By Deanna Tharpe, DSAIA Executive Director
I read a great email today from a terrific fundraising coach, Mazarine Treyz, which asked a simple question… “What brings you joy?” I find joy in my children, of course. They are bright and challenging. My son with Down syndrome (Joel, 11) is a constant source of joy and anguish. He is a challenge. I’m sure we’ll get back to that “joy” stage with the 14 year old typically-developing one when we speak the same language again. Oh, the JOY of teenagers, right? I find joy in this time of year…I LOVE to give. Sometimes I give too much…but I get away with it during the holidays. No one complains.
But when it comes to this part of my life…the Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action part of it….I find joy in one place in particular. Nothing compares with sitting down (figuratively) with an affiliate member and discussing what’s going on with them or how we can help. Earlier this week, I was able to do that literally. I had the opportunity to fly out and visit with a group’s leaders. It was great…nothing compares. When I returned to my hotel room and had my daily “catch up” call with my board president, Joe Meares, he accused me of having a few cocktails already. Nope, that is just how I feel after conversing with those who are in the trenches, doing what I did for years. I’m pumped. It gives me JOY.
Joe will tell you that I am like that each and every time we do a private webinar with an organization. Afterwards, it takes me HOURS to calm down. It’s no mystery. I love talking to groups. I like to hear their stories, their problems, their solutions. I love our Leaders’ Circles where five leaders have an incredible sharing session each month. So, I think that it’s okay to have to your job bring you joy. In fact, it’s a true privilege.
So, if you want to send me a card this holiday…save your stamp! Instead, pick up the phone and call me. Tell me what is bothering you. Tell me what is going right in your organization. Tell me what I should be doing to help you more. Or better yet….schedule a call with DSAIA for YOUR organization. Whether you are a member or not, we’ll discuss your issues in private and how DSAIA can help. Tie that up with a big red bow and park it in my driveway on Christmas Eve. I’ll be super happy…and full of JOY.