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THEVOICE • rockfordchamber.com

May 2020

IGNITE: YOUNG PROFESSIONALS For such a time as this … CRYSTAL SAVAGE Rockford Rescue Mission

IGNITing impact in the midst of COVID-19

Let’s be honest; right now, we are living in a rapidly changing climate due to COVID-19. We are daily adjusting our professional and personal lives. It has been in this pandemic I see, not everything in our lives “pause.” Homelessness does not pause. Trauma does not pause. Addiction does not pause. Therefore, help cannot pause. When our leadership team started to have to make some very rapid changes to how we are keeping everyone safe, it was not easy. In these conversations we reminded each other of Esther 4:14, God called us, as leaders, to where we are “for such a time as this.” I never imagined my “time” would be COVID-19, I seriously felt like asking for a “re-draw” for my “for such a time as this.” But I knew I couldn’t “pause.” Here are three lessons I have learned from guests at Rockford Rescue Mission to not “pause” and IGNITE myself during “such a time as this.”

Find a “Heartbreaking” Passion Daily, at the mission, I see people “pause” because of crisis. People literally freeze until they start to have hope restored in them; they start to see they are called for a purpose. When crisis happens, such as a pandemic, it is easy to “pause,” because who truly knows what to do? I was challenged years ago to choose a career in something that “broke my heart” -- to find work that I was so passionate about that sometimes it would hurt. We all have different callings, and that is what makes humanity beautiful. What can you do, that you are passionate about, that would be a blessing to someone? It may be picking up some extra food or items on a needs list at the store for a non-profit, donating old blankets and towels to the local

animal shelter or ordering pizzas for the COVID-19 wings at the hospitals. Knowing that we are not only surviving through this pandemic but helping others survive, can help us feel a little less alone.

Ask and Look for “Other Duties as Assigned” Thousands of people come to the mission every year. Those with the greatest success stories usually are those who sought out ways to help, when they themselves needed help. They don’t do this for recognition or praise but rather because they know it can make a difference and it needs to be done.

It would be so easy to wage this war on COVID-19 in our jam jams, on the couch binging on the next popular season and posting memes about tigers while suddenly having a new “enemy” named Carol Baskin, but would it help our community? “Other duties as assigned” is often a workplace joke -- those items that show up on our to-do lists that are nowhere to be found on our job description. If you are still working, what are tasks during “such a time as this” that you can step up to, that could make an impact at your workplace? If you have extra hours or are in a position, where are agencies you can volunteer your services? (Tip: pick some place that “breaks your heart.”) There are opportunities to make a difference during “such a time as this” when we are tempted to “pause,” which can truly make a difference to our professional and personal environments.

Virtual library cards now at Rockford Public Library Acquire new skills, academic help, entertainment at website

Rockford Public Library has begun issuing library cards through its website at www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org. For questions email info@ rockfordpubliclibrary.org and include your phone number for a telephone call back. Other digital services available to card holders: ■ Current and historical news through NEWSBANK. ■ Ebooks and audiobooks through CLOUD LIBRARY and HOOPLA. ■ Children’s audio and animated books through TUMBLEBOOK. ■ Music through HOOPLA and FREEGAL. ■ Movies and television programs through HOOPLA and KANOPY. ■ Magazines through FLIPSTER and RB DIGITAL. ■ Digital courses through UNIVERSAL CLASS and “Great Courses” through KANOPY. ■ New languages through ROSETTA STONE. ■ Children’s video lessons through SCHOLASTIC GO. ■ Academic help through HOMEWORK HELP and DMV PRACTICE EXAMS. Access these resources at www.rockfordpubliclibrary.org/a-to-z-alldatabases.

Expand Your Comfort Zones No one wakes up excited to get help from the mission -- it is the hardest day of their lives. I daily see brave individuals walk through our doors and admit they need help. They are making the conscious choice to step out of their comfort zones to change their lives. Our lives and “normal” have literally changed because of COVID-19. Now is the best time to really shake up our comfort zones! A life lesson our guests have taught me is, no one grows without a challenge. How can you grow during this season when the world is literally standing still? It could be picking up that leadership book, attending a webinar series or finally packing up all those items that “don’t spark joy” to donate. Use this time to grow and IGNITE yourself as a leader and not stay stuck and on “pause.” We have to create a new routine, and we may even find new routines we love. We all have different jobs, positions, resources, education … we all have different ways to make an impact. It would be so easy to wage this war on COVID-19 in our jam jams, on the couch binging on the next popular season and posting memes about tigers while suddenly having a new “enemy” named Carol Baskin, but would it help our community? Our community is looking to us; we have been equipped, called and trusted as young leaders in our community to rise up when it is easy to “pause.” Now is our “for such a time as this” to IGNITE impact in the midst of COVID-19 and change lives. Crystal Savage is communications and marketing director at Rockford Rescue Mission. The views expressed are those of Savage’s and do not necessarily represent those of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

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May Voice 2020