I was honored to attend the first "Help Me Grow" networking breakfast today! I had a great time and enjoyed meeting professionals in all areas, trying to better the community. I am always in awe of the amount of good that people can accomplish if they put their mind to it. All of the people I spoke with today (all women) balance family and work tirelessly for their cause. Early intervention, adoption, fostering, child care, and health care were only a few subjects these great leaders work on. I was invited as a parent advocate and it is my job to listen and give feedback on how I feel about whatever subject comes up. I am not a professional in the same sense of the word as they are, but I bring to the table my own set of experiences with children in many areas that are talked about.
The goal for these get together's is for all of the different organizations to work together. "Help Me Grow" itself is a hotline *211* for parents to be able to call in the be directed to the services they need. How powerful the outcome if we can all work together to benefit all. I am always amazed at the countless free services that are already available in the community that aren't being used. I think one main reason is because parents don't know about them and THAT is exactly what we are trying to change.
The topic today was on "Supporting Parents". I was so impressed by the input I heard. We all sat at tables with four people at each. We bounced ideas and feelings back and forth in a brain storming fashion, with the goal of coming up with some answers. Everyone that attended had something to add, and it was all positive. They really care about helping the community, right down to investing countless hours with each family they come in contact with. I think as a parent, I sometimes take for granted all the organizations in the community and don't think enough about the individual people and hours that goes into offering it to me. I won't ever do that again. Nothing that changes lives happens on it's own. Much blood, sweat, and tears goes into making this world a better place. My hat's off to you...thank you.
Barbara Leavitt, the organizer of the event had a quote written on the board that I loved.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead