Isn’t it funny how you can go along in your life concerned with your own things, your own people and all the appointments on your calendar? Some folks never really stop and think about the entire rest of the world. For some, that’s ok, but for me I learned about the greater world when I was 26 years old and I was lucky enough to be hired to work at The Alliance for Children Foundation.
It began one day as I sat in a cubicle at a job in a huge corporation. I was spending my time working for a millionaire who wanted to be a billionaire. Everyone around me was either climbing the corporate ladder or just going through the motions and collecting a paycheck every Friday. I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. One day, on my lunch hour, I decided to peruse the want ads on-line. I honestly and truthfully entered all of the parameters of my “dream job”. There it was, 4 lines down: “Community Outreach Coordinator” for The Alliance for Children Foundation. The requirements were as follows: the ability to multi-task, concern for the welfare of orphaned children around the world, aptitude for public speaking, willingness to roll up your sleeves and get the job done, energetic self-starter, creativity, etc…. I thought to myself… I could do this! Well, after several interviews with Ruthie, Vivian and Filis and lots of emails, I GOT THE JOB!!!!!
From the first day, AFCF changed how I looked at the world. I no longer had the luxury of ignoring the global community, the millions of children without basic needs, medical care or the opportunity to go to school. I thought about them day and night, every decision I made, every meal I ate, every time I bought myself a new shirt, got my teeth cleaned, went to the doctor when I didn’t feel well, or went to bed in my nice split-level home in my king size bed on my 400 thread count sheets. I thought about them. The faces of the innocent, vulnerable children who had none of these things. I knew their names, I knew their stories and I knew that I could help them.
Filis Casey believed in me enough to give me the job (without experience). She trusted me and involved me in every aspect of growing the Foundation into what it is today. I have learned so much from her and my work at AFCF, it truly changed the course of my life. Filis and the AFCF have not only given me the opportunity to see the world, make a difference, and fill my life with purpose, but every day I am taught that although I don’t make a lot of money, I am a truly “wealthy” person. My wealth comes in the form of love, family, experience and gratitude.
It is now 14 years later and I am 40 years old. It’s a long way from the 26 year old I was when I began this journey. One thing has never changed; every minute of every day I am thankful for the opportunity to spend my precious time doing a little bit of good in the world.