Alone in our office on the incredibly hidden ground floor headquarters of Change is Simple on a late September night, where we share a bathroom and shovel our way in during winter months, a book happened to catch my eye from across the room. "How to Form a Non-Profit Corporation" by Attorney Anthony Mancuso. Quite possibly the most dry and boring book ever published, yet, 5 years ago I couldn't tear myself away - it is actually quite informative and well written but a snooze-fest. It was a step in the right direction. I needed to be doing something, or I felt like we were somehow losing ground. Lauren and I had just gotten married on an amazing evening at a gorgeous beachside club. For a while we had been talking about Change is Simple, although it had no name or formal mission, it was simply something we both felt was drawing us in. We began with this bone dry book, a few pilot lessons in schools and exactly $72. Lauren and I took on this endeavor whole heartedly, together, and with no idea what lie ahead.
I think almost all business owners/founders have likely thought to themselves, 'it will get easier', and then thought it again, and again, as a way of hoping for less stressful times. I fall right into that category- very stressed at times, snappy with my business partner/wife (sorry L!), often wondering when things will smooth out. Luckily I have a saving grace: working with kids. Each morning brings a pre-7am departure to load up our trailer and join a few thousand of my good friends on 128 South bound and chuckle at the rush-hour antics. Our tight knit team arrives at a school for several hours of education, collaboration and inspiration (for them and for us). Kids, simply stated, are a symbol of hope. They bring me back to earth from the perils of grant writing, the abyss of budgeting and the defeat of fundraising as an unknown non-profit.
Yesterday, I found myself standing with a wonderful teacher from Woburn whom we have worked with for a few years. He asked how I was doing and how things were going. My honest reply was "challenging but fantastic." I looked upon our team working with his class, seeing the kids using skills and learning about their connection to our planet and thought, this is what it is all about. And those are the moments that keep me forging ahead; seeing the kids immersed in hands-on learning, using math in real world scenarios, making connections to their own community and health, gaining an understanding of the big picture and looking selflessly beyond themselves.
That is the reason we set out on this mission, the reason I read Anthony Mancuso's bone dry book. Things have NOT gotten easier; actually things are significantly more complicated, but we have had an impact. That I know for sure. But we are FAR from "figuring it out". We need help; we'd love your expertise, your input, and your involvement. So, when you see our posts, emails, or think of Change is Simple and you might have something to share with us, please do! We welcome your two cents with open arms: we know it's worth so much more. You might just help us get to the point where "it will get easier".