It’s Not All Rainbows and Butterflies
When I tell people I “work for a nonprofit,” I’m pretty sure the image conjured in their minds is dramatically different from my reality. Some assume I’m in the front lines battling Ebola with my bare hands, while others think I sit behind a desk singing kumbaya from 9 to 5. I can genuinely say, it’s neither.
The art of working for a nonprofit like OneMama.org (yes, I did just describe it as an art) is that it is always an upward battle. OneMama.org is no cookie-cutter model nonprofit. We do things—incredible, innovative, mind-blowing things—with fewer resources than you are using to read this very blog post. Picture moving a mountain with a paperclip… that is how it feels sometimes. But you know what is even more amazing? That we HAVE moved mountains with paperclips—then done it again and again and again!
Where women used to lie on a mud floor to deliver their babies, we now have a fully staffed medical clinic. Bare feet that were once riddled with worms and parasites, now have shoes. The earth-shattering heartache from losing a baby has shifted from norm to exception in our OneMama communities, all in a number of years. We have changed lives.
There are members of the OneMama.org team I have never met face to face. We are an intercontinental bunch, working from California, Arizona, New York, Guatemala, and Uganda. There are many members of the OneMama.org family, yourself included, with whom I may never share a conversation. All of us have our own commitments, families, jobs, and life crises all over the world. Not gonna lie, we are one motley crew. Yet our collective action has manifested a light that cuts through it all to create real social change. The one constant that pumps through all our veins: we fight for our joy.
As our founder once told me after a long night of OneMama Collection inventory, “it’s about the morsels. Finding the tiniest bit of joy in this very moment. It’s always there, if we have the patience and peace of mind to really pay attention.” So in this moment, I am thanking you for fighting for the morsels! Thank you for making time in your life not only fight for your own joy, but for our joy. It is those morsels that continue to move mountains (with paperclips!) and keep me coming back for more. What’s on the OneMama itinerary for tomorrow? A lot. But I know we can do it.
About Lauren Ito: Traveling the world while working as a Social Media and Blogging Consultant, Lauren is a storyteller at her core. She helps companies shape their vision, engage individuals, create communities, and simultaneously drive revenue. Lauren is rounding out her third year with international nonprofit OneMama.org, a 501c3 organization dedicated to saving the lives of mamas and babies living on under $1.25 a day. Lauren graduated Santa Clara University, where she studied International Relations, Public Health Sciences, and Sociology.
About OneMama.org: OneMama’s mission is to bring prosperity and health to people all over the world by empowering women as caregivers, mothers, businesswomen and agents of change for their rural communities. OneMama’s began with a pilot program in Uganda. The program consists of building a medical clinic where midwives can provide safe post and prenatal care to their patients as well as teach about family planning, and economic sustainability. As OneMama grows, we will gradually replicate this program in 250 different communities around the globe.