Letter by Emily BledsoeI often think that not-for-profits are poorly described. There’s almost a negative connotation by referring to something starting with “not”. No, we do not make a financial profit. But there is tremendous gain by our work. Sometimes all it takes are the encouraging words of a high school student to validate this. The following email was written by one of our high school volunteers to our founder and president after an all-volunteer conference call.
I just wanted to personally thank you for taking the time to hold the conference call tonight. I think it's really incredible how much you honor us and do for us as volunteers. I really appreciate how the GG team goes above and beyond the role of running an organization. You give us so much support and business experience. I'm definitely going to steal your 30-minute meeting idea! I always feel like I am being treated like an adult and gaining so much from this opportunity. … What inspires me? This whole organization! The fact that you started this on your own as a high school student is amazing. The fact that hundreds of seniors are given the simple gift of a smile each month is incredible. The fact that hundreds of volunteers reach out to those in need, gain experience, hear stories, and make new friends truly is unique. I'm really going to miss GG, but I'll come back and visit. Keep up the great work!
Sincerely, Emily B.
Emily later shared the following with us about her future plans.
In the fall, I will be attending Loyola University Maryland majoring in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and minoring in Special Education. My plan is to eventually become a Speech-Language Pathologist (which is really just the fancy term for Speech Therapist). This will allow me to work with patients of any age and ability. I've actually had some really great conversations with seniors who either know people who have gone through Speech Therapy or who have gone through it themselves. Speech Therapy is very common among stroke patients. Communication opens so many doors. It fascinates me how much one person has to tell and I love the idea of being able to give someone that gift and allowing them to open up to the world. I know I don't need to tell you that I've had very similar experiences through GG by just walking up to a quiet resident and then having them slowly open up.
And there, in just one example of many, is the “profit” of what we do. Not in financial benefits, but in the future generation.