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May 22, 2011

Every Year, our church, WACC, coördinates a Serve Weekend Project in May. This year I choose to partner with a Non-Profit organization in our community, WRHAP, and be the SERVE Leader on this project. This event was scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 21.

The clients that are served by WRHAP, which are over 250 and growing, have very little opportunity to have a voice in my community. They have needs far beyond those which any of us can even imagine. And yet…few will speak up on their behalf.

As a result of these discussions, the Executive Director of WRHAP, Elizabeth Mendia and I came up with a Serve project that we hoped would engage the community to get the word out as to the needs of the people. We created an “Evening of Reflection” starting with great food, drink and a speakers panel to present. I created a media presentation to support the speakers themes with vibrant photos and videos. We even had the support of a local business owner Elyse Cheval, who has a heart for the community, and opened up Salon Cheval, so that we could hold the event in a central location.

Unfortunately, after all our planning, all our work, all our prayers only 4 people attended.

I can’t tell you how defeated I felt when we decided to begin our event, having waited extra time to see if more attendees would arrive. But in the midst of my sharing this disappointment, Elyse looked at me, smiled and said “It’s ok…the most important One has seen what we’ve done here tonight.”

Her words really had an impact on the rest of the evening, for me. As the panel shared, so many heartfelt stories came pouring out. There were stories of struggle and triumph that had to be heard….tears were shed.  Then, in this small body of people, brave enough to share, a commitment to continue to bring the message forward about the needs of the WRHAPCommunity, was born. A commitment that I will, without a doubt, continue to be a part of.

In my presentation, this was the closing message that I shared with all who had participated…Anyway by Martina McBride.

 

 

As an educator…my take away from the evening was that we also continue to fight a battle that for all “intents and purposes” we seem to be losing. Few among many. Often times finding ourselves discouraged. How easy it could be to just walk away, check-out, give up…or would it?

In the end…whether you are standing up for the rights of the afflicted in your community, the needs of students in your classroom, or the need you have to be supported…even on the worst day…we just, can’t give up! There is in the midst of the struggle, a vibrant community that I share today who is there to listen, stand with you and support. I share this in the hope that, no matter your current situation, you will continue to reach out and find the courage to press forward and finish this school year strong.

And…Yeah…Do It Anyway!

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