Happy May, JCI Michigan

Happy May, JCI Michigan!

I hope you are all healthy and well, and looking forward to May weather and being able to get out and enjoy the fresh air. This may not have been the May that we were all expecting, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a-MAY-zing (Okay, maybe I have been stuck away from people for too long).

Although I would love to be able to see you all in person at Boyne, I really look forward to being able to provide a virtual opportunity for our members to be able to socialize, learn, participate, and present, and to give members, who cannot normally attend conference, an opportunity to attend and participate, while staying safe at home.

Our First Trimester Conference is now being conducted virtually! Kicking off on Friday, May 8 at 7:30 pm, we’ll have events every Saturday for the remainder of May. For details, go to https://jcimi.org/virtualconference2020/.

This has been a difficult time for everyone. Many of us are now in our seventh week of not
leaving the house, except for groceries; others are leaving the house every day, battling this on the front lines — medical professionals, first responders, grocery workers, food service employees, and other essential functions.

Some have lost their jobs and are struggling. Others are struggling to try to work from home, home schooling their children, and keeping some sense of normalcy at home. No two of us are going through this the same, but NONE of us are going through it alone. Our chapters and members are reaching out to each other, checking in on and taking care of each other. It makes me proud to be a Michigan JC.

One of the many things I have realized over the past seven weeks is that I deal with stress, trauma and crisis by DOING something — but, we are all being told to stay home.

I thought that meant that I couldn’t do anything. Then, I saw our members doing AMAZING things like a member who made 1,500 masks for UPS drivers in under a week, or the members who are printing face shields, or the members who are delivering food to local hospital workers; and I felt guilty that I was not doing enough from home.

Once again NONE OF US ARE GOING THROUGH THIS THE SAME, and that is important to remember. I do not have the time, skills or energy to make 1,500 masks in a week… but I can knit some ear savers for nurses while on a conference call or watching TV. I do not have a 3D printer to make face shields, but I can write a note to a friend, a neighbor, or a stranger who is in a senior community. I cannot deliver food to the hospital, but I can make a donation to the group that is.

This is my long winded message for you this month. If you are struggling, like I was as a “doer” who can’t DO, find some small way to do a small thing: it will help you and someone else. As Edward Everett Hale said “I cannot do everything, but still I can do something”.

Stay safe my friends!

Yours in Service,
Sarah K. Austin
96th President JCI Michigan

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