Part of the culture at Foster Group is built on the goal of truly impacting the lives of the people we serve. In fact, the first few words of our mission statement state; “We are catalysts for positive life change”. There is great satisfaction that comes when we truly move people to make changes and affect their own circumstances. That generally happens as a result of a relationship that has been built over time, thus earning us the right to advise and direct.
While this type of influence is what we strive for with our clients, there is yet another opportunity for impact that happens when we put ourselves in a position of serving others with one purpose; to be a beacon of light and hope. Recently, the Foster Group team spent a day at Hope Ministries, which is a shelter for the homeless in Des Moines. Interestingly, the mission of Hope Ministries is “Giving Hope, Changing Lives”.
We spent the day serving meals, cleaning and organizing the Hope Ministries facility. There was minimal interaction with the people Hope Ministries serves, but all of us at Foster Group left that day with a sense of satisfaction that we had been a beacon of light and hope. The satisfaction we experienced came as a result of “coming alongside” the staff at Hope, who have been building relationships and investing into the lives of the homeless for years. The best way we could serve them was to let them know that their work matters and the impact of their efforts are worth the time.
Serving can be a lonely job at times. Progress at a place like Hope Ministries is measured in tiny steps, not giant leaps. The people who work in that space need our encouragement. They need cheerleaders. They need to know that there are others who “have their back”.
Upon leaving Hope Ministries after a day of work, I couldn’t help but think that we really were “catalysts for positive life change". We would probably never know how, but in the end it didn’t matter. What really mattered was the smile on the faces of the workers who strive every day to make a difference in the lives of people who measure progress one small step at time. We were there to give a simple boost, a pat on the back and to utter the words “WELL DONE”. We all need to hear that sometimes.