KC. Belitz: Putting hope to work

Originally published in the Columbus Telegram

Hope.

Anybody else think each of us, our families, our state and our nation could use a little?

I’ll spare you the list of current challenges, because I’ll bet you know those in great detail. We see and hear them—we live them— every day. What maybe you don’t get as much exposed to as much are reasons for hope.

Let me suggest this week that we have more than 200 years of evidence that gives us reason to hope our nation can and will survive bumpy and divisive times.

Further, I’ll mention that the world’s best scientists are working on and making progress toward a vaccine in multiple efforts around the globe.

Business owners have reason to hope because the U.S. has the most resilient, adaptable and entrepreneurial economy the world has ever seen.

Communities and charities have seen reason to hope all year, as Nebraskans have stepped forward to support Giving Days, fundraisers and neighbors again and again.

Our state was given reason to hope by what our high school students told us in the Youth Survey last spring. In short, they largely want what we have to offer in Nebraska: family, stability, security, great schools for their kids and a place they can make a difference.

At Nebraska Community Foundation we trade in “Active Hope.” Hope that does more than wish for something good to happen, but, in fact, goes out and MAKES it happen. Hope that understands that “we are the people we’ve been waiting for,” and we don’t need someone else to save us.

This is the Active Hope that builds the Pender Community Center, that creates a vibrant cultural scene in McCook and Ord, that inspires people to give significant gifts to their hometown as we saw Keith County. This is the Active Hope that builds a world-class childcare center in Red Cloud, provides life-changing non-traditional scholarships in Nebraska City and inspires almost every person in Shickley to give what they can.

This is the Active Hope that drove people to vote in record numbers this week.

And this is the Active Hope that’s required of all us, right now, to face those challenges that are staring at us. We have an obligation to ourselves and each other to get off the proverbial couch and get active. Active in the work of community building in our hometown, in helping a neighbor, in giving what we can and in recognizing that all of us have far more in common than we do that divides us.

Nobody said this work of building our communities or our country was easy, and I’m not saying that either. But it’s doable if we have put some Active Hope to work.

Go put it to work in your corner of the world this week and reach out to your local NCF affiliated fund if you want some ideas how to start.