Being a member of the Thread Strategies team is one of my proudest accomplishments. The experience of defining our core values as a firm was one example of how working with Thread has been so fulfilling. Our final set of core values are meaningful to each of us individually and they express what’s at the heart of our work with our partners. As we identified and defined these values, real-world examples of how the Thread team and our partners live these values were immediately illuminated.
For example, we saw our value of “connected community” come to life during the recent government shutdown. This tough time brought many groups in the Washington, DC community (as well as around the country) together to meet the needs of furloughed government workers. The Thread team found our natural mindset of connecting our community allowed us to make a quick introduction between two of our current partners, Greater DC Diaper Bank and World Central Kitchen, at the height of the crisis. The outcome benefited many of those who visited the #ChefsforFeds Resource Center established by World Central Kitchen where the Greater DC Diaper Bank team was able to distribute diapers, incontinence supplies, and period products to those in need.
Behind the scenes, there were Goliath amounts of work happening to help those in need. It was an amazing effort that came together in a matter of a few short days, and on some of the coldest days of the year, I might add. These two organizations, and the other groups that helped fill the resource center, had to flex their mission muscles to make miracles happen. It was refreshing to see many organizations make connections and come together in a shared space to accomplish a central mission.
There is a pervasive pressure in our industry to compete with one another for the resources necessary to survive. That pressure is born out of a “scarcity” mindset where organizations see themselves competing for the same, shrinking, donor dollar. In a connected community, there is an abundance of resources because organizations and members of the community know what their strengths are and seek to connect with others who compliment those strengths to provide for the needs of the community.
Our friends at World Central Kitchen opened their doors to feed furloughed workers. As the full extent of the need was realized, they brought others together to help address a greater need. They could have focused solely on preparing meals and would still have fed a lot of people. But they multiplied the impact made because they embraced an opportunity to create a connected community. At Thread, we believe deeply in the power of partnerships to take us all farther. We are always on the lookout for ways we can help facilitate these types of connections and build networks, and we could not be prouder than when our partners join us in living out this value. We thank our partner at World Central Kitchen and the Greater DC Diaper Bank for the example they have set, and we look forward to being part of more powerful connections like this one as we continue to grow our community.