The Meaning of Our Name

Written by Laura Ringo on October 24th 2018.

October 2018

By Laura Ringo, Executive Director at Partners for Active Living

Over the last two months Partners for Active Living’s board of directors has spent time exploring the meaning behind our name, specifically the word ‘partners’. Our discussion included –

  • What should it mean to ‘partner’ with PAL?                         
  • Is there a difference between formal and informal partnerships?
  • Should all partnerships be reciprocal?    
  • Who are our partners?                                                                 
  • Are there others that we should partner with?
  • How do we become a stronger partner?
  • What does this mean about our audience/stakeholders/clients?

This activity was more than just semantics. This word, ‘partners’, has and continues to define who PAL is and what our role is in the Spartanburg community. Over our 15 years we have planned events, coordinated programs and initiated a variety of policy-system-environment changes (hello jargon!) that support healthy lifestyles. But that isn’t what defines us.

As a small organization with limited capacity and resources, our most important work is building greater strength and capacity to support living well. This gives us a chance to leverage our value many times. As Helen Keller said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." This certainly holds true in thinking about how to have healthy children and a healthy community.

For example, PAL does not run health programs for children. Instead we train and support schools as they seek to be healthier places. Instead of reaching a few children in one program, we have the opportunity to reach the children in all of our partner schools.

As PAL continues to grow and mature in this role, we hope to move from collaborative efforts to what is referred to as ‘collective impact’. To learn more about this, visit . And check back with us periodically to hear about our successes and challenges.

For more information on PAL, visit our website:

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