Greetings. Sometimes people need a bit of help to discover the real genius inside them. An outstretched hand, a caring smile, a willingness to listen to a story that is hard to tell, a bit of insight or learning in a few missing essentials, the welcome reassurance that they have what it takes to succeed in this complicated world, or even a bit of tough love.
On Saturday evening our family had the privilege to host a very special dinner party. It was a chance for friends to come together for relaxed conversation and delicious Swedish food. But what made the evening so special was the fact that it was a fundraising event for a nonprofit organization that makes a real difference in helping formerly homeless families find stability on the journey to unlocking their real potential. And, it was one of 50 parties being held throughout the Washington, D.C., area to support Sinai House, a four-unit apartment building that provides transitional housing, financial literary, educational and parental support, childcare, and a sense of community.
Sinai House was started in 1992 as an initiative of Temple Sinai–an initiative aimed at addressing the challenge of homelessness in our nation's capital. The idea for the parties was the brainchild of Tricia Davis–an amazing woman who had a huge heart, an unstoppable spirit, and her own genius for fundraising and marketing causes that mattered. She died of cancer much too early in life, but left a rich and enduring legacy. And part of that legacy was the simple idea of hosting dinner parties for friends that ended up raising tens of thousands of dollars. So on this Saturday night, hundreds of people attended parties with checkbooks in hand to continue an 18-year tradition of helping people discover the genius inside them in a world that had thrown a few obstacles in their way.
And at the heart of each party were the stories of families that Sinai House has served. Stories that brought smiles and tears with each telling. Stories of abusive relationships, drug addiction, and life on less than kind streets. Stories of mothers forced to give up their children with only faint hope of ever getting them back. But stories that became personal triumphs as women got their lives together, were reunited with their families, and eventually found work and career success as employees, talented managers, and even business owners.
We win in business and in life by helping others to discover their own genius and potential. And, in the process, helping ourselves to discover the best of what it means to be human.
Cheers and have a brilliant week ahead!