Thanksgiving always makes me a little reflective (thanks a lot, Mom) and this year was no different. I spent my day celebrating Thanksgiving and our 4 November birthdays with the kids and staff of Casita Copán. Together, we ate (a LOT!), played, blew up balloons, broke a piñata, and just hung out and relaxed. At the end of the day, I came to an easy conclusion. The thing I am most grateful for this year is the amazing staff of Casita Copán.
Yesterday, everyone contributed something – time, food, money, cake-making skills – and the kids could not have been happier. After our feast, I watched the kids sprawl against their favorite teacher or simply play happily nearby the adults. The thing I noticed most was the sense of calm, the comfort that our kids feel around their caregivers. Because of the love that our staff shows, Casita Copán has truly become a home away from home.
As I watched the kids interact with the staff, I realized that we have already made an important impact. The kids of Casita Copán now have four local adults in their lives that truly care for them. No matter what happens in their future, they have four people they can turn to when times get tough, people they can trust who are concerned about their well-being. Four more people looking out for them – this is impact.
I feel that organizations sometimes forget the real value our staff provides. We get caught up in programming, strategic planning, the BIG picture. While all of these things are important, our staff is working on the front lines, making individual connections in the lives of children, creating smiles, building self-confidence, and teaching life lessons. So this Thanksgiving, I would like to thank Suyapa, Juana, Iliana, and Zoila for their commitment to improving the lives of the Casita Copán kids through love, guidance, and affection. This is the beginning of an amazing journey!