“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18:10

AN EVERY DAY PERSON CAN CHANGE LIVES

Jeanette called me recently to see if I could help a new acquaintance find a job. Jeanette had met Chris at a finance conference and was struck by his earnestness and sincerity. So she called, because she thought I could help. Typical of Jeanette to want to help, a woman with firm goals and an earnestness to live life helping others.

“Jeanette had the three traits all employers like; positive, trustworthy and competent.”

I had met Jeanette two decades earlier, when her career was just starting out. We hired her because she had qualities that we valued. She listened to learn, got things done and analyzed effectively. Jeanette had the three traits all employers like; positive, trustworthy and competent.

We were proven right, in meetings she took notes and answered questions simply, but to the point. You knew when she said she would have something done, you didn’t need to follow-up. It got done, without fanfare or expectation of a pat on the back. She just did her job.

“Jeanette represents the vast majority of the hardworking people in our work force that are the sled dogs of our country’s marketplace.”

Jeanette is one of those everyday people in business who go to work to do a good job every day. They don’t receive headlines nor are they interested. Jeanette represents the vast majority of the hardworking people in our work force that are the sled dogs of our country’s marketplace.

During my call with Jeanette I discovered another facet to her life. Beyond just seeking help for her new friend, I found out she had started a non-profit called The Children at Risk Advocacy Association. An organization that provides support for foster children and their families. Her non-profit helps with legal aid and representation in the courts for both the children and foster child families.

“ Social Workers would love to be better advocates, but are resource constrained.”

Many of the state agencies that care for foster children throughout our country have significant gaps in care and advocacy for foster children and their sponsor families. Most state agencies are over worked and under-represented. Social workers work long hours with little resources to help these children, while saddled with the paperwork churned out by a nebulous set of rules. Social Workers would love to be better advocates, but are resource constrained.

“Jeanette’s organization helps find a voice for these children.”

Today in our country, over four hundred thousand children are in foster care. Almost half are being raised by relatives. Many will never be rejoined with their families and spend a lifetime shuttling from one foster home to another. Spending their childhood with a lack of protection and a voice about their future. Jeanette’s organization helps find a voice for these children.

For Jesus, children were special. Jesus used children’s innocent and trusting ways as an example for us to follow with our faith lives. He borrowed the fish and loaves of bread to feed five thousand children. Jesus was stern in commands to not harm these innocent members of God’s people. Jesus had a soft spot for children.

“As a society our children deserve a childhood of bounty, loving parents and a stable home. Not all will get these opportunities.”

As a society our children deserve a childhood of bounty, loving parents and a stable home. Not all will get these opportunities. There are gaps to fill and societal nets to establish to work towards providing all our children with the basic needs of childhood. Jeanette’s organization is a wonderful start in childhood advocacy. Jeanette’s organization can be contacted by emailing  childrenatriskadvocacy@gmail.com ​.

It was nice to hear from Jeanette and to discover that her dreams of being a senior finance leader had been fulfilled. She gave me far more credit for her success than was deserved. Her success came from a morally pointed compass of someone who is always upbeat, positive and wonderfully competent.

It was better to hear that she sees her life as having a responsibility of helping others, whether it is helping an earnest executive looking for career guidance or defenseless children needing an advocate.

We need people like Jeanette, who live a different life than we see in the dirty laundry of our headlines. She is an example of the many wonderful people who work every day to pursue a career and desires to help those needing a voice. Jeanette would be the first to point out she is one of many.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman

Photo by Charlein Gracia

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