Category Archives: Be Inspired…

Random Acts of Kindness

Glass

“How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank

I am off to buy a coffee on this icy morning, and buy one for the person in line behind me.

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Carson Employee on front page of Business Section!

B2B ID Wendy Lane Wright, Gazette - Business Page

Daily Hampshire Gazette
B2B ID: Wendy Lane Wright
(Published in print: Monday, July 7, 2014)


 How many on your staff: 400

 

What you do: I cultivate relationships with our supporters and donors as well as raise funds that enable our agency’s mission to serve and improve the lives of 7,000 people each year.

 

I’ve also supported the mission of our agency as a human resource professional, inspiring, coaching and training staff in the programs that strengthen individuals, families and our community.

 

Experience: A native Berkshires girl, I connected with nonprofits when I lost my parents at an early age, attending the local YMCA, which stabilized my life and made me smile when my life got rough, giving me a passion for charitable work.  Early in my career as a wife and mother of three small children, I worked on finding a sustainable way to put food on our skinny table. To make a better life for my family, I became a community volunteer.


 My passion for leadership started when I became an award-winning speaker and community leader as an Extension Specialist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This work fostered a deep desire to help underserved members in my community make positive changes in their lives. So, I decided to attend college, receiving my bachelor’s degree in governmental studies from Smith College with a focus in behavioral psychology, community organization and change.

 

This experience changed my life for the better, and as a life long learner, I have spent the last 24 years in various nonprofit and volunteer capacities sharing that transformational experience with others.

The Market: Carson provides mental health and rehabilitation services. Today, mental illness afflicts one in four adults and one in ten children.

 

How you reach out to it:  Traditional media, radio, publications, email marketing, presentations and social media. I raise visibility by creating a wider network of support in the Greater Springfield area and beyond through community outreach and collaborative partnerships.

 

What financing hurdles have you faced and how have you handled them?  Carson is primarily funded by state contracts, Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. These sources don’t cover the full cost of services, so I seek funding from foundations, businesses, community supporters and annual fundraisers.

 

Key to success:  I care about people and use my skills and professional abilities to improve their lives.

 

Challenges:  Carson went from serving 4,500 people a couple years ago to serving 7,000 each year, in 40 communities, from Pittsfield to Ware.

 

Misstep you learned from:  The first federal grant I worked on was initially declined, so I quickly learned to forge successful funder relationships to successfully get that grant.

 

What others could learn from you:  How to inspire groups with a call to action and to make positive change.

 

Who helped mentor you professionally?  Ella Hewins, a former colleague at Old Colony Envelope, is a humble lady who cared for her family during the Great Depression, and now in the era of an ever changing service industry, shared, “show up every day, do your best, and make it happen.” Today her words still inspire me.

 

Top goals for 2014:  I have a deep desire to leave my community more stable, one where my neighbors flourish and grow, by doing everything in my power to provide access to the resources and education that they need to accomplish this.

 

Advice for others seeking business success:  Find a great mentor, who empowers you to grow, encourages you through your failures and celebrates your successes.

 

Parting thought:  Believing that we all belong to the family of humanity, and life is finite inspires me to listen to others and work toward lasting change for good.

 

The B2B ID is compiled by Janice Beetle of Beetle Press in Easthampton, a PR and communications firm.  www.beetlepress.com.

http://www.carsoncenter.org/newsandevents/carsonstaffonfront/

http://bit.ly/1jFK6Io Gazette.com

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“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. ~Dr. Seuss

Pink Rose, Wendy Lane Wright

Beanie, you must be a rose!

 

Recently, our life-long friend, Beanie, who baby sat three generations of my family, underwent Hospice Care.  This strong lady full of life, smiles, laughter, compassion and great empathy, now lay helplessly.  Her body ravaged with cancer.

 

With wide resolute eyes, Beanie looked at me and asked, “Why me Wendy?  I go to church, and I live my life by always giving to others.  I have always done the right thing. “

 

I leaned in closer to her and held her hand.  I gently smiled as my throat constricted, and tears flowed down my face.  Beanie, you are such a rare and beautiful soul-one in humanity.

 

I am inspired by the flowers in my garden.  By tending to them, they grow and blossom.  A symbol of our relationship I hold dear to my heart.

 

Beanie, you are like a vibrant rose in full bloom with soft and fragile pedals. I tend to the roses in my garden as they grow and blossom.  I cut a handful of my best flowers to bring into my home and enjoy.

 

Beanie, you must be a rose!

This spring, I will plant a rosebush outside my front door in your honor.

Rose Tips

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.” ― Alfred Tennyson

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April 23, 2014 · 10:58 am

With hope, inspiration is possible!

