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A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met. – Will Rogers

Wow, what a whirlwind year it’s been since January. We launched our wheelchair charging stations in February after much research, securing funding, and just as usual, plodding forward! Except that one day, a guy came to see me about his interest in creating a program to visit seniors. Senior companionship programs are so important for those who are isolated and lonely. I connected him to an organization that might be interested also. Somehow as conversations do, it meandered to our latest program, wheelchair charging stations. Well, Rob Holloway lit up. It was amazing. He created the most amazing Google doc to help me launch, monitor, and share our efforts. We had a goal of 100 stations this year and we’re already at 94! The number changes at the moment. By the time you read this, we may have smashed our goal!

Talk about a project whose time had come. Thanks to George Adams for the question last year, “Why aren’t there wheelchair charging stations?” Well, there are! Thanks to Siskiyou Outback Runners for the first investment in 20 stations! Thanks to US Bank for a bonus sponsorship for our efforts and thanks to Pacific Power for the sizeable grant that has made it all possible. And Project A and Jim Teece have created an amazing website that shows a map of all the locations and is updated almost simultaneously! And it’s a map of Oregon. That leads to my next goal. Yes, we’re United Way of Jackson County! And why isn’t the whole country doing this? It’s not costly and it’s the best welcoming project I can think of in today’s fractured world. So now we’re going to prepare launch kits to share with any community who wants to create a similar project. Let’s roll has new meaning!

People, organizations, businesses, government agencies, and faith communities want to be part of something good! This, my friends, is good.

Rob is no longer a stranger. Not only is he a superstar volunteer as is his partner, Elizabeth. He’s my friend. We welcome strangers here and you will leave a friend and a volunteer!