As we began 2022 it’s fair to say that many of us have seen the dark and discouraging side of humanity…polarizing division, hateful prejudice and violent racism, physical suffering, and much more. For many of us, our hearts entered this year in a weary and fragile state.
Through my work with NITEO this year, I have experienced so many moments that have restored and strengthened my heart and soul. So many moments that I can’t keep them to myself!
Today is the 1st of 5 posts I’ll be writing to share about just a few of these moments.
The first HOPE-filled moments I want to share about is actually many moments combined. It is about those who are generous with one of the things we hold most dear…our time.
Thus far, in 2022, we have had the immense privilege of working alongside 61 volunteers who have collectively given over 1200 hours of their time to support and further this work. WOW!!!
These volunteers have not just shown up and put in their time, they have brought their passion, ideas, and best selves to the tasks at hand.
From sorting & packing books, to hosting events, to advising & strategizing in board meetings, to reading alongside families in Kelowna, the talent and dedication of each person has been fresh wind in our organization’s sails!
- Reading Mentor volunteers like Heidi who came to the library early before program each week to handpick books she thought the two brothers from Ukraine would enjoy reading.
- Andrea, Daniela, & Jamie who use their creative talents to inspire through design.
- Lynn, Charis, Nathan, & Jess who helped to host events where we could tell NITEO stories!
- I could write an entire other email about these individuals – our Board of Directors have poured so much into this relaunch year. They had the vision to turn a courageous next page for NITEO and said YES to hiring a paid Director, YES to a local program, and YES to all that is yet to come!
- The dedicated Book Wranglers that came out to almost every book packing shift! We sorted & packed books on some HOT days and there wasn’t a complaint to be heard. And then, on the day we packed up our sea-can of books for Uganda – it was cold and there were a LOT of boxes to be moved. But everyone bundled up and showed up to make it happen. We literally could not have sent off our 10th sea-can without the generous gifts of time (and muscle!) poured out that day.
I could go on and on. It’s what you can do when you are surrounded by those who are bringing their best selves to the table. And when this happens, HOPE springs up. So many bright and beautiful things have happened this year as we came together under a shared vision of service!
And I wanted to let you know that there is more room at the table. We have a lot of things on the dream shelf for 2023! We cannot do them without you! I invite you to continue to lean in to this HOPE-full NITEO community.
Keep showing up.
Keep inviting others to join.
Keep living generously.