Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thought-Filled Thursday: Volunteer Appreciation Week

When our organization was in it's earliest days of planning, and after I'd invited some individuals on to the board of directors, I had a few very rough ideas of what I wanted in a name and in a logo. I happened to stumble upon my notebook of brainstorming this morning and wanted to share the main points:

  • B is for Brayden, Believe in the Impossibilities, and Bumblebee
  • "Aerodynamically, the bumble be shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." ~Mary Kay Ash (and the reason for the included bumble bee above)
  • a heart tree... I have multiple images with trees/branches having heart leaves doodled. To me the image represented love, support, and growth. All of which I wanted the foundation, or whatever it was to become, to represent. Our first logo incorporated branches with heart leaves... which eventually dissolved to incorporate our "global" entity.
  • foundation must be long-term, a way for Brayden's light to continue shining long after he had left this earth (little did I know it would be sooner than later)
Some of those earliest thoughts still exist in our mission today... Brayden's light is surely still shining on, the word "impossibilites" turned to simply "the impossible" for grammatical fluency, and our bumblebee was so kindly developed in to our very own Bennett Buzz-bee, with muscles to represent strength and a little crooked smile to represent the same characteristic many of our little bees possess. The Mary Kay Ash quote remains as our mantra, that our little ones do not live by predetermined expectations, but instead by their own determination and a support team that believes in whatever it is they wish to do and accomplish. The heart tree image has left... but the concept and emotion behind the image still exists, especially in our support network for families.

The Family-to-Family Resource Network, which is found on Facebook and closed to include families and care providers exclusively, is far more than a typical support group for chatting business and offering advice. I have been, and am still, part of several various support groups on various topics... but this one is far different, and I'm not solely basing that statement on pure bias. Here families have merged in to one greater family, a network of strength that lifts their members up and keeps them afloat when they need it the most.  Families share photos and stories of both defeat and of celebration. When one child is ill, they all gather keep one another close in positive thoughts & prayer. When one child joins the angels, they all feel the sadness and loss. Sometimes they all do not agree and disagreements may ensue while passion and tension runs high... but in the end, they are still a family of support that includes aunts, uncles, grandparents, siblings, and others who are directly associated in the care & support of a little bee. 

So this week, in celebration of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, we thank all of our participating families who have reached out to share their lives and allowed another to walk beside them on their journey, in whichever leg of the journey they are on. Our families are the ultimate driving force behind our mission, our number one focus and the reason we exist and continue to expand. Some times it seems as if the mission is a meaningless one, as we are ultimately unable to change the fate of the diagnosis we represent, but paving the way for other families to have a reason to believe in something besides that long list of "impossibilities" has been a charity in itself. 

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