Sometimes, sitting in Opportunity International’s US office in Oak Brook, Illinois, it’s easy for me to overlook the depth and diversity of our reach. So often my mind is stuck on the immediate things: the morning commute/did I lock my door today/outstanding emails needing a reply/proposals to write/yes, I definitely left my apartment unlocked this morning…you get picture – some days it seems there is no end to the small things clamoring for my attention.
When life is busy, it’s easy to lose perspective. I’ve been reminding myself of this daily, especially during the chaos (and fun!) of the final fourth quarter fundraising push. When things get busy around the office, I find more and more that I need to be deliberate. To me, this means taking a moment to pause, breathe and remind myself of the significance of the big work of which I am privileged to be a part.
One thing that always brings me back to my place and role within Opportunity International is talking to my counterparts in the field. In a good week, I connect with dedicated colleagues working in the field throughout the FOUR continents in which we operate – Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. It’s always refreshing to hear an accent that sounds different than my own on the other end of the line.
Opportunity International is truly a global organization. We work in more than 22 developing world nations to serve more than five million clients and have a staff of 17,000, the majority of whom are local nationals. It’s amazing to get to know my colleagues; they are truly inspiring, fighting poverty on the front lines. Also, they are immensely patient and quick to forgive when I butcher their last name time and again.
I encourage you to take a moment to take a deeper look at our global work. Look at the map and find a country you want to support or learn more about. Perhaps you might enjoy exploring what we are doing with farmers in Africa, small business owners in Eastern Europe, Trust Groups in Asia or educators in Latin America. Truly the reach and innovation of our approach in each country is limited only by the endless talents of our staff and clients.
I wish you a very happy holiday season and hope that you and yours find yourself a part of a bigger perspective as we look toward 2015.