Open Collective
Open Collective
Looking Back, Peering Ahead
Published on December 21, 2022 by Katy (Fetters) Gaastra

Hello Cerebral Palsy Strong!

Here's a brief note reflecting on our challenges, celebrating our progress, and probing into the future of our org.

Earlier this year, we hosted our second CP Social event — a gathering for people with cerebral palsy to meet, connect, share stories and have fun! We couldn't have done this without the support of the Arc'Teryx Community Grant and we're so grateful for their support.

While our goal was to get outside and have a more nature-filled experience, the 90+ degree heat had other plans. The local Arc'Teryx PDX team was also gracious enough to open their store after-hours for us to escape the heat and enjoy a happy hour together and some of us even shared a little after-hours dinner at a pub across the street. It was such an amazing event and I'm so glad some of our community members came out for it — from near and far!

A big thank you to all our supporters. With your donations, we were also able to fund our operational expenses for the first time ever this year and OCF made that process so easy. I'm still learning how to more passively raise funds to maintain our ability to do this in the coming years, but our event programming (future CP Socials) will be continue to be our main funding priority.

A continual personal challenge that I face is how to maintain momentum, as well as how to ask for and accept help when it's offered. Collaboration is something that this platform facilitates so well and I am working on being better about accessing our network and reaching out. This will enable our growth and expansion as we move forward. 

My first ask? Please share this page with your network to help us continue to host CP Socials and/or send any disability-focused grant-making resources our way! Thanks for any support you can provide.

This coming year, fundraising and applying to grants will be CPstrong's main focus. People want to support us and be a part of this community — and gaining access to more capital will allow us to expand our reach and programming. This platform is a valuable tool and I need to be more consistent about using it as well as publicizing it!

Our secondary focus will be around creating small, more consistent touch-points to foster more active engagement: posting regular updates on social, sharing stories that have been submitted to us, and working toward more CPstrong merchandise that people have requested.

The bottom line: We need to make sure we're thinking smartly about fundraising and development to create more movement around this community so we can continue to host events and sustain our organization. 2023 is the year to do that. 

Happy holidays to you all — wishing you health and a beautiful start to the new year. 

- Katy