Some of you reading this post are too young to feel a strong connection with singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, but you may know some of his songs. “These Days” popped into my head this morning while I was reflecting on what NRC’s theme should be in 2018. The theme of this song is love, loss and regret – not the theme NRC is seeking in 2018! The pain and sadness expressed in the lyrics is in the present moment, but the underlying wish is for a better future.

Many of you are aware by now that the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and its grantees took a hit in 2017. NDEQ had an unprecedented number of grant requests, far exceeding the funds available for its Litter Reduction and Recycling grants. Instead of choosing to fund only the highest scorers, they reduced funding by a minimum of 50% for all grant requests. The result is that many nonprofits working in resource recovery, like NRC, will go through a rough patch in 2018 to cover operating expenses.

So, the question is, what theme will guide us in 2018? What will take us from “These Days” to the future we want to create?

Here’s what I know: We will adapt. We will heed the lesson of diversifying our funding sources. We will continue to build a coalition of individuals, organizations, communities, and service providers. In fact, our first statewide Advisory Council meeting will take place January 31st! We will ask our good friends and new acquaintances to share their wisdom, and listen carefully. We will support communities that pool their resources and build resource recovery networks. And we will persevere until resource recovery is the norm in Nebraska.

Shared wisdom, shared resources, perseverance.

Did you ever watch the 90’s TV series, Ally McBeal? I think we need to pick a theme song, one that motivates and inspires us, just like Ally’s therapist, Dr. Tracy Clark (Tracey Ullman), advised Ally to do in one of the episodes. But we need your help.

What’s that “power” song that builds you up, inspires you, and puts the spring in your walk? (Example) “A New Way to Walk” with Destiny’s Child (Beyoncé) Please send your suggestions and we’ll share them on Facebook!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who took the survey about our case studies! And a big CONGRATULATIONS to our HopCat gift card winner – Nicole Effle! Thanks for participating, Nicole, and we hope you enjoy your meal!

– Julie