The picture is me with my grandfather who I barely knew since he died when I was only 5. He was a Jewish farmer who helped many in our clan escape and immigrate to Canada in 1938 just before the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia. But he loved life and lived it to the fullest.
I remember growing up of being very connected to the earth, farming and food. Many relatives in Canada were still farmers and I have some fond memories of visiting farms. My father was also into gardening and we benefitted from the rich soil where I grew up in central Illinois. Ties to nature and the land are part of my heritage.
I always loved the outdoors and felt very connected to it. I realized that the nature I enjoyed, I didn't create, but benefited from, and was privileged to be able to explore and appreciate.
But in the short time I have been here on this planet, I have seen nature degraded. While I believe, as did Aldo Leopold who died the year I was born, that we are to be members and citizens of the land community, and be good stewards, I have watched us too often conquerer and destroy. However, being part of the Sierra Club chapter that bears the name of our founder, John Muir, with his strong love for and appreciation of nature, reminds me of my own connections.
I have found a home in the Sierra Club with not only the goal to protect nature, but that the Sierra Club also acknowledges the disparities and injustices that are occurring in our society and world, and to take an active role in not just environmental, but overall justice. I was given many privileges, including enjoying this planet, that I wasn't responsible for. Others should have that opportunity and privilege too.
As hard as we fight for justice and the planet, we are constrained by the resources we have. That's why I'm asking you to join me in donating to the John Muir Chapter to provide us the freedom and capacity to do more. You'll be investing not only in your future, but that of many others and generations to come.
You can learn more about the Wisconsin John Muir Chapter at sierraclub.org/wisconsin, and also contribute to specific campaigns at addup.org. We have terrific staff and volunteers, and your support lets them know how much they are valued, and enables us to do so much more.
Thank you for caring and helping support our cause and lifting our spirits.
P.S. The Sierra Club has been around for over 12 decades - but the next one will be the most critical in determining our future on this planet. Please help that future be a brighter one!