This year, Reach Partners celebrates 20 years.
That’s countless hours of coordinating events, gathering people in conversation, helping work get done, communicating key messages, training volunteers, facilitating meetings, pushing and encouraging, staying within budget, outlining the scope, staying up late, waking up early, making mistakes, asking forgiveness, and making right the mistakes we made.
As we celebrate this milestone, we recognize that we are who we are largely because of the values that we uphold and practice. We are intentional about how we do our work and who we do it with. This has led us to the best partners a business could ask for and we are immensely grateful for that.
So, in honor of our anniversary, we want to reflect on a few moments from the past two decades that speak to our values. Of course, there are so many more moments than we have space for, but here is a sampling:
We helped plan a reunion for St. Luke’s nurses. After the event was over, the group didn’t want to leave the ballroom. They were so proud of their profession and so grateful to have gathered that they didn’t want to say good-bye. If we could’ve bottled up the energy in that room, we’d never have to sleep again.
We promised one of our partners we could plan and execute a large employee celebration. We knew the original timeline (62 days) would be tight, but we were confident in our abilities. And then, a few key pieces weren’t confirmed until 40 days prior to event day. We still delivered.
A woman, age 50-something, had never had her picture professionally taken before being asked to model of the Women’s Way calendar. The calendar promoted mammography and cervical cancer screenings. She was beautiful, and so was the message she shared with her community.
When asked to coordinate a conference for media and journalists on best practices for reporting suicide, we didn’t expect it would change our own views. We didn’t know that family members and friends prefer the phrase “died by suicide” instead of “committed suicide.” Words matter – and our empathy increased for those who have been touched by suicide.
We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve gotten a call: “I don’t think you do this. If you do, great. If not, I’m hoping you know someone who does.” Thanks to our connections, we’ve found people to build and deliver walls in 36 hours; a place to prepare for a brand launch; multiple locations for a commercial shoot; and just the right person to serve a client in the interim.
Watching people walk along the paths of World Garden Commons at Rabanus Park, the pilot site of The Fargo Project, reminds us that community input is valuable and sustainable. It reminds us: we can do more together than alone.
Thank you, all, for being a part of our story these past years. We look forward to the future!
Anita & Rachel