All of us who can, let’s lay down our burdens for a few days. Let’s watch our favorite shows. Bake cookies. Sleep. Let’s spend time with the people we love and remember why we do this work.
I know, though, that that is easier said than done. While many of us are resting this week, there are lots of you out there working. You run food banks and shelters and emergency services. You answer calls on suicide hotlines. You check in on seniors who may not have family nearby. The need for these services often increases during the holidays, and not only do you not get a break, but you may be working even harder than you normally do.
Some of you are development professionals, and this is a busy time for you. Remittances are coming in. Acknowledgements must be sent out. Final pushes for donations during the last few days of the year. You stuff envelopes, write personal notes, and wait anxiously to see if goals are met.
And some of you have other pressing duties to attend to, reports and grant proposals and other critical duties to ensure the organization functions.
I just want to let you know, that if you are working today, I am thinking of you, and I am grateful for all you do. It makes a difference. Today, I watched my children open presents, the nine-month-old fighting to eat bits of wrapping paper. And it makes me appreciative of the people in our sector.
27 years ago, my family came to the US. It was around this time of the year when we arrived, and the cold of the city of Philly reflected the feeling of loss and loneliness we felt. We didn’t speak much more than a few words of English, and everyone we knew was thousands of miles away. It was a rough time for my family, trying to rebuild our lives, desperately cobbling together some sense of community. People gave us food. We got clothing and toys. We got coats and pots and pans. People helped my parents learn English and find jobs. They hooked us up to a sponsor family, who fed us our first pizza and took us to see The Nutcracker.
I did not know then, but I know now, that many of the people who helped us worked in the nonprofit sector. I don’t even know any of their names, or the names of the organizations where they worked. I don’t know how to thank them.
Instead, well, let me thank you, especially those of you who are working this week. Because what we do is so relentless sometimes, you may not have time to consider just how much of an impact you have on the world. You restore hope for those who may have lost it. You build community. You help kids and families. And maybe one of those kids will grow up and be inspired by your actions to go into this sector and become a sexy vegan nonprofit professional, who knows.
If you can this week, take a guilt-free break. You deserve it. If you can’t, find some time later to rest and recharge. Either way, you have my appreciation for all the work you do. It matters more than you may know.
Make Mondays suck a little less. Get a notice each Monday morning when a new post arrives. Subscribe to NWB by scrolling to the top right of this page and enter in your email address. Also, join the NWB Facebook community for daily hilarity.
Donate, or give a grant, to Vu’s organization, Rainier Valley Corps, which has the mission of bringing more leaders of color into the nonprofit sector and getting diverse communities to work together to address systemic issues.
Also, join Nonprofit Happy Hour, a peer support group on Facebook, and if you are an ED/CEO, join ED Happy Hour. These are great forums for when you have a problem and want to get advice from colleagues, or you just want to share pictures of unicorns. Check them out.
Oh, and support the maintenance of this website by buying NWB t-shirts and mugs and other stuff.