A new year. A new decade. It’s a lot of promise and, if we are being honest, a lot of pressure. Pressure to succeed, pressure to change, pressure to reinvent. Coincidentally, this year is also my tenth anniversary with NEAT. When I started, I was a wide eyed optimist who loved recycling and wanted to save the planet. Now, I’m older and still an optimist, but with a real side of pragmatism. I still love recycling and the planet but now there’s so much more.

Over the last ten years there have been a tremendous amount of changes in our tiny organization. We have grown. We have been knocked down. We have lived, learned, and we are building back up one program at a time.

At the risk of writing yet another Magical New Year post, I am starting 2020 with hope. I don’t need to hope that NEAT will continue to work collaboratively with a stunning roster of community partners – we will. I don’t need to hope that NEAT will continue offering engaging and innovative programming within our community – we will. And I don’t need to hope that NEAT will continue to offer a rewarding work environment for our unbelievably amazing staff – we certainly will!

But at the same time, life isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. NEAT is continuing to recover from the end of a contract that represented 70% of our annual budget. We have not been as proactive and successful at telling our story as we should have been. And as such, we struggle with explaining our value. We continue to see the need for strengthening our financial position and valuing our work appropriately. 2020 is the beginning of an honest and open look at our experiences. We are going to share our stories, our fears and our hopes, our successes and failures (and the lessons that we learned from them!).

I hope that you’ll join us on this journey.


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