A little over 5 years back, I came to Chapel Hill to work for an endeared Catholic Priest named Monsignor John A. Wall. It pretty much changed my life. So much so, that my boss back in New York, at a great fundraising firm that I worked for knew that I belonged here forever. Thanks Chad. And that's how it went. I started a small fundraising firm with some passionate, generous, hard-working folks, spent many miles on the road, ran three campaigns on two campuses that resulted in two new facilities, lots of scholarships and new programs. More good work to come!
I had a chance to give a short goodbye message at UNC Horizons Friends and Family Day a couple of weeks ago. We're excited for the future of what will build and grow for Horizons, with a greater village around and a new facility. We are grateful for having been a part of that!
My Gratitude Speech to Horizons
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - A quote by Ghandi that has rang true throughout all of my life. I learned this best through watching it lived out through that of my grandmother Annie, and my Aunt Ila Faye, and now, my own.
Three years ago, when I met Dr. John Thorp and his wife Joe Carol with my then boss, a Catholic priest on a snowy January night, I never thought we'd all be standing here today celebrating this wonderful gift we've been given by a community of supporters and friends that rallied and believed that we were worthy and deserving of more than we'd ever had, and ready to do more than they'd ever done or been asked to do for Horizons.
When I got here, I was at a low point in my life, a true crossroads, but working with you, John, Jo Carol, Linda, Kavita, Hendree, David, Mark, Tim, Angela, Kandace, Charla, Gordon, Kevin, Mark, Rachel, Julia, our co-founder Connie and your entire leadership team, our Advisory Board and the University Development Office team to see this through was an incredible journey for us. And, truly for me. I was able to build a small heart-led team of great people that loved this as much as I did with Mary Liz, Felicia, Maria, Michelle and Chris. They did so much behind the scenes that many never knew and will never know. And we had the prayers and love of many to see this through. I am grateful to my daughter Taylor who managed to cope through some tough times without her mom while I did what I believed in because she did too.
We thank you for your trust and kindness. I thank you for opening your heart to us. I am grateful to all of the women who had the grace and the gratitude for Horizons to tell their stories to our supporters during such fragile times in their lives. And I wish you Godspeed on this courageous road less traveled before you.
I ask that we all become fundraisers and ambassadors for this program. Tell your family and friends about us and invite them for tours and to give at any level with open hearts!
I'll leave you with this. On the day I started the job to build my first multi-million dollar capital project many years ago for single mothers and their children called Wilson Commencement Park in Rochester NY, I received a card on my desk from my dear mentor and friend. I knew I was in a place where I had no idea what I was doing.
The card said..
"At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.."
May it continue to assist you, our women and our children, with love.
Pictured Above: The team from UNC Horizons, Legacy Real Property Group and our donors.