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Green is the New...Green

By Linda Fippin, President of the Board of Trustees


Money. What a fraught topic that is!  On the one hand, we have “money makes the world go around” and on the other “money is the root of all evil.” But as people who have actually read the New Testament know, that latter phrase is a misquote from 1 Timothy, which reads, “For the love of money is the root of all evil,” which is to say, greed is the root of all evil. A very good case can be made for the truth of that statement. Most of the ills that afflict the world result from the many manifestations of unbridled greed, whether for wealth or power or fame or, often, all three. 


Unless you are an ascetic living in a cave somewhere, in which case you are unlikely to be reading this, you have experienced occasional moments of greed. Maybe it was for that second piece of pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner or perhaps that extra-large TV that was on sale for such a good price even though you already had a perfectly good TV or, in my case, that cool new blue watercolor paint that really isn’t all that different from one of the 19 shades of blue I currently have. We’re all subject to these kinds of “bridled” greed.  Sometimes they get out of control and cause us problems, but for the most part, they are just part of being human. 


On the other end of the spectrum from greed is generosity. You might even say, “Generosity is the root of all good.” It is with generosity that we strive to alleviate or ameliorate the ills of the world. Those ills may be large ones like global climate change, habitat loss, poverty, hunger and war. On a national or global level, the generosity of individuals must be scaled up and managed by non-governmental organizations in order to have an impact.  And while supporting these organizations is certainly worthy, individual generosity can have an important and often more immediately tangible effect on local problems. 


Westside is full of generous people. Some members are very active in the large organizations that are working on problems at the national or global level. On the local level, as I have written before, our members donate many, many volunteer hours and their expertise to support Westside. Some people pick up a few items for the food banks Westside supports every time they go to the grocery store. Others provide items and events for the annual fall auction. Even those who remember to mention Westside when donating items to KARM enable Westside to provide KARM gift cards to individuals moving from incarceration to sober living. Some give their time to reach out to people in our community who need rides to Sunday services or appointments or just caring and companionship. 


All of these things are wonderful and contribute greatly to making Westside the place we love.  They are necessary but not sufficient in themselves to ensure that Westside can thrive and continue to be that place. This requires financial support, too. As you know, the motto of this year’s annual canvass is “Giving Green to Thrive.” Just like the burgeoning trees and flowers, the canvass “green” is growing thanks to the pledges that have come in. But we’re not quite there yet. The Board of Trustees will be formulating the final budget at its meeting on May 5th.  We are hopeful that we will not be spending our time at that meeting deciding what needs to be cut.  

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