Wth hope inspiration is possible

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle”. ~Albert Einstein

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April 16, 2014 · 12:31 pm

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” ~ Helen Keller

Hope, Success, Love & Health!

I wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

 

Found these 7 good New Year’s Resolutions that take 5 seconds each:  http://bit.ly/1hSslAf

Found a couple  good tips on how to get and stay motivated: http://bit.ly/1fYrWLe

 

For those of you having a tough time, don’t let the disappointments of life overshadow your hope for today and tomorrow, instead choose to encourage yourself because it’s your destiny.

Happy NY

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas 2013!

Christmas Eve 1The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched; they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends near and far!

Wishing you all a warm, safe and healthy day today! We are having an awesome family day playing games and listening to some great music on Pandora.

For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, we wish you a warm, safe and healthy day too!

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December 25, 2013 · 5:00 pm

What are your aspirations?

Autumn Red Tree and Pond 1

Believe  that you can succeed!

 

Pursue your aspirations with persistence.

 

The thought of being the first in my family to earn a college degree has deeply inspired me to continue on that path.

 

As an Ada Comstock Scholar from Smith College, I remember the day that I received my acceptance letter.   While the sun was shining down on me, in the parking lot of the Middle/High School complex, I opened that letter.  I was scheduled to manage 4 after school programs, an adult GED program, and had 3 children waiting for me at home.  My youngest was entering kindergarten.

 

In the weeks that followed, I thought Smith College made a huge mistake by sending me that acceptance letter.  That letter was meant for someone else.  There must have been a mail merge mistake!

 

I was just a mom and community volunteer, certainly not worthy of Smith.  Yet, my thirst for something better for my life, for my children, family, friends and community gave me the fierce passion to persevere.

 

I vividly remember the beautiful autumn trees, as I sat on the front steps of the Smith College Library between mid-term exams.  Until that moment, I never knew all that I did not know.  “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ~ Socrates

 

Resources
Here’s a trick from Stephen Covey in his book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  Habit 2: Begin the with the end in mind.

 

What is your destination?  What are your aspirations, your values?

 

To better align career pursuits and aspirations, seek out resources.  Attend workshops, conferences, take some classes, take webinars, read blogs and read relevant publications to constantly be on top of the changes in the nonprofit landscape.

 

A few years ago, in a TED Talk, Simon Sinek shared the way human beings receive and respond to messaging: People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

 

He used a powerful illustration noting that Dr. Marin Luther King did not send out formal invitations to his speeches, nor did he have the date on a website.  Yet, people came to hear him speak, because they believed in what he believed.

 

This TED Talk reveals that Dr. Martin Luther King did not say, I Have a Plan.  Instead he said, I Have a Dream.”  How great leaders inspire action, by Simon Sinek:  http://bit.ly/1atkY1A

 

A couple weeks ago I attended a conference with Kim Klien:  Building a Resilient Fundraising Program.  She had us develop a statement to use prior to an elevator speech, or sharing our mission statement.  Although they are generally good, they are the goal oriented things we do.  People often forget goal oriented discussions.  Instead she encourages starting a nonprofit conversation with an organizational statement beginning with, “We believe”.

 

We only live this life once, so it is important to be of value by using our time, talent and treasure to make positive lasting change for good.

 

We will never pass through this moment in time again, so pursue all of your aspirations with persistence.

 

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If it weren’t for great people like you…

anne

I’m inspired by this card and act of kindness by my colleague, Anne.  We have a professional relationship based on mutual respect.

 

Building mutual respect is essential in building strong and happy relationships.

photo (83)

I am so inspired by this gift that I’ve been sending a donor, colleague or volunteer a brief note of appreciation each day.

 

I’ve met so many people who just want to see positive change for good in the places they live, work and play.

 

 Autumn Lily Pad Reflections 

Autumn Lily Pad Reflections 1

Effective leaders:

 

  •   Don’t lead alone, instead they empower others.

 

  •  Take responsibility for their actions and encourage the responsible behavior of others.

 

  •  Collaborate and follow through on assigned tasks.  Collective experiences and perspectives can foster the best possible ideas, opportunities, solutions and outcomes.

 

  •   Establish and maintain mutual respect by establishing respect for the values and perspectives of others.

 

  •  Use effective communication tools such as reflective listening.  Listening and immediately repeating back what was said, ensuring things were perceived correctly.

 

  •  Have the drive and inspiration to turn challenges into opportunities. “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have”. –Teddy Roosevelt.

The Human Service Forum shared this TED Talk that examines how happiness inspires productivity.  The happy secret to better work: http://bit.ly/17EFWDD

Daniel Goleman shares Don’t Write Off the Coaching Leadership Style:  http://linkd.in/1bt4tj7  This post gives some great tips on how to help employees grow and become more engaged.

