The We is the Why

Why oh why do I do what I do?

It’s hard work, long hours, it’s true.

Why oh why do I do what I do?

It’s not the pay or the facilities where I stay. It’s not the benefit plan or the summer’s farmer tan.

Why oh why do I do what I do?

I do what I do because it’s not about I. No, not about I, the We is the why.

The we is those that see it’s not about me, it’s not about she or about he. The why is not not at all about I. The why is the we of ESP.

I am so thankful to have spent a weekend with 12 staff that understand it’s about the “we”… Not personal agendas or recognition. It’s about the we– the campers, their families, the staff, the volunteers and the community. One not more important than the other- all components giving to each other as they have need.

So often I try to explain to people outside of our family that ESP is not a service. It’s not a therapy. It’s not a place you check in and check out. ESP is a community. Within a community you have a variety of individuals working together to live, provide, play and enjoy life’s offerings.

At ESP, we have the amazing individuals we serve who guide the direction of the organization’s decisions. But you also have staff who give themselves wholeheartedly to the cause but whose lives are also changed by the individuals we serve. We have parents who receive respite & hope but who turn around and give it to another family and child.You have volunteers who give their time and their heart, but who feel so full they feel as if they’ve given nothing at all. We have donors who give resources with no expectation of return to provide the community with what it needs but in doing so, receive intangible gifts that will always remain. You have board members who give hours upon hours of time behind closed doors and in doing so are able to leave a legacy of love. And community members who are not asked to give, yet feel it’s their neighborly responsibility to speak up for the many who cannot speak up for themselves. And in doing so join the community of ESP.

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.

Related Blogs

hope rises
Posted by Laura Whitaker | September 19, 2017
Hope Rises
A week ago, I was looking forward to a full schedule of experiencing the ESP mission in action. I had Leadership Georgia, football and the anticipation of one of our...
Posted by Laura Whitaker | August 11, 2016
Reflections on Our Fairytale Summer
ESP Families & Supporters, Our hearts may not be able to handle any more joy than that which we have experienced this summer. On June 4th, we opened the doors to our...
finley dancing
Posted by Laura Whitaker | January 21, 2016
Mom Moments
     Two things happened to me this week: my son was cast in a play and my daughter entered into her first ballet class. It's those moments that make your...