For those of you who missed this summer’s announcement from Vermontivate, below is a letter from Kathy Blume, Vermontivate’s founder and strongest advocate.
Well, it’s been four months to the day since I went to the hospital with what turned out to be an exploded appendix and sepsis. Quite a ride to be sure!
Though while the physical journey has been on the arduous side (though things have eased up considerably of late), the love and support from friends, family, and community have been lush, abundant, and exquisitely beautiful.
Nobody ever asks for their life to be upended, and it’s nothing anyone would wish on anybody. But, as I’m sure many of you know, if one is fortunate enough and supported enough to take the time and space to be transformed – and I have been – it can be a profoundly meaningful experience.
That said, one of the gifts of time and space is clarity, and in my case, the realization that while exciting and meaningful and rife with potential, Vermontivate! never achieved financial or organizational sustainability.
We were constantly in startup mode, requiring me to do the work of several more people than I am. And while I could imagine quite a few scenarios in which we achieved that sustainability, we didn’t get there before my appendix stepped in with its own opinions on the subject.
Due to the recovery time required by some highly invasive surgery and the sepsis, I’m looking at about a year before I’m really back in action, and I suspect that by then, both the needs of the world, and my ambitions, will have changed considerably. Which is actually remarkable.
The idea for Vermontivate! was conceived in 2011, when we felt a need to shake people by the lapels just to get them to even think about, much less acknowledge the reality of climate change and the need for climate action. That’s not the case anymore – in large part due to all of your hard work, and the weaving of all kinds of movements for justice, including climate justice, into a growing fabric of both political revolution and systems change.
So, it seems an appropriate time to shut Vermontivate! down, reflect, heal, and see what needs and interests pop up when next year rolls around.
Oh behalf of the whole Vermontivate! Team, thank you all beyond thanks for your support, encouragement, and the willingness to nurture a big, hairy, audacious idea and have the patience to watch it grow and evolve over time.
Vermontivate! has changed all our lives, and the lives of many of our players, and you’ve all had an inextricable hand in that process.