prefer to make themselves available and equitable by inviting people to enter through the same portal, the same digital front door. The databases aren’t the front doors, but they are one way to find them in one place. You may find out that you’ve already known about all of them, already; but how will you know unless you try?
Here’s hoping this resource makes for many happier new years as more good ideas become more than just as idea.