We often use this time of year as a chance to reflect on the past year and recall its highlights. As I look back on 2017 and see what is trending on social media or creating headlines in the news, I see a great deal of focus on the things that are dividing us as a country. I think it is important now more than ever that we do not lose sight of the things that are uniting us and bringing us closer together. At the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, we have the privilege to serve many charitably minded people who very quietly make our community better through their generous philanthropy. You will not see the work they do trending on Twitter or creating sensational headlines. Regardless, it’s a crucial force that brings our communities closer together every day. The work these individuals do adds up to make a huge impact. Here is what your support amounted to in 2017… Total grants exceeded more than $3.2 million dollars from more than 640 different funds; Approximately 200 Donor Advised fundholders made more than $1.7 million in grants to hundreds of different charities; 83 scholarship fundholders provided 224 scholarship awards totaling $224,664 to local students; Our Community Grants program awarded 57 grants totaling $261,568, thanks in large part to endowed gifts from members of our Heartland Legacy Society; We launched our new Boomers Get Connected initiative in an effort to match retirement aged volunteers with the charities they love most. Our community would be a very different community without this philanthropic support. It is this support from members of the community that are the true highlights of our year and that support only continues to grow. I am encouraged and inspired by the amazing work I have seen done in this last year. Looking forward to 2018, I am making a New Year’s resolution that I hope you will all join me in having. To look for what unites us as a community instead of focusing on what divides us. Let us all focus our energy in the new year on being a force for good. I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year!