We've learned so much this year.
We've learned what it means to deliver direct supports to families and children living in underserved situations and stay focused on bigger systems level change. We've learned how to shift our efforts to maximize our ability to train healthcare professionals and maintain meaningful relationships. We've learned how to remain resolute on our goal to develop sustainable models to advance child empowerment and how to stay flexible in the face of great change.
Perhaps our most important lesson from 2020 has been one of balance. We have learned to balance the need to be directly serving during times of great struggle and build the structures that will foster long-term change. All of these efforts require clarity of purpose. And, another great lesson we learned in 2020 is clarity.
Clarity requires structure. It requires a conscientious commitment to building and reinforcing our purpose and advancing our efforts. For Health Bridges, this has meant spending time assuring we have the systems in place to foster rigor, excellence, and competence. We know how important it is to maintain the highest standards in everything we do.
To meet these standards and goals, we partner with academic institutions, subject matter experts, and community members to create a collaboration culture. And, this brings us to another one of our great lessons from 2020 - collaboration.
We know we can do so much more when we invite collaboration. We know we can have a significant impact when we contribute to an ecosystem of change. We know we can build the models and supports that will help the next generation of change - when we collaborate broadly and deeply.
We've learned a great deal in 2020. We're ready to take those lessons into 2021 and have even more impact. Thanks for all the support.
A very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the entire Health Bridges family.
Thank you so much for all the support in 2020. It has been a year like no other. Thanks to all of you, it has been a year when we have had the support to show many people they are cared for and honored in these challenging times.
Who knows what 2021 will bring. One thing is certain, we will be ready. Thanks in great part to all of you.
So this Holiday Season - may this be a time of friends, family, fun, and joy. Most of all - may this Holiday be a time when the world receives the peace and hope it so abundantly deserves.
Holidays are a time for celebrating and reflection - and depending upon your culture, customs, and beliefs - they are filled with many different practices and observations.
The common theme of the Holiday Season seems to be generosity and connection. It is a time of year when we intentionally give of ourselves in a way that allows another to feel seen, heard, and honored. At least that is my perfect sense of the Holiday Season.
The practices of giving and generosity will look very different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. That doesn't mean we can't bring a sliver of light into the lives of others through our actions.
What if each one of us practiced a straightforward act of generosity and kindness throughout the Holidays. What if we took that challenge a step further and practiced a random act of kindness every day throughout the Holidays. Our actions don't need to be grand gestures. They can be simple ways of honoring one another in this time of great uncertainty and challenge. They are a sliver of light.
Imagine if we all committed to sharing our sliver of light. The particles would become beams, and the rays would begin to cast a brightness in our worlds.
We've long known the light we bring to our work is amplified through our partnerships and collaborations. We've learned that our efforts could only impact the lives of the people we serve when combined in a way that truly allows for change.
This Holiday Season, let's combine our efforts by sharing our slivers of light to expand the joy of giving.
It's amazing what happens when we give from a place of pure service.
A couple of years back, we decided to institute a community service project for the Casa Girasoles during the Holiday Season. The goal was simple - develop a budget, identify a community, and collaborate with people from the community to create a project you can work on together. This year has made it very hard to plan a project where the staff and boys are out in the community. That did not, however, deter them from coming up with something.
Each house - in Ica and Urubamba - worked with a community near the homes. They chose communities that have been incredibly impacted by the pandemic. They wanted to provide a service but also ensure people knew they were cared for and honored. They decided to make a meal and deliver food baskets.
With generous support from our donors, we raised the money to implement the projects. This weekend, the staff and boys made hundreds of meals. They packaged boxes of food and toys. And, in the spirit of service - they delivered their heartfelt message.
It's humbling to know that giving is just as much about receiving. Through your generosity, we have the resources to help the Casa Girasoles staff and boys implement a service project. Through their compassion, people who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic are supported, honored, and loved.
That's powerful. It's the circle of giving. It's the joy of giving.
Perhaps now, more than ever - integrity matters.
At the core of who we are as an organization is a commitment to integrity. Our commitment to integrity means we strive to make our work and lives a seamless integration between what we say and what we do.
Demonstrating our integrity is particularly important as it relates to the support we receive from donors. We are committed to a partnership with the people and foundations that graciously fund our work. For us, a partnership means taking time to plan budgets carefully, define the intended impact, and transparently report to our stakeholders. It means paying attention to our work's details - all the while remaining focused on our bigger picture goals.
We've been working on the budget for 2021. Building our financial forecast is something we do every year. It's a complicated process involving reviewing financial reports, surveying staff, defining goals, and envisioning a future. It's an intense undertaking. It is also a genuinely empowering process.
Every year when we sit down to build our budget, there is always a question lingering over the process: how will we fund all the work? How will we find the donations, grant monies, and foundation support to put together a budget big enough to meet the need? It seems daunting. Yet, every year - we received terrific support from all of you.
It was just this year that I realized building a budget is about inviting hope. A carefully planned and crafted budget is a stake we firmly plant in the ground. It represents our commitment to the communities and people we serve. In many ways - it's our commitment to you, the donors, that make our work possible.
We believe in integrity. We believe in walking our talk. We believe building a better world is only possible through collaboration and partnerships. Thank you for your belief in Health Bridges.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.