Gifts in Action
Your gifts in support of Center for Whole Communities are making a difference in communities every day.
Ways we put your contributions to work:
- Approximately all 100 participants in our Whole Thinking Program each year receive full fellowships, so that cost is not prohibitive to their attendance.
- Our alumni body has grown from 23 leaders in 2003 to over 1,200 in 2012. In 2012 alone we welcomed 81 leaders from across the country to our Whole Thinking Retreats and have celebrated 151 new alumni/ae.
- Our Advanced Leadership Workshops support Whole Communities work in action in the neighborhoods they serve.
- We welcomed the third cohort of emerging conservation leaders to the 2042 Today Program to explore diversity within the field of environmental conservation, how to cultivate the next generation of leaders, and how conservationists can ally themselves with and learn from other movements for change.
- This summer we offered two Mission Retreats- one for people who work within the field of Substance Abuse and Recovery in New Hampshire and one that brought together environmental educators and land-based leaders from the Upper Valley in New Hampshire.
- Each year for the past four years we have been able to invest in our diverse and highly accomplished faculty, bringing them together for faculty retreats and evolving a curriculum together so that it is sensitive to the wide range of people we serve.
- Whole Measures has been distributed to over 3,500 people and is actively engaging and working with new leaders through hosting Whole Measures workshops. CWC's collaboration with Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC) has been invaluable in evolving the Whole Measures work.
- Knoll Farm continues to expand its offerings to the local community and beyond as a place for community gatherings, inspiring speakers, and workshops on organic agriculture and sustainable design.
Everything we do at Knoll Farm and Center for Whole Communities is supported by the generosity of many people, just like you, who believe in what we do. We continue this lineage of gifts by making many of our programs tuition free. We do this for two reasons: First, so that there is as little barrier to entry as possible, that people from all backgrounds might benefit from what we offer. Second, we are doing our part to foster a different economy, a gift economy that is based on need, trust, generosity, and community. If you attended one of our tuition free programs at Knoll Farm and enjoyed your experience, know that others can have that same experience by your generosity. Please support us as much as you can.
This is not charity, but the hard and sustained work of creating a different economy based on trust, openness, and the human ability to give and receive. We believe the power of our own activism is strengthened many times over by investing it in the lineage of gifts. The lineage of gifts grows stronger as different lives are invested in it and contributed toward it. People who come to Knoll Farm and participate in the programs here receive the gift, and are given the chance to enter into the lineage by giving a gift themselves.
Story of Giving
In the case of Knoll Farm, the lineage of gifts is a long and powerful story. In the boom of the 1980s people all over the Mad River Valley where we’re based were selling their land to make money off the growing ski and tourist economy. Ann Day, the farm’s owner since the 1950s, could easily have sold Knoll Farm and retired elsewhere. But she decided to do something else entirely. She made a promise to herself and to her community that Knoll Farm would never be developed. Putting a conservation easement on her farm was a gift she made to the Mad River Valley and to the land itself. That gift was given back to her many times over as other members of the community began to make gifts of conservation easements over their land. Today, more than 7,000 acres of land in the valley have been protected by people giving away the rights to develop their own land. The consumer economy would say that these people gave away their most valuable asset. The gift economy knows that their lives were enriched by the act of building community and sustaining the land.
In 2001, Ann Day made the lineage even stronger by giving her beloved Knoll Farm to the Vermont Land Trust. She also made a gift of much of her other personal property to the American Friends Service Committee. Because of Ann’s gift of Knoll Farm, Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow were able to buy it at a price they could afford. They in turn have invested all that they have in creating public programs at Knoll Farm that are free and open to all.
Learn more about the history of Ann Day’s and, now, Center for Whole Communities’ beloved Knoll Farm in our newest book, Entering This Land: A History of Knoll Farm; an exploration of the rich history of this special place, from ancient geologic time to present day.
Honoring and Remembering the Day Family
In 2007, Center for Whole Communities renamed the 280-acres of Brightenback Forest at Knoll Farm the Day Family Forest, in recognition of the tremendous support that Ann Day and her family have shown the land, the community, the nonprofit, and co-founders Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow. It only seems right that the forest that the family cared for and loved for many decades should go on bearing their name, a lasting testament to their generosity.
On February 6, 2008, we were saddened to lose Alan Day, Ann’s son. Our new office space, which will be created by renovating the barn in which Alan lived for a number of years, will be dedicated in his honor.
Valley Reporter, Waitsfield, VT, 2/14/08: "Alan Ashley Day age 54, died February 6, 2008 in the “Little House” at Halls Pond, South Paris, Maine embraced by the loving care of his family and friends. Alan was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in January 2007 and chose alternative therapy. Between April and December he made six trips to Cologne, Germany for his treatments. This past year, he approached his illness with great courage, energy, humor, grace and dance. He was supported and loved by an ever-widening circle of incredible caring friends.
He is survived by his wife Deirdre Sulka-Meister and her daughter, Violet of Portland, ME, his daughters Ruby Grace DayBranch and Emma Rose DayBranch, their mother, Katey Branch of Halls Pond, his mother, Ann Bemis Day of Fayston, VT and his sister Deb Barnes of Gettysburgh, PA, his nephew Haven Barnes of Manitou Springs, CO, his niece Megan Day Leitz, her husband Justin and grand nephew, Reese of Brisbane, Australia and Alan’s extended family, aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his father, Frank Ashley Day of Fayston, VT, his maternal grandparents, Alan and Mary Bemis of Concord, MA and his paternal grandparents, F. Ashley and Katherine Day also of Concord, MA.
Alan was born in Exeter, NH in January of 1954. He moved with his family to the Mad River Valley in Vermont in December of 1954. He grew up at Knoll Farm and attended the Fayston Elementary School, Holderness School in Plymouth NH and graduated from Harwood Union High School in 1971. He majored in movement therapy at Hampshire College between 1972-1976. Moving to South Paris, ME, he became the assistant to Tony Montanero at Celebration Mime Theater. For over twenty years, Alan had a massage practice, Healing Hands, in Norway, Oxford County and in Portland, ME.
All of Alan’s life revolved around dance, music and the arts. Through his music and dance he gave joy, love and healing to so many around this earth. He was passionate about the environment, peace, non-violence and the natural world.
A small private family gathering of songs, poems and remembrances was held in the “Little House” at Halls Pond on February 7th. He made the final trip on sleds across the snowy field to his resting place into the arms of Gaia, at the edge of the woods on the Halls Pond property. Memorial services and celebration of Alan’s life will be held in both Maine and Vermont in the near future. It will be announced in the paper.
Donations in Alan’s honor can be made to the causes that he so loved including: The Center of Whole Communities at Knoll Farm, 700 Bragg Hill Road, Fayston, VT; Maine Initiatives, Augusta ME; United For A Fair Economy, Boston, MA; Fare Share Coop, Norway, ME."