Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 35- Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and My Clear Driveway

Well, there just wasn't anything that fit in with what I wrote about last year ("scented goodbyes"), so I'm running free today with my choice of charity.  Wahooooo.

The good news is that I think I found an excellent place to highlight and contribute to today.  While looking through a list of reputable organizations, I found one that really intrigued me, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics).  Once I read the description of what they do and cruised around their website a bit, I was sold.

http://www.humanics.org/site/c.omL2KiN4LvH/b.1098773/k.BE7C/Home.htm

Here's a little snippet from their "Who We Are" section.

American Humanics is the only workforce development organization that certifies diverse, work-ready talent for the nonprofit sector. Our alliance of educational programs and nonprofit partners produces the leaders whose work strengthens communities worldwide.


And from charitynavigator.com...
 
American Humanics is a national alliance of colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations dedicated to educating, preparing and certifying professionals to strengthen and lead nonprofit organizations. The American Humanics program is an innovative course of study that equips college and university students to become skilled professionals and leaders in America's nonprofit organizations. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, American Humanics is the only national nonprofit organization meeting this need. To ensure students' success, American Humanics provides leadership opportunities, internships, and scholarships as well as education curriculum.
 
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I was hoping the title of the blog today would be "Anonymous Kind Stranger Who Shoveled Our Driveway" or "Warm Sun Who Melted All of the Snow off the Drive."  Unfortunately, as you can see, neither of these can be found up above. 
 
After a few hours of working up to the task, I finally decided to head out and take care of the FOOT of snow on the driveway.  It was time.  The temperature outside was almost in the single digits, so I made sure to bundle up.  I had on two pairs of sweatpants, many layers of shirts, my puffy winter coat, a Michigan headband (one of those thingys that covers your ears), a scarf, and plaid rain boots.  I can only imagine what this must have looked like.  Today was not a prance down the driveway fashion day.  I meant business.
 
I quickly got to work, just wanting the whole thing to be over with.  I felt pretty good at first... until I looked up from under my hood and realized that I had only completed about 1/10 of the total project.  The snow was literally almost a foot deep.  The driveway seemed so long!  I pushed on.  I don't quit.
 
I definitely thought about quitting, though.  When I was about halfway done, I started to talk myself out of finishing.  I knew Tom would be home tonight, and I thought maybe I could just finish shoveling his half.  I wouldn't reallllllllllly need to drive anywhere on my own until Monday, which meant as long as we could get his car in and out, he could always finish the other half when he got home. 
 
While I was contemplating this, my neighbor came outside with her kids.  She took one look at me, and instead of laughing, she shouted across the street, "You go girl!!"  She and her daughter gave me big grins as they got into their car, and that was just what I needed.  Heck yeah! I thought.  I do go.  Go me.  Is it weird to say that I felt kind of empowered?  That I felt girl power?  I did. 
 
I'm not going to lie, I struggled through the last quarter of the project, but I had a renewed sense of resolve.  I am a strong and capable woman.  I can work and vote and be successful.  I can shovel my own dang driveway.  I was going to finish that thing if it killed me.

By the time I was done, I could barely grip the handle on the shovel.  I was sweating like a beast, my hair was flopping out of my hood and headband, and my muscles were about to give out.  Boy, I sure was proud, though.  I spent a good five minutes leaning against my car in the garage and admiring my work.  In fact, I'm still talking about it... just ask Tom... haha.  He can't complain, though, clearly.  I honestly think he was impressed with my work.  When he started to tell me that I did the job better than he does, I started to get a little nervous...

My muscles will surely be sore tomorrow and my back will most likely ache, but I am woman, hear me roar!  I am a snow slayer, unstoppable with a shovel!  Okay, I should probably be done now.  This is getting a little out of hand.  Plus, writing about all this kind of makes me want to go look at the driveway again...

Thank you, my clear driveway, you made my day.           

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