Have you ever been somewhere you know you're truly welcome?
In high school, the home of my friend Nikki's house, "The Young's," was that place. As a buyer for a major grocery store chain, Nikki's dad always had odd snacks that he was trying out. Her mom always had cases and cases of store brand soda. Anything our teenage stomachs desired could be found at The Young's. They also had a giant, comfy couch that could comfortably seat nine girls. Home at the time wasn't very homey; so if I craved comfort, I went to the Young's house.
Have you ever been to a place like the Young's? Where you're accepted and safe, even if it isn't your own? When we find a cozy, safe place we know it. We find ourselves sighing, releasing the pent up tension.
Creating a safe, comfortable place is our intention with the new Big Brothers Big Sisters office in downtown Muncie. While we might not have giant cozy couches (Yet. We could use one if you have one to donate!), we do want each person who arrives to know they are valued and can find a place of acceptance here.
Last night, as I struggled to cut the ribbon (those scissors are DULL!) at the 'new location' celebration, I was surrounded by the people who help me welcome you to our office: the board of directors, the staff, the volunteers and one of our beloved Littles, too. The crowd contained our families, our friends, our Littles and Bigs, former board and staff who we still love and welcome, and curious bystanders. As I look at the pictures, I'm just as thrilled with the folks behind the cameras joining us as I am with the ones you can see. Everyone is welcome!
We are privileged to come to work each day to create Life-changing friendships. We balance that privilege with the responsibility of maintaining safety for everyone involved. So our goal is to create an environment in which both of our goals --safety and friendship -- are displayed.
We invite you to come visit. See our workplace and talk with us about our work. Usually, you won't find the kids, families and volunteers here -- we're merely a conductor of the work that takes place outside our walls. What you will find here is we're also the keeper of the stories -- the life changing stories -- of our work. We'd love to share that with you. Learn more. Volunteer. Give. Engage. Please visit our new office downtown. And consider -- how can you be involved? There's room for everyone: Join us as a mentor, a board member, an advocate or come to our fund raiser.
We have a bold goal of doubling the number of kids we serve by 2019. To accomplish that, we'll need your help. We invite you to join us. Welcome.