What a privilege it has been to serve you this year as we have individually and collectively navigated our ever-changing environment. With that in mind, we at Hummingbird thought it might be a good idea to focus on what 2020 has taught us as well as what we hope 2021 will bring.
It’s been quite an adventure adjusting not only in good food business, but in all our daily encounters and routines. And just as we have acclimated to our COVID lockdowns and restrictions, the food world has had to adapt too.
We’d like to take a moment to shine the light on some personal stories of 2020, and hopefully encourage you to find rays of hope for the future.
"I look forward to holding gratitude in my heart all year in 2021: for a job with people I really care about, a home where I am safe and comfortable, earth that holds and nourishes me."
I am thankful for 2020 asking me to go further in identifying what is meaningful, essential and fun in my life as the challenges of the year overwhelmed the status quo of my familiar way of navigating the world around me. I have so much appreciation for Hummingbird's wholesale customers and Hummingbird coworkers who continued to work, despite the challenges of Covid, to bring healthy clean food to those who needed it. I am seeking to be grateful for each moment I have breath and consciousness because that appears to be the only thing over which I have any control that will make a difference in every interaction. —Charlie Tilt, CEO/Co-owner
Well it seems overwhelming to express how much I am grateful for today. Even during these challenging times, I am so grateful for another day to try to be the best I can be. Another breath in this body. Another day to strive to change myself, to transform every negative thought into a positive affirmation of love for all beings. To catch myself when I am not in my integrity working toward my mission of service to all. I am in awe of this day, this minute, this beautiful crazy world. And of course, I am grateful for my precious husband Charlie and our sweet girls, for Hummingbird, for good food. I am on my knees in thanks giving. May our giving be thankful.—Julie Tilt, Co-owner
I am grateful for my partner, who loves me unconditionally for all that I am. I am grateful for my friends and community where different perspectives can converge and create blossoming perspectives. I am grateful for my mother and father, whose differences I love and cherish. I am grateful for books and the worlds I get to explore in them when the one I'm living in makes me feel, at times, incredibly scared and anxious. I am grateful for Hummingbird, and the love and support that I receive from my community here. There is a lot that I am grateful for, and to be able to even write a few down, makes me realize that I have a whole list of things that I don't even think about that I am incredibly grateful for. Sometimes it is easy to become ungrateful, which I often do, but writing and thinking about all the little and big wonders, make moments in life even brighter. —Ramani Karen, Customer Service and Sales Representative
There is no sugar coating it, 2020 has been a difficult year. It has presented all of us with incredible challenges, but also with opportunities to reflect, be better, have more empathy and take time to focus on what is most important. I feel fortunate to work in the Organic food business, because we have the privilege of providing sustenance to our communities. Now, more than ever, this feels like such a meaningful way to serve! It has been heartening to see how adversity can bring people together to support one another and our communities. At Hummingbird, we have been able to provide food donations to local schools for their family food box programs, to support free lunch programs, support communities impacted by the fires in Oregon, our local food bank and so much more.
