Channel surfing after a long day, I landed on Chopped
. I admit that it’s a frequent go-to at the end of the day, but this time, I saw a familiar face: Chef Pam from Elijah’s Promise
, just down the street from us in New Brunswick, New Jersey. We partner with Elijah’s Promise on a number of community service initiatives
throughout the year and Pam is something of a local legend. As we strive to do in our organization, she is consistently working with purpose and commitment.
Elijah’s Promise has a mission, “Food Changes Lives,” and from serving meals to those who are food insecure in our community, to providing job training for careers in hospitality through the Promise Culinary School, they deliver on that mission every day. Pam is a true inspiration. Once a client, now the head chef, she understands the challenges her customers face. But she also knows that there’s a road out from homelessness to fulfilling work that addresses critical needs. In a recent article
she said, “I had to pull myself up. But I did it with help from the community, with the support of my community.”
We’ve volunteered in Pam’s kitchen at Elijah’s Promise and it’s not easy, but it’s also rewarding to contribute to your neighbors’ well-being. When we were there, our goal was to give back to our community and to deliver a great customer experience at Elijah’s Promise, just as we do with our own clients.
Our mission is, in part, “To help people and organizations dig deeper, reach higher, and attain the next level.” By helping our clients' employees excel, we improve their working lives and get them on the right track to a successful future. That’s our day-to-day purpose, and I – for one – care about it.
Research shows that meaning and purpose in our working lives is an essential need. Those who find meaning in what they do are more engaged, and achieve more. It’s easy to see how Pam’s life work has tremendous meaning. Likewise, there is purpose in the service we all give every day in our jobs, no matter what they may be.
As we approach this holiday season, I’ll be thinking about the purpose behind my work. I’m grateful for the chance to serve my colleagues and our clients, and to have a positive impact on the work lives of every participant in our programs. I’m grateful to work for a company that truly encourages all of us to commit time and effort to serve our neighbors. And I’m grateful for people like Pam, who show up every day to inspire us all.