Posted by DeAnn Morris

I started working on my taxes yesterday. I positioned the oversized shoebox labeled “2016” on the kitchen counter. I spread phase one (medical and donations) onto the kitchen table. I totaled receipts, stapled, and tossed them into the box. I created lists of numbers on a big yellow paper. I entered numbers onto our accountant’s spreadsheet.

The muscle memory is so engrained, I could be unconscious.

The calming predictability of doing my taxes grounds me at this otherwise surreal and chaotic moment. I have been in a state of shock and disbelief since the election. The insensitivity and inhumanity are profoundly troubling.

I do not particularly mind paying taxes. The activity implies I have an income. For that income I am grateful. (I take this moment to thank the young DeAnn for choosing a profession with a good retirement and for sticking with it for 37 years.)

Analogously, I have never minded committing to a generous pledge and following through on that commitment.

From both institutions, I get back gifts that promote my well-being.

The return on my investment in Neighborhood, however, is existentially substantial compared to the return for my paying taxes. Right now, the return from Neighborhood seems to be one of the major beacons helping me navigate a world of alternative facts and parallel universes.

The pledge drive cogs are whirring: the canvassers are meeting face-to-face with members; the pilot program Neighborhood Neighbors is humming; voices are pitching a plentiful pledge from the lectern and the blogs.

Neighborhood needs our grateful support as it looks forward to robust financial health. One way to express our abundant appreciation is to increase our pledge.

Thank you, Neighborhood, for being a Beacon of Peace and Justice. Thank you for solace and succor in an otherwise insane season.

–DeAnn Morris, Pledge Drive Chair