A lady in the elevator of our new building asked me what I do yesterday. I told her the name of our organization and that among other things, we train and support child welfare workers and help kids in care get permanent and loving families.
She seemed very touched and told me that the concept of family was very close to her heart as she had been in care as a teen and had no family to speak of. She told me that in college she had panhandled for lunch money not two blocks from the downtown office building we now shared.
“I made it. It was always hard, and I am thankful everyday to all the people who helped me along the way,” she said.
She went on to tell me that she works in social welfare as well and then she thanked me for helping “others like her.”
It isn’t hard to feel good about the work I do, but this experience literally put a face on it. The gravity of how far this young woman had come and how she had struggled to do so stuck with me. I now go to work each day knowing that what I do is generating more success stories for children in care like this young lady.