By Kevin Visscher, CGS Treasurer
In a recent article headlining the NYT, there was an interesting discussion of the current prosperity of California (it reclaimed its position as “the world’s 5th largest economy,” largely driven by the Bay Area in particular) alongside its many significant challenges, like an already large homeless population that grew statewide by 14% last year.
The contrast between economic prosperity and poverty here is not anything new, but it reminds me of how easy it is to become apathetic toward the struggles of those around us, even in times of prosperity. Do I recognize the challenges faced by others, and what am I doing about it? Does an examination of how I spend my time and money reveal anything about my values?
What is CGS’s role in this economic environment?
As CGS’s treasurer, I see many indicators that CGS shares in the area’s prosperity. While our general giving through March is below our budget (by $15k, or 20%), it typically picks up significantly in the second half of the year to meet it and giving is quite similar to prior years by this time (less than $2k, or 3% lower than last year). Expenses are in line with what we budgeted ($5k under budget, or 5%). Net income is also similar to prior years at this time. Our cash and investment reserves are currently over $900,000. I think we are in a strong economic position, which is incredibly fortunate.
I'm also encouraged by the ways the CGS community is actively seeking to welcome and serve those who are struggling. For example:
Looking forward, let’s work together to notice the needs around us and act together to share the abundance with which we’ve been blessed.