You can spend your whole life building something from nothing
One storm can come and blow it all away ...
build it anyway
You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way ...
dream it anyway
There are many people who say homelessness cannot be ended. They say there will always be those who wind up in the streets because they won't work, they stay drunk or they just choose to be there.
Obviously, those who believe these fallacious statements have never looked in the eyes of a person experiencing homelessness. They have never taken the time to listen to their stories. They have never slept where they must sleep.
On Sunday, however, a small group of people gathered in the oldest community of faith in St. Petersburg Florida - St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church - to re-affirm their faith in their power to change the world. After all, Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
So, the Board of Directors of Celebrate Outreach, along with their friends and family, huddled together for a brief, 32-minute interfaith Service of Installation and Commitment. Through the inspirational message given by
Dr. Tracey Crocker they were admonished to be who they are despite their struggles and pain because it is our hardships that make us better able to help those in need. Then, everyone's heart was lifted even higher as
Kathy McGuire sang Martina McBride's song, "Anyway." Through Kathy's astounding performance, we were reminded what we may build may be blown away, but we must build anyway.
Perhaps the most touching moments occurred during the glorious (and miraculous) repast, when we all met each other's families and friends. The mingling was as powerful as the message.
This was our first board installation service in our eight year history. While our organization may continue to face inward struggles and outward opposition, our resolve to build permanent housing, feed hungry people, and advocate for fairness in employment will not weaken or dissipate. We do it...anyway!
PS: Special thanks to Kathy McGuire who created this video with highlights from the message and her solo!