I’ve said it before and I will say it again—I love strategy, templates, checklists, data-driven program design, and taking ample time to conduct contextual research on the characteristics of the people who Massachusetts Parents United will be designing the program/event/activity for. But sometimes events are unforeseen. There’s no time for strategy. There’s no time for lengthy proposals. So, what do we do when, for example, a situation like the devastation in Puerto Rico occurs?
We think on our feet and use our core values as a compass.
Luckily for me I work with a badass mom who gets shit done. She talks the talk and then walks the walk.
(MPU Founder Keri Rodrigues with Senior Advisor Andy Stern who challenges us to be brave, bold and fearless in our work.)
The badass, EduMom/Keri sent me an email on September 27th about a potential welcome center for displaced families coming to Massachusetts from Puerto Rico. I replied that it sounded like a great idea and sent some comments and questions.
She answered me and then on 9/28 MPU decided that it was a go. I was thinking to myself “WHAT, WHEN, HOW, AWESOME, THIS IS CRAZY BUT AWESOME!” So, without all the questions answered and me in a little bit of shock, we started thinking more deeply, creating, and partnering. We began the project as Keri always does: by doing the best we can from where we are with what we have while listening to our parent leaders.
(Here with are with US Senator Ed Markey at the table of the top leaders responding to the crisis in Puerto Rico in Massachusetts.)
Also, we made and continue to make decisions and take actions based on our values of connection, knowledge, and enthusiasm. Our values listed below serve as our compass.
Connected Relationships: We knew that to make this center happen that we would need to make strategic connections/relationships. We needed and continue to meet with the Latino community, legislators, and families in communities who will potentially be affected. Also, we needed to form relationships with researchers like the UMass Donohue Institute who can give us the most up to date numbers and information on the Puerto Rican community in Massachusetts.
Knowledge: We had and will continue to have brainstorming sessions on what we need to know/understand to be able to provide the resources that will make the most impact. (Resources that will share our knowledge with the families who will come to the center.)
Fortunately, another one of our badass moms helped with the logistical issues/knowledge
(location, rent, electricity, and so much more! Thanks, Jenn)
Another one brought together the community connections and relationships. (That’s our Kim!)
And yet another mom brought together the parents and families. (Go Hazel!)
Enthusiasm: We approached the project and will continue to approach it with excitement and a deep interest in the cause. By thinking about how we can help instead thinking about what we can’t do we became and become even more engaged in this project and others.
Thus, if you need to act quickly to solve problems and aren’t able to write a full-blown report, case study, white paper…you get the drift, there are 2 things that MPU does that we think other people and organizations will benefit from.
We do the best we can from where we are with what we have.
We have outlined our values and use them as a compass to make our decisions and solve problems.
And frankly, we’re a group of moms that just won’t take NO for an answer.
What do you think?