“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” –Theodore Roosevelt
I have been thinking a lot about the HARD because this year has been really hard for us as an organization. When people ask me about this year, I think of all the AMAZING things that have happened. I tell them about the impact of the events, about having 4 homeless teens come into our program over 6 weeks and the incredible people that gave up their time every week to make it possible for us to expand and accommodate these young adults. I talk about the amazing volunteers that kill themselves weekly planning for the next way we can connect the community to what is going on in foster care. I share with them how the community continually steps into the gap so that young adults can have basic needs met. Just last night, we talked about the power of collaboration to multiply the impact on kids in foster care when discussing the upcoming Empowered Connections Conference. At the end of the conversation, I find myself saying, “but, it’s been hard.”
I have talked to a lot of people that are looking to start a non profit and have helped several on their journey. When they ask me what to expect, I tell them the truth. Expect the journey to be hard. Expect there to be more work that needs to be done than hours in the day. Expect to be turning over every rock looking for resources to do the things your heart knows needs to be done. Expect doubt. “Why am I doing this?” “Are we really making a difference?” “Am I crazy?” I cannot speak to all non profits but, I will speak on behalf of the founders of non profits and their team who are building from the ground up. If you are building with heart, you can expect tear of joy and desperation. So many moments I feel like I am standing on the edge or in complete free fall and, then comes a moment where it feels you are standing at the top of the mountain seeing the sunrise; soaking in the awe and beauty of what I have just witnessed.
There is beauty in the hard. That has been what this series is all about. I have learned it is impossible to get to the beauty if you are unwilling to surrender to the hard. Today, in the midst of looking down the face of hard, I choose to lean into it believing that the next mountaintop is right around the bend.
If you have been looking for how you can positively impacting the lives of kids in foster care and those transitioning out, please email me at Kim@fosteraz.org
Foster Arizona and Foster Arizona Housing Project