This post was written by Executive Director Lynn Wallace Naylor, who will be stepping aside as Executive Director on June 30. We will be forever grateful to Lynn for building the organization into what it is today, and we look forward to welcoming our new Executive Director, Denise Villanueva, into our World of Children family.
I like the heavy responsibility I feel for being a member of the human race.
It’s a deep in the gut thing.
Fierce compassion brings me great joy.
So as I step aside as a joyful warrior for World of Children, there is nothing more important for me to say to you than thank you for sharing this 10 year adventure with me.
Thank you to the global heroes we honor, to the colleagues, partners, friends, and volunteers who have inspired me and stood with me. Thank you for sharing the power and warmth that giving to others feeds back to us.
As I reflect on the past decade, I cherish the times when courageous adults and children reminded me of how simple it is to open your heart to others.
I loved reading text messages in the middle of the night, explaining how it feels to lie awake with a room full of orphans you know are counting on you to feed them when dawn breaks.
I loved playing patty-cake with children who live on the streets.
I loved searching for some way to help even when all I could offer was a time to listen, or a warm hug.
I loved feeling both the pain and triumph of serving children who have been born into conflict and violence, and who so openly welcome our help with tentative, yet trusting smiles.
I loved learning from dozens of team members and board members who tackle this work each day with tenacity and strength.
I loved learning the joy of reaching out and caring for others with you.
When Co-Founders Harry and Kay invited me to be part of their team at World of Children I jumped at the chance to serve vulnerable children…every hour of every day. I am grateful to each of you for giving me this chance to change the trajectory of so many children’s lives and be part of something so much bigger than me…
I look forward to continuing to work right alongside you in new ways, forever aligned in our steadfast commitment to each other, and to our fragile and precious humanity.
Lynn Wallace Naylor