By Amy Smith, CFRE
President, AFP Triangle
The weight of the tragedy over the past four weeks has been a lot. Too much.
I felt an immense sadness after innocent people were killed in New York because of the color of their skin. Before I had time to completely grasp or mourn the enormity of that situation, more innocent people, this time children, were killed in Texas. While trying to process these tragedies, this quote from Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro from “Wisdom of the Jewish Sages: A Modern Reading of Pirke Avot” came to mind.
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work but neither are you free to abandon it.”
As fundraisers, many of us work in organizations that have life-changing impact for our communities and the world. Our work is immensely important. Think about the impact that you as a fundraiser have within your organization and the impact the organization has for the people served by your mission. Our communities need YOU to continue to make this impact.
As we acknowledge the life altering tragedies taking place across our country, I am encouraging all of us to be leaders, to compassionately check in on one another, and to provide safe places for our friends and colleagues to grieve and process. I want us all to build our communities, to stay in touch with each other, to not close ourselves off. Very often, non-profit staff deal with emotionally draining situations as a part of their daily work. Incredibly difficult societal issues and events like those of the past weeks and months only add to the existing emotional load in many non-profit workplaces.
It is vitally important that we take care of one another not only during times of tragedy, like we have recently experienced, but also in the times between these tragedies. Normalizing appropriate conversations regarding mental health issues, accessing employee assistance programs, just checking on colleagues through the day, month and year are simple but important actions we can each take to help foster resilient communities in which everyone is able to cope and thrive.
As a nation, we will grieve these tragedies, but we must also continue to show up and support one another as we grieve individually. While it may not feel like business as usual, we must continue our work and advance the important and worthwhile causes of our mission driven organizations because our communities are still relying on us, perhaps more than ever.
As we move forward together:
- Continue to grow and learn from one another
- Check on your friends, family, and colleagues.
- Let those same people offer help and support to you.
- Build communities of support and foster those communities and relationships by spending time together.
Thank you for your commitment to making this a better world. Remember, your work is important to the success of your organization’s mission, you inspire more people than you know and you are making an impact for a better world every single day. ❤️