120 Days On The Job, What Have I Learned?

120 days have come and gone since I took over as Executive Director for Hancock Hope House, what have I learned in that short period of time? I have learned to be thankful for the blessings in my life, things like: friends, family, feeling safe and secure in my home, food on the table, a steady job, warm socks, etc. etc.

Prior to me working at a homeless shelter, I took so many things for granted! I would reach in my sock drawer each morning and grab a pair of warm socks without thinking twice about it. I would walk to my coat closet on my way out the door and decide which of my many coats I wanted to wear today to keep me warm. I would hop in my truck, start it up and take off down the road to my job. I rarely would take the time to thank GOD for all the blessings and favor in my life.

When you open the front door and walk into work each morning and are surrounded by human beings that literally have nothing but the clothes on their backs, it is a humbling way to start your day. When you hear children running up and down the hall ways laughing and carrying on, (aka) acting like children, it brings a smile to my face knowing those children are safe and nourished. When the school bus stops at the homeless shelter and picks up the children and carries them safely to school, it is a good feeling to know the children are receiving a valuable education like they deserve.

When a young mother of two children stays 90 days at Hancock Hope House and walks into your office to inform you that she has signed a lease on her own apartment for her and her children to call home, it is a feeling of victory, a feeling of triumph, a feeling of success. When another mother of three children staying at Hancock Hope House informs you that her children are making the A honor roll and receiving student of the month awards, it is a feeling of pride and accomplishment.

In a past life, I chased the dollar like most people in the rat race. I found that no matter how many dollars I earned, it was never enough to satisfy me. When I took the job with Hancock Hope House homeless shelter and found myself surrounded by wonderful volunteers each day who were voluntarily here to help other human beings I began to feel different about my purpose at this time in my life. I no longer think how high can you climb up the ladder, instead I think how can I help another human being today. The days can be long, but when I make it home and am winding down for the night, I feel rewarded.

If you are feeling empty, defeated, alone or unsatisfied in your life, I encourage you to help someone you don’t even know. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter or whatever organization is near and dear to your heart. They say what you put out into the universe comes back to you (karma) so if I had to sum up what I have learned in the first 120 days of this journey, it would be, BEING SELF CENTERED LEAVES YOU FEELING EMPTY, BUT BEING SELF LESS LEAVES YOU FEELING REWARDED AND BLESSED.