04 Oct Ohio Missions Trip Day 2 Lessons: Don’t Just Be a Business, and Keep Your Word
One thing we’ve learned in the few short months since we created The Monkey Do Project is that Appalachian people are suspicious. These are strong people who value their family and their heritage and their land, and they really don’t like strangers (you know, from places like Indiana) coming into their area and trying to tell them what to do.
Because of this, it’s been a hard road to try to assist where we are needed in Appalachia. That’s why it was so important for us to make our recent Ohio Appalachia missions trip where we met with a mix of governmental agencies, other non-profits and the actual people who need help. We needed to get face-to-face and start forming some relationships so that people know that we are trustworthy and the we really do want to help them with their needs while also respecting their heritage.
On day one of our trip, we were able to meet with Good Works, Inc., and learn … a lot. We were also able to actually sit down and have dinner with a group of people who were trying very hard to get their lives back on track. What a blessing this was!
On day two, it was all business as we met with Karen in the Ohio government’s Community Services division. Karen, who was fantastic, was excited to partner with us and even wants to introduce us to other organizations in Ohio. There was so much we gained from meeting Karen, but I have two important “take aways” from that meeting:
Take Away Lesson One: Be More Than a Business
One of the things that Karen talked to us about was to be more than a business. You see, a non-profit organization is a business, but it’s important not to just act like a business all the time. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business aspects of running a non-profit, however, at the very core, is that we’re trying to build relationships and help people.
We need to remember it’s not about The Monkey Do Project; it’s about the people.
Take Away Lesson Two: Keep Your Word as a Non-Profit
Apparently, it’s not unusual for non-profits to swoop into the area, make promises and then never keep them. They go away and are never to be heard nor seen again.
Honestly, I get this part of it. As a non-profit who helps people, you want to commit to everything. It’s easy to get in over your head and then leave and realize you probably can’t meet those needs.
It’s important for The Monkey Do Project to keep our word. We’re going to try very hard to do that above all else.
Don’t miss the next post because you won’t even believe what happened on Day Three!