Building relationships, building legos

The first Tuesday of each month: 8 a.m. All-Staff Meeting. Each program gets time to update the rest of the La Puente staff on what is going on within their unit. It was really interesting to hear what everyone had been up to the last few weeks, since we don’t often overlap.

Two things Lance is big on: Using quotes on anything La Puente sends out, and using stories to tell what the organization is doing. Each All-Staff every program has to share a personal story.

Anna from Adelante shared a card that one of the clients had written them. She and her husband thanked the staff for being given the opportunity to push through and overcome their financial and housing setbacks. She said they were their guardian angels, and the best way to thank them and show her appreciation was to do well in the program and reach their goals of finding stable employment and supporting their family. Show, don’t tell, as they say. Her words were so powerful and genuine.

I feel so many instances in life come down to having that one person to guide and mentor you—to have faith in what you are doing. Sometimes it’s the most subtle gesture of encouragement; a hand on your shoulder; a hug; a “thank you,” or an “I believe in you.”

I brought up Caine’s Arcade at the meeting tonight and suggested Tim and the Pals volunteers watch it together for a little boost of encouragement—and jokingly to push some micro-entrepreneurship with the children. But the underlying theme of the video and of life is that simple exchange Nirvan had with Caine that completely changed both of their lives. That human connection is so crucial. Nirvan went to the used auto parts shop with the simple intention of buying a car door knob—but look what came out of it instead.

Take the time to open your eyes to the world around you. Encourage others. Let them know you appreciate them and their incredible talents.

In celebration of imagination and creativity—out of pure spontaneity—my roommates and I spent the night building legos, and building relationships with each other.

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