Collaboration and Partnership have been a cornerstone of my work in the nonprofit sector for years. From experience, I know that working together is better. I have witnessed in other communities in which I have lived and worked that some nonprofits like to stay in their own little corner. They choose to serve the neighbors around them very faithfully but in a small and limited way. The services provided, whatever they may be, are both needed and appreciated. What they don’t realize or choose to explore is that with just a little bit of collaboration with others it becomes possible to actually make a dent toward eradicating the need for the service they provide and therefore serving their neighbors more effectively. It also makes way for addressing other needs.
Since moving to Muncie, I have been so excited to see how much collaboration exists in our area. I have witnessed it in the meetings I have attended and with the people I have met in all of the eight counties that Second Harvest Food Bank serves. Collaboration is a way to maximize impact. I have met a lot of creative and compassionate leaders, many who are pretty good problem solvers. Problem solvers can do powerful things. Collaboration leads to vision, and sharing a joint community vision is powerful. I applaud all of our surrounding county organizations, agencies, and leaders who are living out partnership and collaboration.
Our staff at Second Harvest Food Bank is working to become better at teamwork, trusting each other, and rallying around a common cause are the first two steps to becoming a team. You would assume that we all know and have embraced that our common cause is working toward eradicating food and resource insecurity. What we are discovering is that we have to get out of our own way and focus our efforts a little more outward so that the logistics of doing that work doesn’t become our common cause. Don’t get me wrong, it is a balancing act. Being more efficient in our processes does feed the bottom line and ultimately helps us work toward our goal. What helps us work harder and better together, however, is constantly keeping before us the reason we are doing our work in the first place.
Second Harvest Food Bank provides Help for Today that allows for our neighbors in need to access the food and non-food resources that are necessary for everyday living and Hope for Tomorrow in the form of guidance, education, and opportunities to move forward to a brighter future.
When we are each independently passionate about a common cause, we thrive together! There are several things in life like that. Take Peanut Butter and Jelly, for instance, they are wonderful separately, but together they are divine, especially when they meld their goodness into a delicious sandwich. Feel free to insert whatever pairs you are passionate about that seamlessly join to make an even better product, I am sure you can think of several. It has been proven that when we humans work together we can do incredible things.
I love the quote attributed to Helen Keller – “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
Second Harvest Food Bank strives to work with our community partners to do whatever is needed to provide food and non-food resources through as many channels as possible in order to reach those neighbors who need them most. We are convinced that we are … Better Together!