October 27th 2014
I have so many highlights from the banquet last Thursday night - the opening prayer by the 4th graders, the delicious mashed potatoes, and the remarkable testimonies from our young people are just a few. The four little girls playing "paddy-cake" while singing their song warmed my heart, as did the children's choir (and their big personalities). Presenting our values of faith, community, holistic, and innovation gave our guests an insight into our organizational culture.
But the real story was what happened in the dining hall while we were in the theatre—it’s the testimony that none of us witnessed. It’s easy to talk about values. It's easy to showcase our good work on a stage in front of hundreds of people. The real challenge is to live values.
Left with the daunting task of restoring the ballroom to its original splendor, our operations director Charlie Koerwer assembled a team of staff and youth to get the job done. It's a thankless task. But just as we do our own cooking, serving, and set-up, we also handle the break down and clean up.
I received several emails about the banquet this morning, but Charlie’s was my favorite:
“I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see our youth come together under the leadership of our teachers and others to clean up the banquet facility,” he wrote. “Cleaning 60 tables, stacking chairs, rolling tables, dumping liquids, scraping dishes, carrying glassware down steps (that made me cringe a bit) and getting it done in 2 hours was incredible...the energy in the room was amazing. Last nights' clean up effort was truly a highlight of my UrbanPromise experience. To see the youth and their leaders pull together for a not so fun job only increases my enthusiasm for what UrbanPromise does and can accomplish."
While we watched a wonderful program, our staff and youth feverishly worked out of the limelight. They worked as a community. They served because of their faith. They innovated ways to get the job done. Values were lived!
What you saw on stage and what Charlie experienced downstairs happened because of you. Sponsors, partners, donors, and volunteers impact our work tremendously. Whether you give $30 a month or $10,000 a year, your contribution allows UrbanPromise to exist. Thank you. If you haven’t already done so, I ask that you make a pledge today. Your investment allows our values to transmit to more children and families.
Together we are making a difference.