As a bright-eyed, young college student approaching graduation, I was determined to make goals for my adult life so that I wouldn’t end up going through life without any purpose or direction. Among my list of things to accomplish during my adulthood was to “work for a non-profit foundation.” At the time of making this list, I believed that goal would not be fulfilled until long after my future children were out of the house and I had a lot free time on my hands. However, as fate would have it, in looking for my first professional job after college I was introduced to Travis Hansen, and then Little Heroes Foundation. Hearing the job description was a dream come true and something I felt capable of tackling although it would be a challenge for me as I had little experience in the professional world. Willing to work with an inexperienced but ambitious college student, I was hired as the Director of Development and eventually moved into the role of Executive Director.
Working for a small non-profit was perfect for me since I wanted to learn all that I could in what I thought may be a short-lived professional career, since I never intended to work my whole life in the professional world (I had other goals to fulfill on my list, not the least of which was to become a mother). I was able to learn, dare I say, more during the 3+ years in this job than I did in my 3+ years of college. Logistically, keeping a non-profit running efficiently is a lot of work, as I’m sure many would tell you, but the rewards of taking part in a work that is for the betterment of society is beyond price.
While I did have the privilege to get to know some of the children helped by the efforts of the Sunshine Heroes Foundation throughout the years, I more enjoyed getting to know the individuals who made those children’s happiness possible. I guess my work gave me an appreciation for the “behind the scenes” people who are the driving force of the good done in the world.
The donors, who give sums of money, large and small, to help children they will never meet. They give generously and willingly to a cause they may never get to experience firsthand. Getting to receive charitable donations from enthusiastic donors always humbled me.
The directors and architects of small projects who see a need and fill it—no matter what personal sacrifice it may take. They often put aside their own lives and devote all their effort to a cause solely benefiting children in need. There are too many to mention but each has shown me that altruism is alive and well in our world today.
Each day coming in to work I would ponder the contrast I felt from the tragic news on the radio, to the individuals I got to work with who were putting themselves aside and devoting their lives to children who needed food, shelter, wholesome activities, and love. It was a constant reminder that there is still good in the world—lots of it! There are good people all over the globe seeking to make their own little corner of the world a better place.
It is hard to move from working in the world of professionals to staying at home with one little person every day. I have left my full time work of helping children who sometimes live hundreds of miles away in order to focus on one small child who needs everything I can give. I am grateful for the time I had with Sunshine Heroes because it has motivated me to do what I can, in my own little corner, to improve society and make a difference.