As long as Angela and I have known each other we have been of the same brain. Even 500 miles apart. Some days it is almost Erie.
When we first started working together it was with a common goal in mind- survive the day working for a crazy entrepreneur and create an executive level conference with shoe strings and bubble gum. We lived 2 miles from each other and commuted independently 5 days a week. Often driving behind one another smiling and waving as I passed her.
That summer Charlotte faced a gas shortage. There was no gas to be found and it didn’t make sense for us to both drive every day. So began our “reduce our carbon footprint campaign”. Since gas was $4.50 a gallon, we convinced our boss using a color coded spreadsheet that it was like giving us a raise to let us work from home on Friday’s and we carpooled Monday-Thursday.
Who would have known that this was the best idea we would ever have. The ideas we dreamed up on those commutes was better than a bottle of wine on a Friday night. The creative juices just flowed and we became one brain.
Eventually we shared an office, worked out together at lunch and officially spent more time together than we did with our significant others. During this time we had a number of heart to hearts. I don’t have a sister- unless you count that time I dressed my brother as a girl- but I imagine that this is what it is like.
This was 9 years ago this month. In 9 years a lot has happened- 2 marriages, 5 babies, 3 or 4 job changes, a move to the frozen tundra and 5,987,876 text messages.
When Angela came to me 3 years ago with this crazy idea, I was 6 months pregnant, swollen, exhausted and my brain had officially left my body. As in during a conference call one day I forgot the 3 letter word for the thing you drive to work in each day.
So when she came to me with this idea to start a non-profit, share our passion for giving and making a difference in the world and leaving the world in a better place for our babies my head was spinning. My brain could barely process it all, but I didn’t need my head to do the work here- all I needed was my heart. I immediately knew that she was onto something. I prayed on it, I noodled on it and I knew I was all in.
In 3 years, our vision for United Service Corps has morphed a little. We started with a global vision but we quickly realized that as much as we wanted to save the world, we needed to start in our own back yard. In Angela’s case, that is Erie Pa. In my case, that is Huntersville NC.
As we have gone through this journey together, at different times something has tugged at our heart. Providing families who are barely getting by with a Christmas, supplying foster kids with duffle bags, setting up local teenagers who are pregnant, alone and scared with the support and supplies they needed to bring a new born into the world, placing diffusers in NICUs to provide relief to babies born addicted to opiates- each one of these causes has triggered our heart work. These stories have touched our hearts on a personal level as women, moms, friends and Christians. We ugly cry… a lot.
In 3 years, we have made a difference in many lives, but we truly believe deep in our hearts that there is so much more we can do. Over the coming weeks, we are going to bring the stories of our friends, neighbors, and strangers to life. We are going to share their struggles, their joys, and hopefully make a difference along the way. We hope you will join on is this this journey of giving from the heart.
#heartwork #givingfromtheheart #onlythebeginning
About the Author:
Beth Kelleher is a working mom of 2 toddlers and 3 fur babies including a crazy puppy. She considers the day a win if she can get out of the house remembering to have brushed her teeth, put on matching shoes and have a fresh coffee in her hand. Some days one out of three is still considered a win! Beth’s hobbies include pinning Pinterest ideas that will never come to fruition, dreaming of the beach and saving toys from the puppy. In all seriousness though, Beth adores her family, and is passionate about making a difference in just one more person’s life. Once she heard Angela’s vision for United Service Corps, nothing was going to stop her from being involved in anyway possible- unofficial co-founder and Secretary are the main hats Beth wears for USC.