Today is the last day of our annual Daily Yonder donor campaign. It was also on this day twenty years ago we started the Center for Rural Strategies. Specifically, on December 31, 2000, we signed incorporation papers and got our IRS letter into the Whitesburg, Kentucky Post Office.

We had not yet imagined the Daily Yonder then, or the Rural Assembly, or campaigns taking on CBS or the U.S. banking system. Still, we had a decent plan.

We imagined an outfit like the one we were planning could shine a different light on rural life, on what people were facing, on what kept them going, and on what might be possible together even against long odds.

Once you are actually on the job you see how much there is to do and where your capacity might be shaky. All of the sudden the rows seem longer and your hoe shorter. But fortunately, what we have had going for us from the start was a lot of pals, buddies who were rooting for us when we opened the doors in 2001 and new friends who kept pitching in along the way: writers, photographers, educators, health professionals, community developers, tech advocates, rural practitioners, and, of course, Daily Yonder donors. 

You look around and a community of partners has taken root, people with an idea how to fix things, and others who remembered something important they learned growing up.

Now, it’s twenty years later. And we have pulled off a few things together, but there is more to do, and we are not done. Stick with us. We can shorten the odds. Many hands make light work.

Thanks for supporting us during this year’s donor campaign, and throughout the 20 years that came before.

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