A day to warm your heart and make you believe in community

IMG_0598.JPG Today was one of the most inspiring days I’ve experienced in a long time. It started this morning with the kickoff of our “True Blue” campus giving campaign. In a room full of college leaders we talked about how to address the unmet needs of our students and have some fun at the same time. I’m glad to be part of a group that asks tough questions and works towards workable solutions.

At lunch, I took a scholarship recipient to meet the donors who supported her scholarship. We went to a local retirement home where 60 women wearing holiday sweaters with an average age of 75 greeted us. These sweet ladies do crafts and fund raisers all year to support scholarships.

I got to know this young lady as we drove across town. She shared with me that she had been homeless for most of her life, gone through some incredible challenges and now is on track to be a large animal veterinarian. Her enthusiasm for education and resilience in the face of adversity was truly inspiring.

In the afternoon, I went to a Holiday Party for nonprofit leaders. This group is leading the way in every aspect of community building and support you can imagine. From homelessness prevention to food security to women’s empowerment, these leaders are working for community change every day. I am continuously inspired by the conversations that arise in their midst.

A number of us left the Holiday Party to attend our Women’s Leadership Council’s Shelter Shower. Every year they select a shelter to support and provide the shelter with needed items from their wish list. This year was phenomenal. The speaker asked us to think about three things we couldn’t live with out, my list was; my family, coffee and the internet. The woman next to me said; expensive coffee, shoes and faith. As a women came up and spoke about her experience with her four kids at the shelter, what they had to leave behind, and the necessary items they were provided, I was truly humbled. My daily Americano seemed less of a priority and love and caring for others much more of a priority.

As the evening came to a close and truckload after truckload of items were delivered to the shelter, I found myself reflecting on the caring community what we live in. Sure, we have more work to do. But today was a day filled with kindness and inspiration. As I looked around the room, surrounded by good friends, my heart felt warm and filled with gratitude.

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