A Love Letter

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give - Winston Churchill

The 9-year-old batter swung a little too hard that Saturday afternoon in the backyard. But he’d told her to keep her eye on the ball and give it all she had. The clang of glass shattering stunned us both, and I instinctively prepared myself to hear a littany of choice words coming out of my dad’s mouth. But he just grinned, closed his eyes, dropped his head, gloved hand hanging at his side, in a stance that said, “I guess I know what I’m doing with the rest of my day off.”

To love requires many things of a person. But self-sacrifice tops the list. The great thing, though, about learning to love, is that you get to be inspired by that same behavior when you recognize it elsewhere. Witnessing one person giving breeds a similar response in the observer; like interest on a precious investment, the potential for compounding “good” awaits.

In the wake of Valentine’s Day, I want you to know about the loving, life-giving work of a small, but passionately dedicated, group of individuals: my MCFL colleagues. 

These otherwise “ordinary” men and women do extraordinary good for people they may never know. And they are “work ethic” personified.

After collaborating closely with them for the past year, I continue to be amazed that they choose to make their life by what they give to this organization, usually seven days a week, during the pre-dawn silence, the bright light of noontime, or, for some, after they finish their day jobs, enveloped in the dark of midnight. Somewhere along the way, each was clearly on the receiving end of another person’s whole-hearted love. And now they—we—do this work out of respect for those who taught us to love and for those whose voices we may never hear. 

Some examples of the extremes to which my team members have gone (just in the past few weeks):

  • Despite a power outage, our magazine editor met the deadline for our spring issue after scouring her town for a place with electricity.
  • Out west, a well-known MCFL face greeted busloads of D.C.-bound marchers late on a frigid January night, ensuring their safe travels.
  • Recently, a colleague gave up (another) Saturday morning to meet our members on chilly sidewalks outside Planned Parenthood, generating warmth for women who need it the most.
  • After a long day of work, a team member noticed something at 1:00 AM that needed to get done. So he did it—then followed up a few short hours later to make sure everything was OK.
  • “End-of-the-year” means numerous loose ends either become tangled or tied. Our office manager not only tightly secured them, but, with her can-do attitude, shaped them into pleasant little bows.
  • And the beating heart behind all of us: MCFL’s Chairman and Board of Directors, who either witnessed the birth of MCFL in 1973 or grew up alongside it, giving much of their lives for the lives of others, daily.

But we are able to maintain constant focus on MCFL’s mission because of what you have given. Since I arrived on the scene as president last summer, I continue to be motivated by your sacrifice, what you do to help my team and me ascend the mountain before us. Some days we cover a mile! On other days only inches. But I am so grateful that, because of your love for what we’re trying to do, we consistently move forward, despite others’ efforts to hold us back. Thank you!

And, to my dear colleagues, who I have come to treasure, your selfless love for our shared work inspires, caffeinates, and sustains me. I am honored to share this experience with you. Keep up the great work, keep your eye on the ball, and give it all you got. I won’t mind one bit if you shatter the status quo. 

Enjoy your weekend.


P.S. You can continue to support our acts of love by giving, joining, or even just praying for my team and me. Thank you!