As we head into the New Year, I was intending to take this space to share our plans for 2010 with you all. And then fate intervened, in the form of one of our Immersion Course graduates, Menachem Kniespeck. (I will indeed share those plans – you will see them here next week.)
For those who don’t know Menachem, he is the driving force behind Operation Kid Equip. OKE is an incredible organization that provides free school supply kits to students from low-income families. While we often think of “poverty” and “Detroit” in the same breath, the areas served by OKE – Oakland County and other areas in southeastern Michigan – are not traditionally known for high poverty numbers. Yet 60,000 of their school kids are on free or reduced lunch. Those are the students Operation Kid Equip is dedicated to helping.
In 2008, Operation Kid Equip provided backpacks and school supplies to just under 500 students. After reading and embracing The Pollyanna Principles, in 2009 they helped approximately 14,000 kids.
That’s a 2700% increase! Menachem credits that increase almost entirely to The Pollyanna Principles.
In addition to founding and operating Operation Kid Equip, Menachem is also the Chief Financial Officer for Kids Kicking Cancer. From his depth of experience, he has started a consulting practice – VisionSpun Consulting – which was actually birthed during our November Consultants Immersion Course!
As we spoke prior to that course, Menachem told me, “If I could transform an entire organization with just one of your articles, and we grew from 500 to 14,000 kids served by OKE from just reading your book, imagine what I will be able to accomplish after taking the course!” (In part the answer is that in 2010 OKE is slated to provide school supplies to 30,000 students – and who knows what else Menachem will accomplish in that time!)
Ok – all that is background for the treat Menachem shared with me this afternoon – the treat that made me scrap my plans for today’s blog post, and instead share what he passed along. And that is this delightful photo he mocked up as our New Years Gift!
So buckle up, one and all! We have a heck of a year in store for social entrepreneurs and funders, for executive directors and board members, for consultants and leaders of management support organizations, for college professors and for anyone else who wants to move beyond just “doing their work” – folks who want that work to catalyze community change.
Buckle up indeed. We can’t wait to see where this highway leads!
Many many thanks to all who joined us this amazing past year. We are honored and humbled to link arms with you on this journey. And thanks to Menachem (pictured above with consultant and social change agent Alison Rapping) for sharing his energy and passion through this wonderful gift.