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  • Melinda Lackey

To Doing Good

Updated: May 16


It is often those who work the hardest who receive the least recognition. Those who do what they do, not because it makes them wealthy or famous, but because of their dedication to improving the lives of others. This dedication motivates them to do the hard, tiring work that so frequently goes unnoticed.


Passion for bettering other people’s lives (or life chances) is integral to working in the nonprofit sector. The rewards are the results you had a part in creating:


The child or young adult who once thought that they were unlovable finding a family that accepts every part of them and loves them, not despite their past, but because of how their past helped them grow into the person they are now.


The youth who, at another establishment, might be ostracized, but here they are greeted with open arms and warm understanding, their different way of thinking encouraged rather than chastised.


The conversations that emerge from open-mindedness, deep listening, and empathy, and the breakthroughs that transpire, and how a single sentence can act as a catalyst for healing and radical change.


These are reasons why those in the nonprofit sector do what they do. There is nothing more fulfilling than dedicating yourself to doing good and witnessing how your passion touches people’s lives.


And there is so much more work being done aside from these human-to-human connections. As someone who finds working with people a daunting task, I have always worried about how I can make a difference in other people’s lives. The leaders I looked up to were charismatic and personable, large personalities who stood up in front of crowds and, with just a few words, could bring their audience to tears or a rallying cry.



I have found solace in the fact that not all great leaders work hands-on in other people’s lives. There are many who lead by example, putting hours upon hours into their passions, and even though they do not give grand speeches or do not know how to touch hearts with their words, they change lives regardless.



Though I have trouble expressing it, I care deeply about people and their futures, which is why I plan on going into environmental science. My words will go into academic papers, and studies, hopefully helping neighborhoods, communities, cities and the world.


And this dedication—this passion—is found in every SEED Impact partner, whether their work is focused to empower individuals, influence organizations, and/or foster systemic or cultural change.


We asked several of our partners to tell us what in their field they’re passionate about, and how it is portrayed in the work they do for others.


Rana Abo-Omar, Civic Education Program Manager of Muslim Community Network, says that “My work is a space for me and my community to explore what it means for us to be fully Muslim and American. This space, where I can show up as my full self, means everything to me.”


Nate Harris speaks on his experience working as a Director for Trinity Boston Counseling Center: “I experience daily the power of connection, as a therapist, a manager, supervisor, mentor, parent and son. We all suffer from systemic racism and white supremacy culture … which systematically divides us and impacts our ability to be happy and whole. For me there is great motivation in learning to heal within and to cultivate healing among us.”


Rebecca Williams-Fishburne, The Alex House Project Deputy Director tells us about her her passion, “My passion was born in me by my Mom; she worked in group homes with teen girls for many years. She would always bring the girls home for the holidays that didn't have a home to go to, so they would feel included in a family and be able to enjoy the holidays outside of the home.”


Without passion, there would be no sacrifice for human good, because that is what nonprofit work is: sacrificing your comfort in the moment to make a world in which everyone can prosper.


 

Phoenix Medley, age 17, began volunteering with SEED Impact in 2020. She connects with SEED Impact’s client-partners and researches topics of interest. She enjoys writing to support their work, and as a way of drawing more attention to their passion, vision, challenges, and life-giving outcomes.



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