When I arrived at Diakon in 2015, I was impressed with a number of things: the scope and breadth of programs, the difference those programs made in lives, the unbroken heritage of service since 1868 and the dedication and commitment of staff throughout the organization.
The time was also one of challenge and change.
We were essentially giving birth to a new organization as Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries—offering such services as adoption and foster care, at-risk youth services and counseling and behavioral health care for people of all ages—was created as a “sister” to Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries.
In line with that creation, we needed to make more-efficient use of our limited benevolent-care dollars. We needed to grow our programs, both in scope and geography. And we needed to demonstrate our impact.
My 14-year-old daughter randomly shared this thought with me while we were driving last night….
Mom, isn’t it amazing how one tiny snowflake that falls from the sky joins with all the others and creates these huge piles of snow? It’s just amazing.
I agreed with her and then jokingly said, “I’ll bet there’s a life lesson in there somewhere, but I’m too tired of all this snow to think what it might be.”
Later that evening, the lesson dawned on me. Throughout the last few days I’ve heard stories of people joining forces to help others during and after the massive snowstorm that hit our region. Many of those people are my coworkers. Alone they could do only so much, but like those snowflakes, they combined their efforts and the results multiplied into something amazing. Just a few examples:
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
~ John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute
That’s the one word that sticks in my mind when I think about Diakon Youth Services. The unlimited potential to shape the lives of youths in our community. The potential to do good. The potential to spread love and compassion. The potential to create bonds that last a lifetime.
Corey Carothers is the executive director of Diakon Youth Services. He is married to Kelly and they have two children (and one on the way!). Corey also was a chef challenger in this week’s Dining with Diakon – Central Pennsylvania. Last year, he and youth services colleague Anthony Stukes won the 2013 Chef Challenge by raising over $12,000! Corey is committed to the mission at Diakon and goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist youths on a regular basis. Kelly is right beside him as a huge support. We asked them to share some thoughts with us ….