A Request to Focus on Our Community

The team at Orange Element gathered yesterday for our annual “State of the Union”— a chance for us to regroup, level set and prepare to make our 14th year another great one.

As I prepared for the presentation, I reflected on the early days, when our mission included heavy weight around “using design and building integrated systems to help make the world a better place.” Over the years, this focus has gained us momentum and the fortunate opportunity to support brand building for organizations working on their own mission(s) towards social improvement. The non-profit sector has been very rewarding for us and we continue to keep all efforts in this space a priority.

I’m also reminded that 2015 left with me a feeling that people are not interested in helping each other anymore. The world seems to be sprinting towards a “me first” mentality, whether it be survival of the fit, protection from the weak or simply selfishness.

On a global level, I see too much shit going wrong. Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m watching a blockbuster movie or CNN.

On a local level, here in Baltimore, I see too much shit going wrong. I hear about too many people, even our local leaders, choosing to turn and run rather than understand how to unlock potential.

My plan for this post was different. I wanted to sit down and start the year with a positive spin on all of the great local organizations we’ve come to know. There are so many of them, right here in Baltimore, filled with extraordinary people doing incredible work. But I wanted to get these frustrations out there first so that we all might clear our heads, remember the importance of what it means to be part of a community, and renew a commitment to someone who needs your help.

On behalf of Orange Element, I’d like to ask that we all renew our commitments this year to Baltimore City and find an organization or group with whom we each can roll up our sleeves and lend hand.

In the coming months, I promise to highlight the great people and organizations that are doing good for us. Stay tuned.

Photo Credit: Hannah Rodrigo