Hallie, my youngest teenager, was riding in the front seat on the way to school. She turned around and said the twins, “Do you guys have all your pennies?”
“Yes, Hallie!” they yelled—in an annoyed “Geez, get off my back” tone.
Intrigued, I had to ask, “Why do they need pennies?”
“It’s for ‘Hearts for Kids.’ My friends Makenna and Bridget are in charge—they’re co-chairs of FTP—that’s the group running the fundraiser,” said Hallie.
“What is “Hearts for Kids”?
“It’s where you pay 50 cents to guess how many candy hearts are in the jar. The winner gets the jar of hearts. All the money goes to Children’s Hospital to help cure cancer.”
“That’s cool,” I said.
“Yeah, I made the twins each count out 50 pennies. I wanted to give Makenna and Bridget a challenge when they had to count their money.”
I laughed, “Nice. I’m sure they’ll be happy when the twins drop off their money.”
“Oh yeah,” she said, laughing at her own deviousness. “I already texted them and told them to be ready.”
I smiled at the thought—proud that she was working to get her younger sisters involved in something that sounded like a nice program and interested to see how she had made it more meaningful, even if by accident.
I couldn’t help but think of this conversation when, a few hours later, I sat down to read through this month’s copy. It seemed that every story I read somehow touched on the power of relationships.
The best example is probably our cover story on the Ybees—a group of volunteers who return to their beloved camp each Labor Day to spruce the place up. The weekend is filled with hard work, hearty meals and lots of time to reconnect and deepen their relationship with their camp and the people who make it special.
It’s a good reminder for all of us about why we do what we do. At the end of the day, we all use our talents in pursuit of different objectives and those talents put us in contact with lots of people. Our job, at least as I see it, is to pay attention to and nurture those relationships that our life’s work and passions naturally create. I call it relationship glue—the thing that holds everything else together.
I really believe there’s a reason we all do what we do and that we’re sort of responsible for the folks who come across our paths—that their lives should somehow be better for coming into contact with ours.
The Ybees certainly have this figured out and—I’m betting if you’re drawn to the camp world—you’ve got it figured out, too.
Good luck as you prepare for Summer 2015—and enjoy this issue. I’m proud of it.
Rodney J. Auth