Mr. (Fred) Rogers said once that his Mom told him to “Look for the Helpers, there will always be helpers”
She was using it in the context of seeing something bad on the news and always looking for the helpers- the paramedics, the firefighters, the men or women from anywhere and everywhere that choose to help. In other words, look for the good in the something bad.
This has repetitively come to mind lately- especially as our mission reaches farther. I would consider my family to be blessed in many ways, but having extra financial resources is not one of them. We are blessed with great jobs, we are blessed with more than enough money than we need to survive. We are blessed enough to be able to budget and take fun trips and spoil our kids to some degree…. but when we decided to open a nonprofit, we knew one of our largest hurdles would be the financial aspect.
While I frequently wondered how it would all come together, with our limited time and resources- I kept feeling God’s calling on our life to make this step. So, with reluctance, I let go of the control and I got out of God’s way. I stopped pretending to be the driver of my own life.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing. It’s still amazing. I live in a constant spin of finding out just how big our God is. From the day we realized we know NOTHING about nonprofits or how to set out on this mission, until now – still learning (literally) with every single baby step along the way- we have been handed one open door after another. There’s no doubt in my mind all of those doors are from the Creator.
However, what I am ridiculously dumbfounded by is just how many people there are out there who just want to help. So many people – some with money, some with creative techniques, some with new ideas, some with knowledge, some with more power, all of these people have taken it upon themselves to help where they can… and for no other reason than to just help. So I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank those who have helped us thus far. We could not be where we are without each of you and it fills my heart to know we are all on this mission together.
This movement we created has been building so much momentum and given that Josh and I both work full time, have two children (who are both active in all kinds of things), a home to run, and do require some amount of sleep each night- we had to rely on God to send the helpers. And He did.
I’m sure I will forget some instances- but here’s what has happened just in the last few weeks (in no particular order):
A website creator helped us find this platform where we could build a website for the cost of the domain and he would give his expertise along the way.
An attorney filed our nonprofit incorporation and applied for our 501(c)(3) status Pro bono. (I cried this day)
A photographer scheduled us for headshots with her for marketing and will be coming to our first event to capture the day. (She didn’t necessarily fall out of the sky, but her timing was impeccable and her gesture was incredibly kind).
A friend of mine offered to help with graphics and marketing because there is so much and I couldn’t keep up.
Another attorney’s office reached out (we know absolutely no one from this firm) and wants to partner with us for our cause and help sponsor our first event – all from a quick news interview they happened to see.
OH! Cannot forget – a nonprofit in FL called Lauren’s Kids has been there every step of the way to help us with questions and support our mission here which is insanely similar to their mission there.
Friends: all in all, we have the very best friends. So many of them have reached out, offered to help, offered to volunteer in May, bought a shirt to show their support (still 2 more days- so go order yours now!). Other friends have given advice – with every little thing a nonprofit can entail. Some other friends have accepted or are currently considering helping us by serving on Strive to Make an Impact’s board.
Family: Hands down, we have the best families around. All the support. All the love. All the truth. Alllll the help (including helping with our two little monsters around the clock). They are all of it. They always show up. For everything. I cannot express my gratitude enough here. One cousin in particular printed me up our [i]mpact shirts within hours so I could wear it on camera for the news interview.
Strangers, Community Members, General Public: has followed our mission and shown their support. They are eager to see what comes next. They have discussed curriculum with me and are giving me their trust in this field. They have allowed their time for meetings and have provided their feedback or more contacts for us to connect with. We continue to reach more people because all of you are joining our mission.
Last, but certainly not least…. My heart…other survivors: Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for joining forces with me and giving me so much of your trust. Thank you for simply saying that somehow I made a difference for you. It means the world to me, but moreover – as a survivor, it empowers me to keep doing this work, knowing that I’m stronger WITH each of you. Together, we will end this.
For all of our helpers- thank you so, so much.