I sat in the corner of the basement room on a cold, metal chair, surveying people. One by one, they stood to talk about the importance of the work they do. Their eyes lit up and their hands fluttered as they told stories of the people they help on a daily basis. It’s one of my favorite things about this job, watching people light up. Claire Murphy, Executive Director of L.E.A.P., talked about the children who participate in the Head Start program. Kim Cook, President and C.E.O. of Open Door Mission, emphasized the importance of meeting people where they are and helping them to learn the “rules” of entering the job force. Kim Sopczyk, Executive Director of Family Services, spoke about how someone came into her office that very morning, inquiring about where they could get a winter coat.
Sitting in that room among people who spend every day caring for others and trying to lift people up was humbling. I was there to document the event for L.E.A.P, but it became about more than a single day. I thought about my 10-month-old son who needs his first winter coat, and how expensive they are. Thankfully, the organizations we partner with can help people find what they need, and we can play a small part in helping them navigate their way there.
It’s easy to get stuck in your own world, but it’s those times when you learn about others’ stories that you realize how much more is wrapped up in the word community, and your gratitude multiplies.
We provide design assistance, help increase awareness and elevate the identity of programs, which can truly make an impact. But maybe the biggest outcome is sharing their stories after the work is done.