From the Editors: Getting organized
August 2021: For the frazzled and discombobulated among us, this time of year serves to remind us of the importance of prioritization
By the time this issue's run is over, school will officially be back in session. And in the lead-up to that annual milestone, there will inevitably be chaos — a scramble to pack in as many late summer plans and projects before the footballs start to fly and the leaves start to turn.
For the frazzled and discombobulated among us, this time of year serves to remind us of the importance of prioritization. Of all our organization methods — and we have some elaborate ones (e.g. color-coding Tupperware containers by moon phase, timing plant waterings by the number of affixed googly eyes) — organization by priority is perhaps our most fundamental. Civilization itself was organized to better serve our priorities — food, water, shelter, security, socialization, and if all else went according to plan, fulfilling a sense of greater purpose.
The basic subunit of civilization, of course, is community. And a community's priorities can be read by what causes it chooses to organize around. Erie Gives Day, which has been observed on the second Tuesday of August for a decade, has proven a good barometer of that over the years, providing a telling cross-section of what we care most about. For some of us, it goes back to our health and well-being. For others, it's the environment we share and the other living things we share it with. Still, others organize around reorganizing society in such a manner that it is fair and equitable to all.
Elemental to socioeconomic equity is access to a quality education. The freshly instituted Erie County Community College of Pa. (EC3PA) is currently locked into its own late-summer scramble, getting its facilities, faculty, and infrastructure ready in time to welcome its first students on Wednesday, Sept. 1 (incidentally the date when the next edition of the Erie Reader will drop). Nick Warren speaks to newly appointed EC3PA president Dr. Christopher Gray about this process, and how supporting the community college model helps buttress our future.
Although certainly high profile, EC3PA is just one of 426 nonprofits that can be donated to on Erie Gives Day, taking place Aug. 10 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. That's a lot of priorities to sort through. Thankfully, the Erie Community Foundation — now under the direction of Karen Bilowith following the retirement of Mike Batchelor (see Ben Speggen's interview) — offers handy search and filter functionalities on its Erie Gives website (eriegives.org). And if you still need to be steered in a particular direction, the Erie Reader staff is here to help throughout these pages, with write-ups and in-depth articles on several worthy causes.
Even if you lost your Trapper Keeper back in the '90s, here's hoping we continue to find ways to get our priorities straight. Community, though — that's something we can all organize around.