Just about three years ago to the day, as I contemplated how to spread the Bridges program, I had a vision: What if I grew an organization that became a center for excellence in intergenerational programming? What if we had a small team of people – kind people who enjoyed life and were passionate about their work, each with unique talents that together created synergy and empowered others?
With that hope, I founded Bridges Together as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3).
Little by little, over the past three years, I have journeyed along this windy path, along with our awesome board, so many fabulous professionals and dedicated volunteers. Our work has been made possible by generous foundations and individuals who have made grants and donations, as well as organizations that have contracted with us for the sale of our curricula and professional development opportunities.
In the fall, Bridges Together received a significant grant from a social impact investment group, specifically to hire staff. We strategically identified the staffing positions we would need to grow effectively and efficiently. Then, we patiently sought the “perfect” person to fill each role. By design, we have started our staff with a minimum number of hours per month and are increasing that gradually as secure funding is in place.
So… on March 5, 2015, the team came together for the first time in our office (a.k.a. my converted dining room): Debbie Howell as our Community Relations Coordinator and Melanie Schneider as our Development Director!
We are so thrilled also to have a fabulous graduate school intern this semester: Monica Romig, who is implementing a Bridges program, researching IG programs in the state and creating informative programming handouts for all of you!
Our office was abuzz with different small groups planning and working diligently. Every now and then, an email would pop up from Christine Triantos, our marketing specialist who lives a distance away.
At the end of this fabulous day, I sat down at my desk to wrap up a few loose ends. I looked up to read an apt quote from Abraham Lincoln: “The best way to predict the future is to create it!”
So grateful for the hundreds of people who believe in a future where old and young live and work hand in hand – a future that Bridges Together is creating, one community at a time.