Our collective experience over the past year includes loneliness, separation, isolation, and uncertainty. Regardless of how resilient some of us have been, the Pandemic has taken a toll on each of us in some manner. With a surge of vaccinations, we are seeing the light at the end of a long tunnel.
I have watched our community innovate, adapt and overcome. There is still along road ahead. Our youth have been unable to learn, the echoes of domestic violence have grown louder, economic uncertainty and losses of loved ones will stay with us. Life as we knew it will likely be forever changed, yet with these changes, innovations will shape a new normal.
Change is inevitable, but we experienced a rapid evolution much quicker than I can remember. Remote meeting technology and expertise is at an all time high. Methods of philanthropy that don’t require leaving your home are now more available than ever.
Although our means and methods of communications have expanded, a person to person meeting or a group meeting will never be replaced. 90% of communication is non-verbal. A text or an email is great for quick business but there is a roughly 9:1 chance that the sentiment behind them can be misinterpreted.
A phone call can help with inflections or tones and zooms can help interpretation through body language. I still believe that technology can never replace the value of the exchange of energy from face to face meetings. Many efficiencies have emerged since the Pandemic, but so much was lost.
After the Tornados in Brunswick County recently, I needed to meet with local leaders, service providers, and survivors to assess the situation. Although it was not my objective to “recharge” I was amazed by how refreshed I felt after coming together again to help the community. I don’t think I truly realized before then just how separated I had become.
I believe that as we are able to make it safer to meet again, face to face with our partners, we will see a resurgence of energy and passion that will help us tackle the new challenges our community will face. I look forward to coming together again as a community. Spring has always been a time of re-birth and renewal. I know that this Spring will be one our community never forgets. The light at the end of the tunnel is close, and we will collectively move toward it to be together again.
United We Feed. United We Teach. United We Heal. United We Thrive.
Tommy Taylor, born in Mansfield, Ohio, achieved his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at Guilford College, and most recently achieved his Masters in Public Administration from UNCW in 2019. Tommy’s career started as a Crisis and College Counselor at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Virginia. After 4 years, Tommy moved to his favorite vacation spot, Wilmington, North Carolina, and started his new career as the Regional Development Manager for Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. Six years later, after tripling food distribution and doubling revenues, he accepted the Vice President of Community Impact position at the United Way of the Cape Fear Area. Now serving as the CEO, Tommy is thankful to be able to see the good side of the world that many people do not get a chance to experience and to be able to be part of the solutions to our community's deepest problems.
Emma Dill - Nov 27, 2023
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