Hard work is valued in business, but at some point, all of us ask the question: “What am I working for?” A bigger house? A nicer car? A more comfortable house? These can all be benefits of working hard, and while none of these are inherently bad, I believe that deep down each of us wants to work for something greater –– to leave a legacy that has a lasting impact on our world.
On the heels of our recent team trip to Haiti, it's hard to get the sights and memories out of my head and heart. Truthfully, I don't think I want to! This dream of building a legacy and helping to bring hope to children in need is more inspiring than ever for me.
The first trip: Laying a foundation
Shortly after we arrived in Port Au Prince on Sunday, April 17, we visited an orphanage that provided shelter and care for disabled children. Our hearts were immediately touched by the extreme need that these children faced and the need to build more facilities like it. I think that if adoption were a possibility, at least one of our team members would have been returning to the U.S. with a child! This visit to the orphanage solidified our resolve to completing our project, which will pull 100 kids off of the dangerous streets of Haiti and into a caring home, where they will be loved and nurtured.
The rest of the week our team helped to construct the first phase of the Regency Orphanage: an open-air pavilion in the center of the property. The team –– made up of Hannah DeVos, Brad Newbold, Degna Horton, Hannah Baker, Tonia Baird, Jonathan Santiago-Dieppa, Micaiah Mitchell, Heidi Theule, Jason Jones, and me, completed the work we set out to do. Each member had opportunities to contribute, and it was especially neat to see Hannah’s (DeVos) leadership as she, with Micaiah as her wingman, took the lead on the construction of the roof trusses. It’s so exciting to see the property beginning to take shape.
The next building projects on the schedule are the boys’ dorm, the girls’ dorm, the kitchen, and then the classrooms. We are hoping to send two more teams to assist with the construction in 2016. Completion is still planned for December, at which time children in need will be taken in and cared for on the premises where we spent the last week.
I am so proud to be the CEO of a collection of incredibly caring and generous individuals working at Regency Lighting. I am persuaded that there will be many similar projects coming in the next few years. For me, this is another experience proving that, as it is written, "It is better to give than to receive." What never ceases to amaze me is the wonderful blessings we receive when we give.
I have a sense that this project is just the beginning. I truly believe that together we can make a lasting difference in thousands of lives. That's right, no exaggeration, I said thousands!
The excitement generated from this first trip is contagious. It has already sent a ripple of interest throughout our company, our vendors, and many of our friends. If you are looking for purpose, for a way to make an impact in our world, this project is a great place to start.
Will you dream with us and get involved? Let’s see what we can all do together!
If you’d like to learn more about how to get involved, please contact my assistant, Degna Horton at email@example.com.