This past weekend, CLI held its first-ever Community Fun Day at Trinity United Methodist Church, in Frederick. The event was free and open to the entire community. We had two delightful face painters, a games area, our sno cone stand, and a huge spread of delicious summer foods. It was a big success. We saw plenty of new faces as well as a great many familiar ones. Everyone came together to eat, laugh, talk, and enjoy one another’s company.

CLI planned this event not as a fundraiser, but as a way to say “thank you.” As a nonprofit, we aren’t unaccustomed to asking for donations or raising funds. It’s a big part of making sure we can keep doing what we do. But we also know that, as a nonprofit, our role in the community is more than just fulfilling our mission. It’s about being there for our supporters, our friends, and our neighbors. It’s about giving back not just through our services, but through our participation, our presence, and our contributions.

We have gained so much from this community — not just through gifts of funds or much-needed items, but through support, love and camaraderie. Our Community Fun Day was a chance for us to express our gratitude for the wonderful people in Frederick and beyond, who make our work that much more gratifying. We love Frederick. We love our community. And we love what we do.

We can’t wait to hold our next Community Fun Day next year. After all, any opportunity we get to show our appreciation to the community, we’re more than happy to take.