There’s no doubt that inspiration comes from many places. For artists it might be the perfect landscape. Students, the passionate teacher. Parents, something as simple as the smile on their child’s face. While I have been fortunate to see those perfect smiles, have the one-of-a-kind teacher and take what I think is a pretty good picture, as a grantmaker and as a North Carolinian, my inspiration most often comes from what I see each and every day when I come to work. In fact, I might have the best job in the world. Here I am a witness to what makes North Carolina so special, neighbor caring for neighbor – communities defining what it truly means to be a community.
And that all becomes very tangible as a grantmaker, as we partner with the nonprofits and leaders across our state at the center of so much good. Not a day passes where I don’t hear, read or get introduced to an amazing story that reminds me of just how fortunate I am, and just how fortunate North Carolina is, to have such a committed and vibrant nonprofit community.
It is difficult to admit there are times I think about how challenging it seems to keep my life in order, to care for all the needs of my family. Yet all around us are individuals and organizations caring for entire faith congregations, for urban neighborhoods lacking basic health care, for children in need of healthy food. And what is more evident than anything is the sense of honor they exude in going about their life’s work. These folks are not burdened. They are inspired – inspired by their work, inspired by the difference they are making in others lives.
It is this inspiration that led to the creation of Inspired. These stories need to be told. They deserve to be told. You see, these aren’t faceless organizations, these are everyday people who have made the very deliberate choice of improving the world around them. A dentist who could be practicing anywhere, yet he has chosen to be where he is needed most. A family doctor and his medical student who still see value in and make time for house calls. And the hundreds of women in and around Kinston who are making lifelong bonds and life-changing health decisions thanks to the efforts of one woman.
These, and many others, are the stories of Inspired.