Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Lessons of Leaves

Bridget Supple - The InterServ Foundation.
Reflecting back on the year, one thing that always strikes me is the number of loyal and steadfast supporters we have lost. Many were unexpected — sudden illness or accident — but just as many can be attributed to the cycle of life, finding the inevitable end of its path for many who believed in supporting the organizations that help other people.

Walking through my neighborhood recently, enjoying the last of the warmer weather and trying to judge how long the leaves still had before they were piles to rake, it occurred to me that we, as social workers, volunteers and donors who support the work of InterServ, often expect of humankind what we cannot and should not expect of anyone or anything. We want permanence, finality, an end to having to raise money for "the cause," an end to helping people dig out of messes, an end to human suffering, an end to everything we do. But, as we learn every year from the autumn leaves, that just isn’t nature’s way. The world does not trade in permanence, but in perpetual rebirth and renewal.

Nowhere is the circle of life more evident than it is in the ranks of volunteers and donors. InterServ and its Foundation are full of "servants." People — like you — who know how to make things happen. People who make sure that people who turn to InterServ in times of need get what they need and then some — a shoulder on which to cry; a kind word; a reassuring touch; a smile that tells them that it will be okay — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.

The people of InterServ — volunteer, employee and donor — don’t do the things they do for their own glory. They do their jobs — paid or unpaid — every day for someone else. They may not know who that "someone" is yet, but they know, without a doubt, that there will be a "someone" who needs their help. Their hearts are the hearts of servants, the hearts of caregivers. Their hearts know that what today brings will end and tomorrow will bring something else — a problem, a blessing, something.

This year, as every year, we have lost several of our most loyal and devoted "InterServants." As we reflect on them and their support of InterServ, our memories take us back to others we have known through this mission of faith and service. People we have lost in that never-ending circle of life. People who have shown us what it means to, truly, care for humankind. And in our reflections, we remember the legacy that each of those lost have left. Whether it was simply the example of caring for people by delivering meals or regular donations to support the mission of InterServ, memorials requested to InterServ or an estate gift upon death, each person who has cared about InterServ has left a mark on the hearts and lives of those touched by InterServ.

We are grateful to those who have passed through this mission of faith and service, for caring about InterServ and the work that InterServ does. And we are grateful to you for what you do for InterServ every day. What will your legacy be? You are writing your legacy in our hearts every single day. Thank you for your support.