I am delighted to have the opportunity to continue to share blog posts with you on our new website. We are hopeful that the design and content will enable us to share the evolving story of Help Me Grow even more effectively. Click on “New Video” to the right to see the the latest addition to the site–an extraordinary, stirring video from Help Me Grow Washington.
While I still derive considerable joy and satisfaction from my clinical consultations to families of children with developmental and behavioral problems, I feel extraordinarily fortunate to now focus on system building in support of children’s healthy development, and to have the privilege of collaborating with colleagues from across the country. Forming partnerships with mission-driven, like-minded individuals from highly diverse states and regions of our country is the most uplifting and fulfilling of my current professional activities.
What makes our work together so satisfying? Two recent experiences offer some answers.
Last month, Joanna Bogin, the manager of our Help Me Grow National Center, and Amy Fine, who provides consultation to the National Center on public policy issues, visited with Kirsten Lodal, the CEO and Founder of LIFT, a growing movement to combat poverty and expand opportunity for all people in the United States. Kirsten strongly recommended a book, “The Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist, as a must-read for non-profit leaders.
Joanna gave me a copy as a holiday gift, and I read it during a recent vacation. Promoted as “a wise and inspiring exploration of the connection between money and leading a fulfilling life,” the book exceeded my expectations and offered some compelling insights into why our efforts are so meaningful. Several themes in it resonate powerfully with the work of the National Center and our affiliates, particularly sufficiency (versus scarcity), appreciation, and collaboration.
Early critics of Help Me Grow predicted that the detection of at-risk children and the efforts to link them to services would only lead to frustration and disappointment due to the scarcity of such services. In fact, the sufficiency of helpful and worthwhile community-based programs and services, enabling the successful linkage of more than 80% of children and families referred to Help Me Grow, refutes such concerns.
Research abundantly demonstrates families’ appreciation for the support afforded by such programs and services. Finally, the success and feasibility of Help Me Grow are predicated on collaboration between the National Center and affiliates, among our affiliates themselves, and between state agencies responsible for early intervention and family support services.
Sufficiency, appreciation, and collaboration are at the heart of our work. Reading “The Soul of Money” has deepened my understanding of the “soul” of Help Me Grow.
The second experience illuminating the importance of this work is the discovery of the remarkable video from our State of Washington affiliate. It documents the first call to Help Me Grow Washington and offers a poignant and moving example of the impact of Help Me Grow on the families that it serves. Please think of this video as an inspiration and a validation, as it provides the ultimate justification for our efforts and gives an intensely personal and humbling perspective on the “soul” of Help Me Grow.
With the New Year come new goals and aspirations. May we continue to derive insight into our satisfaction and fulfillment from our special collaboration in support of children’s healthy development.