Development Coordinator’s Message
NPH is Ours: A reflection from Upper Midwest Development Coordinator, Natalie Hursey
I started working at NPH nearly two years ago and from the beginning I felt a certain level of ownership in this organization. I feel proud of the work we are doing and the network of volunteers and donors that we’re building. I love telling people about “our” organization and what “we” do to ensure that these amazing children are given a real chance in life. Who wouldn’t be excited to be a part of something like this? Despite this enthusiasm though, I felt a bit strange taking ownership in something that I did absolutely nothing to create.
In my first few months here, I would get a call every once in a while from a woman named Joanne. She was funny, and I genuinely enjoyed talking to her. I could tell from the way she talked about her experiences that she had been involved with NPH for a while. She knew so many people within our organization and was on a first name basis with my colleagues. I really didn’t know a lot about her though, or what her specific connection was to NPH USA.
One day, last summer, she called me to RSVP for an upcoming event and we chatted for a little while. I finally asked her how she got involved and she told me that over 30 years ago, she held a garage sale at her house in order to provide Rose Schaffhausen (our region’s founder) with some seed money to start Minnesota Friends of the Orphans. Reflecting on our conversation later, I thought of the handful of times that I had thanked her for supporting “our” work and immediately I felt a little silly. How could I take credit for something she built? NPH wasn’t mine, it was hers.
There are hundreds of stories like Joann’s and each one is an important piece in our intricate puzzle. This region is more than 30 years in the making. It was built dollar by dollar, person by person, and every story I hear gives me a deeper understanding of just how much work went into creating this organization.
What I’ve come to learn is that NPH is mine. And it’s yours. It belongs to all of us—a community linking arms in support of these children.
Maybe you’re like Joann, and you helped Rose with startup money in the early stages. Maybe you’re like our friends Joel and Yvonne who heard someone speak at their church and felt called to start leading annual mission trips to our homes. Maybe you’re like Claire, who had visited on trips but felt inspired to donate a year of service. Maybe you’re like Robin, who started sponsoring children after hearing stories first hand from some of our pequeños. No matter what your role in this organization, NPH belongs to you. You’ve created it, you’ve built it, and you’ve strengthened it.
From the very bottom of my heart, thank you for making NPH what it is today, and thank you for letting me be a part of it.