I switched from working full time in an office to working full time from home in 2016 when we moved to Houston for my husband’s job. Although grateful to work for an organization that offers this flexibility, it was a big transition that took adjustment and a lot of getting used to. It also happens to be a big transition that much of the country has been forced to make in the past few weeks. As a work from home veteran, I am here to share my story, and offer you some of the tips I’ve learned to keep myself productive and most importantly…sane.
What a whirlwind of a week! Last Friday seems like a lifetime ago—so much has changed, and the amount of uncertainty and uneasiness is amplified times a thousand. On Monday, Gladney made the decision to close its campus to outside visitors for the immediate future due to the COVID-19 virus. Outside events on our campus were cancelled or postponed, and only essential personnel or vendors are currently allowed on campus to ensure the safety of our community. If able, employees are to work from home. Our CEO, Mark Melson, shared a video encouraging us that although things will look very different for the time being, business as usual will try to continue as much as possible.
It seems we have been bombarded with unsettling news for weeks. And depending on your personality, social distancing could be your worst nightmare or your dream come true (under different circumstances). For me, it's a little of both. I have enjoyed some special blessings during this time. For example, my daughter who is a college student several hundred miles away has been home. Our whole family has enjoyed being together and playing domino games late into the night. We have had dance parties and cooking contests and we have had some quiet moments too, like cuddling and watching movies. There has been some blessings in all this chaos.
Sitting in church this past Sunday our associate pastor was delivering a message taken from the movie Frozen 2. I’ll admit that it took me about two years to see the first Frozen and I have yet to see the second, however I did YouTube what she was talking about. In the movie there is a song that Anna (Kristin Bell) sings called The Next Right Thing. Even though I haven't seen the movie, this resonated with me because the message seemed to be about overcoming adversity or tackling big problems by doing The Next Right Thing.
As I reflect on the past year and look ahead to the future, I want you to know your support matters. I’m writing on behalf of women, children, and families who feel grateful for you during this season. Although they do not know you, I do, and I want to share this message of appreciation with you: Thank you for choosing to get involved with Gladney and giving towards our mission (and towards their lives).
“There’s no place like home for the holidays,” the classic line by Perry Como that sets the tone for the holiday season (I bet you just sang it in your head). Home means fun holiday memories, I’m sure a few laughs, and maybe even a few tears. We all have our home for the holiday traditions. Who is hosting the festivities at their house? What will we bring? Who will be there? All of these make the season great!
I joined Gladney on April 1, 2008 (April Fool’s Day–appropriate!) as the Chief Development Officer. The agency was in transition at that time, as the development team had just been relocated from the Gladney Fund to the Gladney Center. I later began working with different departments throughout the organization and eventually became the Chief Operating Officer. Eighteen months ago, I took the reins as President and CEO. I have worked in the nonprofit world for the past 24 years, and I’m continually amazed by the generosity of our society. I have learned over the years that people are motivated to make a real impact. It has been my job to tell the story and show how a person’s support can change lives. At Gladney, we have the privilege of doing that every day.
Topics: Gladney Leadership
I have had the opportunity to serve Gladney for portions of the last three decades. I began as a Financial Consultant, helping to organize the Gladney Fund in the early 1990s. I fell in love with the organization and its mission to build “Bright Futures Through Adoption.” As a young wife and mother myself, I was immersed in the culture of families and children, the broader “Gladney Family.” It has been my privilege to have been a part of this family and to see the positive impact an adoption agency in Fort Worth, Texas, has had on birth mothers, children, adoptive families, our country, and the world.
As National Volunteer Appreciation month comes to a close, we want to acknowledge three Gladney Board Members who rotated off of the Board this month.
Edna Gladney was an early children's rights advocate. She made the welfare of "unwanted" children the center of her life and personally placed children with adoptive families. Because of her passion and tenacious personality, Mrs. Gladney was named Superintendant of the Texas Children's Home and Aid Society in 1927. She held that position for 33 years.