Recently I was sharing the Transforming Lives story with a group of colleagues – all leaders in the nonprofit world. As usual, I shared the mission, the vision, the reasons we exist and how our work makes a difference. As I so often do – I delved into the details of the numbers ($644 average savings, $10,191 average income increase after coaching, etc.) because to me, the numbers tell a powerful story of lives changed. But what I heard back from my peers was a resounding “Tell us why it matters! What you are really doing is defying the odds. You do whatever it takes to break the cycle of poverty for women and children. That matters to all of us.”
Yep – that’s what we do. I hear the stories every day and see the interactions. Just this morning I read an email that was sent late last night after an Asset Builders Class. The instructor couldn’t wait to tell me that 30 people came to learn about taxes in the week before Christmas. 30 low-income people. One who is on the verge of having her electricity cut, but she knows that she is the only one her children can rely on, so she is working through the crisis and planning for the future. Another woman brought her boyfriend so that they can hear together about how to become more financially stable as they bring their new baby into the world. Another client brought a sister and adult son, so the family could learn together and support each other.
So many of the mothers and the fathers we work with are worn down by the weight of daily financial and family struggles. They work hard but can’t get ahead and then a crisis puts them over the edge. The danger is that that they will lose hope and quit fighting the odds. Our work creates opportunity, provides encouragement and helps them to take action – in other words – our work gives real hope. Not in the wishful thinking sense, but instead the kind of hope that brings about thought, realism and action. The numbers tell part of the story. But because we are defying the odds, it is HOPE that matters most.
Thank you for making our work possible through your generous donations. May your holiday season be filled with happiness and HOPE!
About the author:
The Center for Transforming Lives' CEO, Carol Klocek, provides strategic leadership for all programs in alignment with the mission to move women, children, and families from poverty to independence. Ms. Klocek has more than 25 years of results-oriented nonprofit management experience, all within human service organizations, and holds master's degrees in social work from University of Texas at Arlington and a master's in business from Texas Christian University. Carol has been with the CTL 8 years.