One of our assignments for week 5 of the course I’m taking is to write a press release of sorts, as if the life we are envisioning for ourselves has already happened and we are living it in the present. It needs to be in interview format from the perspective of the interviewer. As of Friday night (10/27) I’m about half done, I think, and plan to publish tomorrow.
Here’s the first bit, a rough draft, just setting the scene-the rest I’ve been working on this morning (10/28)
15 years from now…
“Kaukauna, WI, 10/27/32-
The amazing autumn colors were breathtaking as I turned down the road to the home of the visionary behind Set A Better Sail. This local foundation has contributed over a quarter million dollars in grants and scholarships to northeast Wisconsin organizations over the past decade, to increase access to alternative wellness solutions for area families.
As I pulled in the driveway which looked more like a parking lot, I saw a well kept tan brick ranch home, beautiful acreage, a fenced play yard & swingset, and a workshop just adjacent to the attached garage. I was greeted by their family of 5 and a friendly black lab mix with a swiftly wagging tail. Sarah and I had been corresponding via email and phone for several months, and she had invited me out to share lunch and talk shop.
Sarah greeted me with sparkling brown eyes and a grin that split her face in two- her enthusiasm and cheerfulness was contagious.
“Hey girl! I’m so glad you’re here! It’s lovely to finally meet you in person! Can I hug you? I’m a hugger.”
Her husband extended a firm handshake and a kind, mellow, “Welcome”, a steadying presence to her kinetic energy.
Their 3 young children chattered excitedly, beckoning me to check out their play yard and dog……
After some friendly chit chat, her husband and children returned to raking leaves and playing in their expansive yard, leaving Sarah and I to visit about the heart and soul of her passion project. We settled in to cozy brick red chairs in the brightly sunlit 4 season room off the back of their home. The kind that seem to hug you as you sink back into them. The walls were (tastefully) adorned with pictures of the children at various ages, pictures of loved ones near and far, and framed maps and posters from the many places their family had traveled.
The room bespoke of some amazing adventures and memories made.
Sarah handed me a mug of steaming coffee. “I remember you take yours black”, she said with a smile. She settled in, tucked her bare feet up under her. “So, what should we talk about first?”
“Well, let’s start with something I’ve been curious about. How did your foundation get its name?”
“The short answer is that it’s tied to a favorite Jim Rohn quote, one that I find inspiration in quite often. The gist of it is that it’s not what happens that determines your future. It’s what you do about what happens. ‘The same wind blows on us all…it’s not the blowing of the wind that determines our arrival, rather, the set of the sail.’ So, naturally, we should all want to set a better sail…have better outcomes and a life well lived…and I want to help people be able to do that if they so choose. And, the internet business I have owned since early 2011 incorporates an online shopping site and DBA name of Get A Better Sale, so there’s a bit of play on words there as well. ”
Interviewer: I like it! Jim Rohn is one of my favorites too! Tell me more about the demographics you chose to focus on serving with Set A Better Sail.
Sarah: The people we serve that are dearest and nearest to my heart stem mainly from personal experiences, things I wish I’d had access to, support I wish I would’ve had, and from the flip side, support I DID have, things I DID have access to. For example- one of the populations we’ve chosen to focus on supporting are pregnant moms and new moms. Some of my absolute favorite memories and also growth opportunities came while I was carrying my babies and also shortly after birth. I think of the life-changing experiences the 3 births of my babies. I had amazing home births with midwives with my first 2 babies and an amazing hospital birth with a midwife with my third baby. The amount of education surrounding informed choice and support I received about trusting my own body was incredible. I love being able to make those types of services and experiences available to other women if they so choose, even if finances might otherwise be an obstacle for them. I want to help remove those barriers. Here’s another example…within the first couple years of my marriage, I went through some major health challenges, many of which were a bit of a mystery. My primary doctor didn’t really offer much support or ideas, and the specialists I saw also didn’t offer much in the way of actual solutions. My lab work and tests kept coming back with normal range values. There was technically “nothing wrong”. But I knew, I knew in my gut and in my heart of hearts that something wasn’t right, I wasn’t myself. I was losing myself more each day, mentally, emotionally, physically. It was terrifying. I decided to dig deeper, and that was really the catalyst for my passion for health and holistic wellness. Many of the options I found were not covered by insurance, and to pursue alternative health treatments out of pocket was not inexpensive. So in that vein, I’d love to help make some of those alternative treatments and testing more feasible for people, to help them get on the right track toward healing a lot sooner and more efficiently.
The other demographic of families and individuals I LOVE offering assistance for is people with disabilities and their families. Many times, there is a long wait list for services or funding, or a person may not quite qualify for help, for whatever reason. Our oldest, my daughter A, has Down syndrome. I know that if we had not had the support of the local Down Syndrome Association from very early on, our family may be in a very different place now. Because of the financial assistance available, the camaraderie, the events, the community they offered, we had a lot of connections, friends, and resources through A’s early years that helped us navigate each transition we faced with her. I love being able to discovered local existing organizations and help to fund them further, instead of starting something new that provides a lot of overlap or competition. It’s all about collaborating for the benefit of the people being served.