From the publisher: Pay it forward today for tomorrow
I do not remember the exact day, only that it changed my life.
I was 22-years-old, in college and I had spent years going back and forth either living with friends or my parents. Along the way, I tallied up a list of bad decisions (which is a much longer piece).
One night, with my head in my hands, I was overwhelmed with frustration. The realization hit that I needed to stop leaning on other people and vices. I grabbed everything I owned — only the things I had personally purchased — found someone who had an extra room for rent and moved.
My first night in my new place, I was armed with only clothes and books. I slept on the floor, which was appropriate as I wanted to rebuild my life from the ground up. My goal at that moment was to never ask for help again — a perspective that has served me well, and one I’ve been mostly able to stick to.
In part because asking for support makes me feel vulnerable … and like a failure.
But in this new coronavirus reality — as you see businesses close and people losing jobs — it’s hard not to feel vulnerable. I worry that the wrong decisions can lead to failure not only for me, but those depending on me — from teammates to those who rely upon the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.
As I was pondering this, I read the following line in Brad Lomenick’s book, “H3 Leadership: Be Humble, Stay Hungry, Always Hustle,” that gave me pause.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of courage, innovation, creativity and change. …There is no innovation or creativity without failure.”
Don’t run from vulnerability — embrace it. Don’t fear failure, but view it as a learning tool.
As noted in recent columns, our focus during this pandemic is on innovation; specifically, on how we can use this moment to better connect and inform. Like many businesses, we’re vulnerable — almost 100 percent of our revenue comes from clients marketing with us.
As they hurt, we hurt … and they are hurting.
Several people have asked how they can help. Here’s a way: We have set up an option for donations. If you are so inclined, able and willing, we would appreciate it. You can do so at https://www.postindependent.com/donate/
I don’t ask this lightly. There are a lot of people struggling right now, and honestly, I’m used to being in the position of providing help, not seeking it.
But I’m asking for several reasons.
I ask because I believe in our mission, see how important it is, am proud of our work and proud to be part of this community.
From the coronavirus to profiles, from government meetings to photo essays and videos, we’ve been covering the area — your stories — for more than 120 years, and will continue to do so.
I ask because in addition to news coverage, our team members are part of several civic-minded groups, donate to and volunteer with nonprofits. We are intertwined in the community.
I ask because as part of this community, we’re partnering to help other local businesses during this time. With the help of the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce and Bank of Colorado, we’re promoting “open” local restaurants every day online and in the paper. In partnership with Alpine Bank and chambers of commerce across Garfield and Pitkin counties, we’re promoting businesses that are selling goods online … every day online and in the paper. We encourage you to support these businesses and all local businesses. And if you can, support us, too.
There are some people who will find it odd that a for-profit business is asking for donations. I get that.
I would note that we have provided our services for free to the community for a long time, and there are many people who don’t view us as a business but as a public service.
I view us as both, and the importance of the latter has never been more evident. We can tell from the number of emails and calls thanking us. And we can tell from the increased readership. When it matters most, people come to us and we are humbled by it.
As a show of public service, for every dollar donated, we will provide in-kind marketing to local nonprofits. You can support journalism and nonprofits at the same time. We’ve already received more than $3,200 in donations, which means more than $3,200 we will offer to local nonprofits in marketing. We will be providing guidelines to nonprofits in the coming weeks to access this.
Finally, I ask because this is an opportunity to converse with you on how we can improve, innovate, inform and connect. Please let us know.
I will end this part by simply saying thank you readers. We appreciate your support in the past and in the future.
We’re in this together. And together we will get through this.
There has been some confusion about our opinion page changes. To be clear, we’re not pivoting away from opinion. We terminated the contracts with our national and local columnists. Many of our local columnists have said they want to stay on, and you will continue to see their columns. We appreciate that.
The biggest changes will be not running the opinion page if we have the need for more news content. In short, we’re not committing ourselves to the page every day.
There are more points of clarification and responses to inquiries coming – including comics – but if you have questions, please let me know.
Jerry Raehal is publisher of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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