With Love From Laura: November 2014

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Change. That word brings about different emotions for all of us. Based on our experience, change typically brings about two emotions: hope or fear.

Know what change we all love? Fall. The weather is changing, our wardrobes get a little heavier and the best part about fall — the leaves begin to change. Growing up in Georgia, I didn’t fully appreciate the season until I married a guy from Florida. Joseph never got to experience fall season growing up in the Sunshine State. Thanks to his perspective, I am able to stop and better appreciate the cold air that brings the trees and landscape to form a whole new look. The colors that have been hiding all year slowly change into a beautiful display that takes your breath away.

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While the transition of fall is a highly celebrated time with trips in the mountains, two large holidays and pumpkin spice lattes, it’s often hard to celebrate change in our own lives. Personally, change can bring me to unknown territory leaving me wary of what is to come. But often when I look back on times of adjustment– marriage, bringing children in the world, new homes or even times of illness and defeat, I look back and can’t fathom feeling wary of the growth and blessing produced by the change. If I could only see that in the beginning.

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 9.03.18 AMThis season at ESP is full of change. I remember back 11 years ago when I began my own journey with ESP. It was the same smiles I see today, the same joy walking through the front doors, staff with the same ideals. And while we are serving 3X the number of individuals and their families as we did 11 years ago there is one other thing remains the same…. our building.

This season, ESP family, is a time for change. And what if change could be the best thing that’s happened to us?

“If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it.”

I hope that you’ll take a moment to join us on our walk as we admire the ESP landscape around us- may it be new property, buildings or growth in programs. While we may feel inclined to be wary, let us walk with a vision of the beautiful display of color that change will bring. Walk with me as we enjoy the benefits of change. I’m glad you chose to be a part of the ESP adventure unfolding as we watch the story become more beautiful with time.

“There is a season for everything. And everything is made beautiful in it’s own time.” – Ecclesiastes

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About The Author

Laura Whitaker

Laura Whitaker, M. Ed., began her relationship with Extra Special People, Inc. by working as a counselor and, subsequently, a leadership team member in 2003. With her passion for enhancing the lives of children with developmental disabilities and her specialized education in this field, Laura was selected as the director after the founder, Martha Wyllie’s sudden passing in 2004. She has found her dream job with ESP (or her dream job found her!). As Executive Director, Laura uses her leadership and management strengths to manage staff, oversee multiple year-round programs and raise funds to run programs. Her favorite part of the job is getting to hug the many children who walk through the ESP doors.

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