for Alumni of The Better Selves Fellowship
The Better Selves fellowship has always stood for a deep respect for the lives and lifework of our fellows and for providing them with an opportunity to renew themselves and to strengthen the invaluable work each of them does day in and day out.
This year, because of the pandemic and the rules around quarantine in Vermont, we cannot run the Better Selves Fellowship but we certainly can extend ourselves and support one another.
One appropriate action is to share with you, our Better Selves alumni, the funds that we raised and would have spent on the program to support your “better selves” where you each live. We will share our budget of $25,000 in re-granted gifts of $250 – $500 depending upon how many are requested.
Consider using these gifts for your immediate needs for childcare costs, for groceries, to rent a car to get out for a few days, a short trip with your whole family, for anything that would provide more breathing space, a little bit of self-care and renewal in place. Consider keeping half and paying forward half to someone close who you know needs it, too. We cannot possibly know enough about each other’s lives in this difficult time to know fully how to be of help to one another. Only you know what you currently need and what your community needs from you.
Money is not the focus of the Better Selves Fellowships and never will be, but the gift economy is a concept we hold dear. Sharing our budget is one possible way of extending the gift economy from our community to yours during this pandemic. These are dire times. So many people are struggling to balance economic hardship, essential work that requires risk and stress, additional day-to-day responsibilities such as supporting family members, and the grief and anger at this country’s ongoing legacy of racism and police brutality. There’s much to be done, and it will always need us to be rested and our better selves.
We will share as many of these grants as we possibly can. To ask for a grant, please fill out this form which ONLY asks for your name and who the check should be addressed to.
Here at Knoll Farm we are thinking of each of you and your work in light of the urgency and potency of these times. We find ourselves asking many questions in these times – one of them is how to build community across the nation when many are asked to stay in place – Can sharing gifts help to build community? We welcome your feedback, thoughts and ideas or wishes to Peter.
For our Better Selves Fellows, grants will be made in early July.
“this is beautiful, needed and a shining example of true solidarity. thank you.”
“This is solidarity and love made visible.”
“Totally inspired by your doing this. I aim to pay it forward, not only sharing the funds, but doubling down on ways that I can both lend energy to forms of solidarity now, but also care for myself through a long struggle to come.”
“As a single qtbipoc mom, entrepreneur who facilitates in person groups for a living, who is sheltering in place alone with an infant I would welcome the largest grant possible.”
“It would be great to see the images (photos/art) created in the spirit of solidarity.”
“I am deeply grateful for you all. In the challenges of these times, my partner and I draw on a lot of inspiration and deep breaths from reflecting on all we learned and all the ways we’ve been held from the Better Selves Fellowship. Sending so much love. Thank you for being a light now and always”
“Such a wonderful idea. You’ve inspired me to think about how we might do something similar at my workplace.”
“I feel grateful for this outpouring of love. I am happy and excited to be part of the fellowship in 2021. Sending love, lights and prayers to everyone. Take Care Be Well”
“This is such a generous gesture during very difficult times. Your encouragement to pay it forward reminds us all of our shared humanity and connection. Thank you.”
“Thank you for sharing and giving support to others in troubled times.”
“I can’t wait to the next opportunity to get to meet everyone. Our food pantry is so hectic at this time the food needs can be overwhelming. Definitely next year.”
“I’m grateful for the generosity of Knoll Farm. I’m excited to bring my children there in the near future.”
“Thank you all so much for trying to make this work and still thinking of the artists even when the program doesn’t work on. I will still be dreaming of what the experience on the farm would have afforded during this time, and looking forward to building safely with forward thinking minds next year. Many blessings! Until next.”
“I think this is such a thoughtful idea. Not only creating this solidarity grant but also opening the farm as a refuge to alumni this summer.”
“I deeply appreciate you and I loved the chaga that was sent to me via mail. It was used during the first few weeks of the pandemic when my panic and anxiety attack were really bad. “
“It’s been really hard for me to pay my bills and to sustain the work I’m doing in advocacy. “
“care, love, intuition and continuance”
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