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Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. –Albert Einstein

 

Autumn ReflectionsMy late sister used to say, “I love Autumn because every year God paints the earth for my Birthday!” To celebrate we would arrange a free afternoon together.  We would take a ride and enjoy the local Autumn view, and the companionship of our sisterhood.  We always finished her day with a maple flavored cup of coffee.

 

She chose to share her gifts of compassion, empathy, humility and gentleness as a nurse.  She also volunteered at her local church as treasurer of the World Missions Committee.  She took pride in accounting for all the donations that would be sent oversees to help provide missionaries and their communities with food, shelter, medical supplies, including Band-Aids.  World missions was a cause she felt deeply compassionate about.

 

As I made my journey through town today, I passed the church my sister attended her entire adult life. Although she has been gone for more than a decade, I reminisced for a moment about the people who helped our family carry out her final wishes.

 

At her passing we learned that the funeral could not be in her church.  The back steps and ramp were covered in snow.  They had rotted out and could not support the weight of a casket.  Our community made my sister’s final wishes a reality.  A kind soul plowed out the entrance, and a small “interfaith community build” began.  New steps and a ramp were installed by volunteers, including the owner of our local hardware store, along with family, church and community members.  All materials were donated at cost.

 

This freed my soul, so I could grieve and write her eulogy, including this excerpt: “As my body began to weaken, I as you, realized that my “Golden Surgery” would never come to pass.  I am now home in heaven.”  “My life here on earth mattered because of the relationship I shared with each of you.  My sorrow is for you, as I am now in a far better place.”

 

Today, as I turned to walk up the hill, a gentle breeze brushed my face, and then I noticed the sun glistening over my sisters final resting place.  Daisies placed delicately by her side in remembrance of her mind, body and soul. Gone but never forgotten!  Her gentle and humble spirit continues to inspire her family, friends and community.

 

This day will only come once for you and I, so be sure to enjoy it, and help someone else enjoy it, too!

 

Now, I will indulge in a cup of maple coffee.

 

Articles, resources and tips.

Network for Good posted some resources and inspiration for the next 90 days: http://bit.ly/1fgTQF0

 

Harvard Business posted this quick but good read: http://hbr.org/product/hbr-guide-to-coaching-your-employees/an/17065-KND-ENG

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The Interconnected Journey Continues

Chris & Una ~ Photo shared by Steven Hamill

Photo shared by Steven Hamill

 

My YMCA friends from Ireland, Una and Chris, got married last week.  They continue to share their journey through posts and pictures of their honeymoon in real-time on Facebook.  Social Media is a wonderful way to stay connected with others and learn.

 

While I enjoy the interconnected value of social media, I still choose to pursue face-to-face communications when feasible for personal and professional reasons. I am inspired by learning from people like Una and Chris in our shared global community. A few years ago, when I first invited Una and Chris to my home they were college-aged employees who took part in a local YMCA that sponsors an international work exchange program.

 

Through that same program, my family and I get to know a few of these employees each summer. Because they are so far from home, we host a dinner party at our home, in their honor. They rave about getting a home cooked meal and the gift of mere hospitality, fun, laughter and friendship.

 

Last Saturday my family and I hosted another dinner party for five of our YMCA friends who will be returning to their homes in Hungary, Slovakia and Ireland, over the next couple weeks.  Because I took the time to meet with them in person, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about each of them, including their backgrounds, cultures and aspirations.  By coming to our home, they shared perspectives in how they view “Western Culture” through the lens of an average American worker.

 

I make my living by nurturing person-to-person relationships.  Within the scope of my position, I work at being an effective communicator, mentor and coach.  I seek ways to help colleagues and donors grow by listening and validating their interests, while tending to the tools and resources that help them stay interested and engaged in our shared work of providing the best possible services to improve the lives of the people we serve.  What could be more inspiring and empowering than the opportunity to pursue a shared journey to strengthen our community?

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The Legend & Journey of Una and Chris

Una & Chris

To a very special couple,

 

They separately crossed the vast Atlantic Ocean and met in the US of A,

 

At a YMCA Camp;

 

Then together traveled back to Belfast.

 

Now you have invited us to share in the rest of your journey together;

 

To be wed in Ireland this week.

 

You both bring smiles as we have watched you plan for one of the biggest days of your life on Facebook!

 

It brings inspiration to see the love, commitment and fun you are having along the way as you celebrate life and each other.

 

You are truly an inspiration of kindred spirits and love.

 

It is with great regrets that we cannot attend.

 

We send you our love and best wishes;

 

Our hearts and spirits are with you and we fully support you on your new journey together.

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