Drupal Association members fund grants that make connections all over the world.
I'm still very new to Drupal and at the start of the rocky learning curve i had to confess to questioning my journey with this CMS.
Being a long time user of other CMS systems i had certain ideas i wanted to implement from the get go and Drupal didn't seem to have those in place (i mean a forum in drupal isn't quite the forum i had come to expect in Vbulletin). I'm glad to say that appearances are incredibly deceptive and i have, on numerous occassions had my jaw well and truly dropped.
Our website is just 13 weeks on now and i'm amazed not only on how it looks, how it functions, but by the shear wealth of options that i've managed to make available to my members.
Forums were, with the aid of flatforum, made to look like forums (in fact they look far better than any forums i've used before). Blogs were embelished with author information and made to look more akin to something far more commercial and events incorporated using flexinode and enhanced with calendars and various listing options, hell it even tells my members how many days left for a particular event.
I've added usuability with TinyMCE, used the book module to create article content with a proper navigation system and image galleries to great effect.
When i started i remember posting about why Drupal calls things silly names and the confusions it caused (Taxonomy was a classic example) but now thats just second nature to me. Indeed i never saw the need to use or indeed have Taxonomy, that was of course until i used it and now can't live without it.
My site is using pathauto and gsitemap and has gone from no ranking to top on most of our searches and a PR of 3 in google in just 12 short weeks. Man i'm loving this.
What has prompted me to put this down today is the constant surprises that i find with the system. Things like organic groups and why on earth would you ever want them only to find today my members asking if they could have a section of the site for themselves. Every time we reach a milestone and come up with an idea, there is the module usually waiting to implement the idea into practice.
What i'm basically saying is that finally i have found a system that i can adapt with and not get bogged down creatively. I'm no coder, no graphics artist, no website developer but i know what i want and Drupal has helped me achieve most of this in a very short period of time.
The members of the Drupal community are eager and always try and offer advice on every hurdle and without them the learning curve would be higher. You guys have helped me a lot and for that i give my thanks.
So i would just like to say that for every member on the site, every contributer to handbooks, themes, bug testing, modules, core and advice, you are appreciated and fully respected. What you do may sometimes be thankless but never forget that without you guys we would not have the most unique CMS system i've ever seen. I thank you all.