Last week I wrote, “Keeping that Fire in the Belly Feeling” about mentoring a young entrepreneur as her normally unshakable energy showed signs of fatigue. Reminding myself of the trials in building The Grommet maintains my own sense of urgency and so I suggested that my “mentee” look at her own trials for motivation.
A day later, a former Grommet employee who works for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program shared an interview with BHCHP president, Dr. Jim O’Connell, and Terry Gross on her NPR program Fresh Air.
The discussion focused on Dr. O’Connell’s 30 years of work providing health services to Boston’s homeless; work he chronicles in his new book, Stories from the Shadows. Treating those with frostbitten limbs, patients with diseases mostly found in Third World Countries, and individuals experiencing unfathomable emotional despair, Dr. O’Connell creates a connection with his patients and sheds light on their untold stories of courage and triumph.
Hearing of such admirable action in my own community, from an organization we shared with our community in 2008 no less, had me reflecting beyond my role as CEO to my responsibilities as a member of society.
The Grommet’s commitment started with that very first story about BHCHP and continues to this day. We share the stories of social enterprises, like 1Face, or philanthropies, like Libraries without Borders— two launches from this past week whose mission is to improve the lives of those in need. Even our everyday efforts launching undiscovered products is ultimately aimed at fueling the Maker Movement, which holds the potential to revitalize the economies of local communities nationwide.
Joanne and I believe strongly in the divide and conquer philosophy. We each possess our own strengths and together we continue to build a business we can’t wait to see the future of. I can’t help but look at our, and Dr. O’Connell’s work, in much the same way.
We are not equipped to provide the services Dr. O’Connell does, but we are in a position to bring awareness to organizations like BHCHP and companies strengthening local communities, in our backyard and abroad, to millions of people. Through our own unique strengths and successes we can collectively create the positive change we wish to see in our communities. Listening to Dr. O’Connell with an approaching holiday season has me wanting to help make that change now more than ever.
Like Dr. O’ Connell has done through his interview with Terry Gross and his new book, we at The Grommet will do our part through powerful storytelling that derives its strength by empowering you, The Grommet community, to vote for that positive change. You’ll hear us talk about giving differently for the holidays; well, this is one of the ways you can.