Here at Bridges Together, we’ve been talking a lot about “intergenerational makeovers” — the way that youth and older adults are transformed by uniting with and learning from each other. But it’s not just program participants who experience the power of intergenerational connections; the people who work at Bridges Together HQ experience the transformational power of intergenerational “magic” as well. Case in point: our development director Nancy Drourr, who came to us after a 40+ year career at the Brimmer & May School in Chestnut Hill.
Last year, Nancy had retired from her career in development – or so she thought! One of her friends kept passing along interesting job opportunities to her, and BT’s listing for a development director stuck out to her. Read on as Nancy describes, in her own words, what Bridges Together has meant to her:
I knew right away that Bridges Together is an organization with heart. This could be a place where I could help because of my development knowledge.
One of my first experiences as an employee at Bridges Together was at a board and staff retreat. It was not like any other board event I had been to. Everyone played a part, everyone was totally invested in this organization. They were involved in the process. Of course, every board should have invested and involved members, but these people’s hearts were truly involved.
I would say there are two ways that I have changed in this first year at Bridges Together. First, I had to reframe how I think about an organization. I was used to talking about my workplace in a very straightforward fashion. When I first started writing grants for Bridges Together, it took me a while to state what this organization stands for in a more personal, heartfelt way.
But second, being a part of the Bridges Together community has made me focus on gratitude – one of our core values – more. I’ve always been thankful and grateful for the good things that have happened in my life. But as we all know, life is full of ups and downs. Because of our focus on gratitude (did you know that every day at lunch, we go around the table and say something that we’re grateful for?), I’ve started looking at those “downs” from a different point of view: I can either let the negativity pour over me, or I can be grateful for the things that actually are going well.
The very first initiative that I kicked off after I started working at BT was the organizations’ first Annual Giving Program. Of course I want to run a successful campaign. But let me tell you why:
First, I want Bridges Together Inc. to be sustainable for future generations. I have five grandchildren, ranging from preschool to college. They will be working and interacting with older people in the workplace and it is vital for them to understand the perspective of different generations.
But second, and perhaps most importantly, I firmly believe that Bridges Together helps people to be more productive in their lives and grow old with dignity. If people understand what the generations are like, the world will be a better place. And Bridges Together, through our programming, does this.
I want to leave a legacy of giving.
You know what Bridges Together is grateful for? We’re grateful for Nancy and the heart, soul and expertise that she pours into this organization.