“Storms are opportunities for growth, revelation and miracles.” Early in the pandemic, I wrote this quote on a bright orange sticky note and stuck it on my desk by my home computer so I’d see it every day. I don’t remember where I heard it. But it has been a constant reminder throughout 2020 to look for opportunities in the midst of the chaos, challenges and fear.
I admit I was skeptical. Most days since the pandemic started, we were so busy “pivoting” (note: I am truly sick of that word and hope to exile it from my vocabulary in 2021) that I had little time to think, much less seek opportunities for personal and professional growth. But true to the quote above, it happened — almost without me realizing it.
While my amazing staff and I were busy showing up day in and day out for NICU and bereaved families, Hand to Hold grew exponentially, serving more families in more states than ever before. We also grew as individuals as we collectively stretched outside of our comfort zones to adopt new technologies, take on new responsibilities and reimagine what support for NICU families can and should look like now and in the future.
There have been many revelations this year, not the least of which was the dedication of our corporate sponsors and individual donors. Your unwavering support and commitment to our mission bolstered us and inspired us to dig deeper and dream bigger.
Our vision has always been to ensure every NICU family has a Hand to Hold. Before 2020, I might have told you it would be a decade or more before we could reach that lofty goal. But in 2021, Hand to Hold is committed to breaking out of the chains that often bind nonprofits so that we can experience exponential growth.
Why? Because NICU families can’t wait. They need us now. And the biggest tragedy of 2020 would be if we, as nonprofits, did not foster all that we have learned to boldly walk into 2021 with our heads high, shoulders back and ready to heal the world.
Kelli D. Kelley
Founder and CEO, Hand to Hold