I recently watched an incredible video a friend posted on Facebook. It was about two brothers, Connor and Cayden.
Cayden, the younger brother, has cerebral palsy. In an effort to connect with his brother, Connor began doing triathlons with his brother.
While other competitors biked and ran trying to win the race or accomplish a personal best time, Connor can be seen pulling his brother in a bike trailer and pushing him in a jogging stroller.
Although Connor’s only intention for including his brother was to connect with him, he was given something more.
Connor and Cayden were nominated for and won the 2012 Sports Illustrated Sportskids of the Year.
Connor’s love for his brother has now become an inspiration for all who hear their story.
Connor has a passion to show the world his brother and others like him are real people with real thoughts and real feelings; he is well on his way to doing so, too!
After watching this video, I’ve found myself thinking about my passions and, as we like to say around here, what keeps me up at night. At this point in time, I’m not sure I can answer...perhaps my passion is helping people find theirs?
Working at the Community Foundation of Grundy County, I have the opportunity to interact with individuals working in a field they are passionate about every day. Often we, as people, get so focused on an idea or something we are passionate about, we forget that others may share the same interest.
There are so many good-hearted people who get excited about one of their passions so they want to create an organization which focuses on that. But what if an organization already exists?
Like I said, Grundy County has many good-hearted people. Imagine what could happen if those people came together on an issue instead of operating in their own silo.
You may be surprised how many diverse organizations already exist. Grundy County has organizations whose focuses are disabilities (developmental, autism spectrum, etc), cancer awareness, community service, helping people in need (by feeding them, clothing them, and providing shelter for them), seniors, children’s recreation, and domestic violence awareness.
There are also groups who are passionate about the environment, groups passionate about animals, groups passionate about faith and religion, even groups passionate about books and knitting!
The list could go on and on.
Many of us have a strong desire to get involved and make a difference. I would encourage you to do so, but I would also encourage you to do a little research, too.
Find out what groups or organizations already exist in your community and talk with those individuals.
Even if that group’s mission isn’t what you were looking for, you may acquire some useful information about what has worked for that group and what hasn’t worked.
The Community Found-ation of Grundy County is active in various collaborations, such as Grundy Partnership for Children, Behavioral Health Alliance, Business Education Council, and Grundy Interagency Council. In conjunction with the Interagency Council, we operate the 941-HELP Center, which lists many of the not-for-profit organizations in the county.
Many of the organizations are open to, and could greatly use, new volunteers.
Here at the foundation we are all about not reinventing the wheel. We try to stay up on who’s doing what in the community and take pride in the amount of networking we do.
If there is something that keeps you up at night wondering how you can make a difference, I would encourage you to take advantage of the foundation’s resources and capability to connect you to others who share your enthusiasm for a specific topic.
You can reach the Community Foundation at (815) 941-0852.