An Invitation: Our first Granola For Good Award

We are proud to presenting our first Granola for Good Award to IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services) an organization that has been serving refugees in New Haven, Connecticut.

This award is the brainchild of our own board member Sandra Enos and it is made in memory of Anne Dombrofski, who many of you will remember was Beautiful Day’s first Director of Strategic Partnerships and before that the Director of Development at IRIS.

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Keith CooperComment
On Worry, Birds, Lovers on this Last Day of our May Appeal

This one has a beautiful bird who neither sows or reaps or writes grants or makes granola or handles HR or IT.  She’s openly vulnerable, glorious, somehow protecting or maybe just celebrating the lovers in their red refuge. (Egg? or nest? or—I know I read things into Chagall in part because he was a refugee. I’m taking it as that place of creative safety that so many refugees, and all of us who resonate with their experience, long for in our souls.)

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Kitchen (not so) Confidential

First, a bit of background: I’m very new to Beautiful Day, joining the organization in late March after many (many) years in the for-profit world. Within my first few days with Beautiful Day, I had the opportunity to spend a shift in the kitchen, working with the trainees as they made our granola. I had no idea what to expect, but looked forward to the opportunity. I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you about that night.

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Chuck LyndsComment
Refugee Valentines for Washington, Take 2

As many of you know, these are dark days for refugee resettlement. The Trump administration has capped admissions at 45,000—a historically rock-bottom number—and even this number is misleadingly high. Resettlement agencies are already experiencing significant budget cuts, and several dozen will be closing in the coming months.

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Keith CooperComment
Apple Pear Crisp with Granola Topping

This is an easy recipe, not too sweet, that showcases the tartness of the apples and fully-ripened Anjou pears. Beautiful Day granolas make this especially easy to assemble. It is a dessert that showcases the fruit, the grains, the dried fruits, and nuts. 

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Keith CooperComment
Building an upside-down company

Thank you for being our customers and partners in mission. Thanks for making it possible to do things like hire Iman to do exactly what he is best at. We’d love your (tax-deductible) donation during this season so we can continue to train refugees (23 this year) and employ some like Iman. 

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Keith CooperComment
Excerpted from an address to Episcopal Charities

Many of us gathered here are inspired by the metaphor that a community functions as a body: made up of individuals yet creating a whole. If this is true, then we can't really know who we are unless we are thankful for those—the other body parts—around us.  A hand can’t ever be a foot; but it will be a happier, more humble, more curious, more effective and real hand when it begins to depend on that foot.  So that’s the invitation.  The warning is that if we ever participate in marginalizing other people—or start thinking we don’t need them—then we distort both our sense of ourselves and our sense of humanity.

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Surprisingly amicable self-interview Part 2: Barnett Newman, a blue chicken, the future of resettlement, and #Teamgranola.

I feel dark sometimes, but I don’t feel paranoid.  Beautiful Day is a tiny outpost on the periphery of the refugee galaxy and the US resettlement system, so nobody is out to get us, but we’ll need to be vigilant.  Our mission is going to be harder and harder to sustain if only because there will be fewer and fewer refugees arriving in the US, and thus in Providence. Meanwhile, the world population of refugees is growing rapidly.

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A surprisingly amicable self-interview Part 1: Ristening, hurricanes, DACA and an alternative metaphor.

She was talking about how some of the metaphors that working moms rely on like “a juggling act” serve them so poorly because who would ever want to live a life of constantly throwing the things you care most about in life up in the air and then trying to catch them again.  The alternative she proposed was “composing a life," which right away made me wonder if I could ever approach my work as composing or maybe creating a big art-project.

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If the light within you is darkness:

What are the stakes if the United States turns its back on the refugees of the world?  I expect a vicious cycle: increased generation of refugees, increasing retention of refugees in some of the world's poorest countries who are least equipped to care for them, increased hopelessness of these populations, increased turning to radical anti-western solutions, decreased exposure in our communities to refugees, decreased empathy and understanding..

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Every breaking wave

It’s good thing to be alone and small in the presence of breaking waves and shifting dunes and the incredible beauty of a cold fog when some of your life work seems threatened.  When I checked my phone, it told me I was walking in open ocean.  For some reason that made me laugh out loud. The whole peninsula had shifted east since Google maps recorded it.  I keep thinking about that now. I'm a little person. 

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Seasons Greetings Dear Friends

Perhaps you will remember or have heard about our stony-ground early days as a start-up non profit. We were teaching hidden people to make granola (of all things). I was a volunteer, and we were all wondering whether a small business had a chance to serve our grander purpose.  

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Keith Cooper Comment
Three metaphors, three fake-Trump tweets

This tragedy felt close to home at so many levels.  Ohio State is my alma mater.  That street where it happened is close to where I used to catch the bus. Interesting how we want people to feel safe in places we know. In fact, my brother-in-law was on campus that morning, so my wife and I were texting him while we listened to the news in the car in Boston.  

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