Why Celebrate Potential?

Photo Credit: Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel

I am looking forward to one of my favorite events next week – our Community Connection Celebrate Potential Recognition happening next Thursday April 6. In a world obsessed with outcome metrics and pay for performance, let me tell you why Celebrating Potential is so important to the people in our programs, our community and, yes, even our outcomes.

Our Community Connection programs are all about strength-based development and tools to support people cultivating wellness in their lives. Together, we chart paths with people to access the skills to succeed as students, volunteers, friends and employees in our community, despite their diagnosis of Mental Illness. We believe recovery is possible, and that every one can lead a healthier, happier more engaged life.

While we love to celebrate those big wins – graduations, independent housing or new jobs – that funders track as the “outcomes” of our work, we know that the Journey of Wellness is often long and challenging. It is hard work to juggle a serious health condition, the poverty that comes with disability and the demands of learning, working and engaging in our community. We also see the effects of the stigma and fear directed at our participants everyday. From the subtle stares and failure to return phone calls about job applications, to the outright hostile comments and threats in public spaces.

What fuels people to keep working to achieve those big goals is cultivating appreciation of the journey as well as the destination. The potential that each new day brings to learn something, share something or discard something that does not serve us. The potential that every person has to take an action today that makes their life better and brings them closer to their goals. The potential talents that lie within each of us waiting to be shared with the right neighbor, employer or community group who is looking for exactly what we know how to do. Appreciating and celebrating these beautiful moments of potential as they are discovered and fulfilled is at the heart of how people transform their lives for good.

You can join our celebration and support our journey by attending the event on Thursday April 6th from 10-12PM in the Community Connection Garden, subscribing to our newsletter or making a contribution to support us in the Human Race today.

Celebrate Potential Recognition
Thursday April 6th 10AM -12PM
Community Connection Garden ( 300 Harvey West Blvd, Santa Cruz)

Blog Post Written by Volunteer Center Executive Director Karen Delaney.  Karen has led the Volunteer Center for more than 30 years and is an internationally recognized leader, trainer and speaker in the field of volunteerism, community building and nonprofit management. Karen’s formula for success is “hope, fun, curiosity, gratitude, belief in people and good data.”

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