Look For The Helpers


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This month we are contemplating gratitude. Thanksgiving is a month away... how will you prepare to show your donors that you're thankful for all they do?

Looking Within During Tough Times

It was still dark outside when I logged on to my computer for an early morning online meeting with a group of nonprofit staff and volunteer leaders. Since I still had a little time before the meeting started, I scrolled through the national news. It was just a few days after Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s East coast, so the featured stories that day focused on the storm’s aftermath.

Thankfully, I couldn’t dwell too long on the disheartening news as it was time for the meeting to start. I quickly closed the disturbing images and signed on to the meeting. That morning, I was particularly looking forward to the inspirational message the moderator always shared to open the agenda. I was hopeful that whatever he had to say that day would help me shake off the hopeless feelings I was having after reading about another distressing situation in our world.

I was very disappointed when the moderator chose not to start with an inspiring message that morning. Instead, he posed a question for all of us to answer and share with the group. “What makes you feel grateful this morning?”

There was a long pause, and no one volunteered to answer. The question had clearly rattled some people; it was written all over their faces. Eventually, two people spoke up and openly admitted that they felt overwhelmed, and certainly not grateful, right after another deadly weather catastrophe, a looming recession, the continued threat of COVID-19, increasing violence in local neighborhoods and more. It was all just too much!

One Person Can Be the Difference

The moderator listened with compassion. Then he shared a bit of wisdom from the modern-day philosopher Mr. Rogers in response.

In his calming voice, "Mr. Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping’”. He continued: "To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -- so many caring people in this world."

The moderator let Mr. Roger’s message sink in a bit and then invited us to dedicate the rest of our day to showering heartfelt gratitude on the helpers in our lives including our co-workers, volunteers, donors, friends, family members and others. He added that when we genuinely feel and express our gratitude for others, we can lift ourselves up out of the depths of hopelessness. Then and only then, are we capable to lift others up when they need it the most.

At that point, he adjourned the meeting and sent a small band of people out into the world with the call to spread gratitude and hope.

I took his challenge seriously, and my heart was filled with hope at the end of the day. So now I remind myself almost every day to “look for the helpers” and shower them with gratitude.

In the spirit of Mr. Rogers and on behalf of the DBD Group team, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to each of you who help us by subscribing to our blog, sharing it with others and providing us with feedback and new ideas. You inspire us with your hunger for knowledge, your passion for serving others and your willingness to be challenged. Please know that we appreciate each and every one of you.

Now, pay it forward.

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Posted by Michele Goodrich
Michele Goodrich

Written by Michele Goodrich

Since joining the DBD team in 2010, Michele Goodrich has provided resource development counsel to youth-focused, arts and cultural, health-related and educational nonprofit organizations throughout the country. Her extensive and diverse experience in nonprofit leadership positions makes it possible for her to tailor her approach to each nonprofit client’s set of circumstances as well as its unique culture and distinct strengths.

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