Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Story You Haven't Heard

We have a big site visit today at Community Partners of Dallas.  For those of you who are not in the non-profit business, a site visit is done when a funder – an individual, a corporation, or a foundation – is considering your agency for a grant.  We do these all the time, so it is not typically a big deal for us.  However, some funders make it a little more difficult for agencies.  They put parameters on the visit and really want to hear from a lot of different people involved with the agency, they want board members to attend, and they give a very strict time frame in order to say everything you need to say.  And if you don’t know me – well, let’s just say it is hard for me to be succinct.
Enough said.
Practice was in order – lots of it.
So, in trying to make a compelling case for funding, I always tell the story of a child.  One of our board members asked me to tell this one and it is one I don’t usually tell.  It just breaks me up.  But it tells a lot about why our work is so important.
18 month old Amelia was tortured by her mother and step-father until her tiny body could take no more.  A neighbor heard her screams and called the police.  The adults were taken to jail and Amelia to ICU at the hospital and put on life support.  Caseworkers took shifts round the clock so someone would be with Amelia at all times – leaving their own children and families to do so.  Supervisors searched for family members and her paternal grandmother was found in another state and rushed to the little girl’s side.  Meanwhile, her caseworker came to CPD’s Rainbow Room and chose an outfit for Amelia to wear while her grandmother held her and the machines were turned off.
The Rainbow Room is here for children when they come into the system.  And sometimes when they leave it.
Hug your family today and wish us well on our visit.  Thanks – Paige

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