I am grateful for staying connected in new ways this year. As coworkers trying to bridge the gap between onsite and remote workers, and as families and friends in a physically distanced reality - we are finding creative ways to stay in touch, get our work done and to be authentic in the experience. I feel so fortunate to live in a time when we have access to technology that makes it easier to do this. Personally, like many people I know, I have taken stock of what really matters - family and friends, meaningful work and taking time for reflection, time to slow down. I have spent more time cooking healthy meals (...and baking some comfort foods - bread and cookies, anyone?) and I have been making more time to be in nature. I love to travel, but this year has kept me closer to home, exploring Oregon's mountains and beaches. Kayaking the Cascade Lakes many times throughout this past summer with my family and dogs was such an amazing way to keep my soul fed. Wow, I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place! I am so thankful for my family, for time with friends and family (even if it is over Zoom!), and for the incredible people who are part of the Hummingbird community - my coworkers, the farmers, customers, food industry and non-profit friends - all who are inspiring leaders in our food community. I look ahead with hope and am grateful for each day. —Stacy Kraker, Director Marketing & Sales
I'm thankful for loving family, friends, and co-workers that support me. Thankful for plants growing and snow falling. Thankful for all the wonderful trails and rivers and mountains of Oregon. I'm thankful to be alive! I'm looking forward to getting married to the love of my life, running to the top of Mary's Peak and maybe getting back to some semblance of normal. —Jackson Bagley-Bonner, Sales Representative
2020: I am thankful for my little family, with the new addition this year of baby Odie. I'm thankful for a good job and working with good people. I'm thankful for my health and the health of my family. I'm thankful for the extra time I've been able to spend with my immediate family and making memories. Things I’m looking forward to in 2021: I'm looking forward to the prospect that some aspects of my social life could begin again. I look forward to another spring and summer filled with sunshine. —Eve Springer, Storefront Administrator
I am thankful for the health of my family and the continued support I have felt from our community. We are facing unprecedented times and I am so grateful that we have come together and are working as a community to get through the year. —Chelsea Porter, Quality Control and Regulatory Coordinator
I was very thankful that covid didn't cancel my June bike trip with great friends that was a year in the making. I am also very thankful for having gotten this job 2 weeks before the pandemic hit the US. —Ted Dubrawski, Warehouse Associate
In 2020, I have been thankful for the time we do get to share with friends and family. I lost my Mom this year and that has been hard, but it reminds me of how much I do appreciate those closest to me. I am thankful for the rivers as they have been integral in finding peace this challenging year. And on a fun note, I am thankful for this focused time with my wife and kids, and coworkers. We've enjoyed more good food than usual and that has made a big impact on my happiness. For 2021, I am looking forward to adventures on the rivers in my canoe, and on bikes in Alaska too. —Paul Adkins, Marketing & Brand Coordinator
In 2020 every member of the production team grew professionally and gained a new skill. We brought on 30 new SKUs of snacks and 3 new manufactured items and already did some expert management to discontinue the ones that were not performing up to our standards. Everyone has learned this year, reflected and grown. I am so proud! Personally, I achieved my goal of making choices because I wanted to. I stopped rationalizing my likes and dislikes with efficiency monikers like better than or more reasonable. In my personal life - I don't have to do the reasonable thing. I can love whom I love and dream what I dream and I don't have to be sorry! It's been a real eye-opener. I also had a lot of great nature time this summer and love my new goats and barn life.
In 2021, I am looking forward to continuing to mentor the production team, they are the most fun!! I can only dream of what new skills we might summit together in 2021. I look forward to changing skies and the grass growing again. I look forward to up to 40(!!!) goat kids(oh dear....). I look forward to sunset vistas and the sweet smells of the warming soil as winter turns to spring. I look forward to making cheese!! Spring flowers!! Vegetables!! Patio Dinners!! Canoeing!! I also look forward to excellent lessons in getting help when I think I might need it, before I am terribly overwhelmed and not meeting my goals. I look forward to holding gratitude in my heart all year in 2021: for a job with people I really care about, a home where I am safe and comfortable, earth that holds and nourishes me. I hope that I can enjoy more time with my bird friends in 2021 with ZERO safety concerns!! —Emma Sackinger, Production Department Manager
2020 has been a roller coaster of a year has it not? Despite the litany of disturbing, inconvenient and bothersome events which have occurred in 2020, I do have many things for which to be thankful.
I am thankful I now live in a large new home I built myself a couple of years ago. This has allowed home schooling our two children to be much easier than it would have been otherwise.
I am thankful that I have established my own company this year called Oregon Grain and Bean LLC which will help in marketing my Organic hulless black barley, a project I have been working on for many years.
I am thankful that my daughter Hannah has maintained straight A's thus far in her first year of High School. Being able to study about the Civil War with my 12 year old son has been a joy as well.
I am especially thankful for being able to maintain my employment uninterrupted here at Hummingbird Wholesale. Many others in the community have not been so lucky.
Lastly, I am quite thankful that not one individual of my very large extended family has contracted Covid19!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! —James Henderson
Senior Farm Liaison