2017 is going to be a great year! The taste of roast turkey, prime rib, mashed potatoes and gravy, Christmas carols, and bonus family time are now distant memories. Where I grew up, people are settling in for a long winter’s nap, but this is southern California…the land of sun and sand. It seems that it is always sunny and warm for the Rose Bowl parade and the beaches and parks are full of people walking, biking, relaxing, or recovering from their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

January is a great time to take an inventory of ourselves, our families, our businesses, and our lives in general. We reflect upon past decisions to help us make better choices. Fitness and health become more of a focus for many. It could be that the American custom of gorging ourselves during the holidays has something to do with that, or it could be that many want to start some new healthy habits.

The planning and setting of goals each year is also commonplace during January. It seems as if an invisible reminder pops up after the 1st, and speaks to us about what we want to accomplish and within what time frame. I find myself doing that regularly every year. It brings new hope for possibilities and outcomes we imagine and dream about.

As I reflect on 2016, I think back on all the blessings in my life. I also think about one of the very sad things that my team and I encountered while working with the OC Food Bank during our magazine’s Third-Year Anniversary Celebration. We learned that the number of families being fed by the OC Food Bank every month is more than 100,000.  We were shocked, and it became immediately apparent that we needed to help more of those in need.

Our goal in 2017 is to raise awareness about the problems we face in Orange County, by giving a voice to organizations like the OC Food Bank and others that fight endlessly for humanitarian causes to provide for hundreds of thousands of Orange County citizens.

As we begin 2017, join us in some very important reflection and planning for the year. Think about the blessings in your life, and then plan on how you can unite with us to help those that are less fortunate. As William James, the Father of American psychology once said, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

Happy New Year from our family to yours,

Randy Harding