by Angela Bomgaars, Extreme Community Makeover
From an idea…..to a program…..to a non-profit organization. How does that happen? How did I ever get connected with this idea that has impacted the direction of my life immensely?
Have you ever really taken time to think about how you got involved in the non-profit world and specifically, the organization that you’re dedicating your life’s work toward? I have been contemplating those thoughts a lot lately. Three years ago someone came to me with this concept called the Extreme Community Makeover (ECM). He shared the idea with me and invited me to be a part of the team that was going to give this concept more structure and strategy. The idea piqued my interest, so I said, “Sure, I would be glad to get involved!” without even thinking twice about it.
And now, here I am writing this blog post, reflecting on the past three years, and realizing how much ECM has really transformed my own life. What started out as one of the millions of ideas people have every day, transitioned into a program of a non-profit organization. In the past three years, we have had thousands of people also say they would like to get involved and because of these volunteers, ECM has been able to impact hundreds of residents in specific Denver neighborhoods to partner with them to complete home and neighborhood improvement projects, while building relationships throughout the process. And now, ECM is transitioning into becoming its own non-profit organization! How did this happen? How did this idea turn into something so much bigger than anyone imagined?
The non-profit sector is designed to affect social change for the common good of people. I would venture a guess that each of you reading these thoughts got involved in a non-profit organization for that reason – because you wanted to make a difference in your community and in our world. And because of all the great ideas out there, non-profit organizations are doing amazing work, which is the work that each of us is privileged to be a part of on a daily basis.
Fortunately, ECM has been an idea that has stuck and is something that I get to be connected with firsthand every day. I have been able to watch it grow into a solid program model that is hopefully making an impact in the lives of the people and neighborhoods we are trying to reach. But what really strikes me most is the impact ECM has actually had on my own life. ECM has given me a first hand glimpse into skills that I never knew I had, as well as areas where I need to grow as a person and as a leader. And I can usually always find opportunities to implement those needed improvements right away.
All of us in the non-profit world are doing the work we do because we want to make a difference. But I think we should never underestimate the difference our work can make in our own lives.
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