A Board Member's Perspective

Mark Michaelis, founder of Intellitect and Hearth Homes Board Member since 2012.

Mark Michaelis, founder of Intellitect and Hearth Homes Board Member since 2012.

I have the honor of being on the Hearth Homes board and have been in the role since the organization established a board.  It is such an amazing blessing as I have watched Hearth Homes change over the last three years - Wow! 

Today I was sitting in the board meeting and listening to Angie's Directors Report.  I sat overwhelmed with how God has used her and her team to make an organization that is doing so much more than just providing a place to live.  Hearth Homes' program focuses on encouraging women take responsibility for themselves and their children, and challenges them to interact positively in community. 

For instance, they have "family dinners" together and where a new question is always asked by the dinner hostess like, "What do you need to grow as a person?"   They also have Family Meetings each Saturday morning where they share how they are doing living in community, what their struggles are and how they are evaluating their choices.  These meetings spur meaningful conversations like recently, where one woman asked another, "Hey, how come you get to help lead activities and orientations?"  Residents were eager to explain how they demonstrated dependability by arriving on time and prepared to programming, and how they had shown responsibility in making choices in the best interest of their children and recovery.  "They [staff] know they can count on me to follow through if I make a commitment." 

Conversations like this catalyze change as newer or struggling women realize what they want and evaluate how past choices hindered them from reaching their goals. This particular example resulted in a resident stepping up to be more than just a participant of Hearth Homes, but an owner of the program.  By committing to follow-through on her goals, she gained greater privileges, but more importantly, she began to see the connection between her choices and the values that motivate her actions.

A Hearth Homes resident gives a tour to community members at our open house. 

A Hearth Homes resident gives a tour to community members

at our open house. 

It is amazing to hear about women's struggle of being motivated by external things such as privileges, to being motivated within, by their values. When women are no longer motivated by what they can acquire, but by what they believe to be most important and valuable...that's transformation. The Hearth Homes program challenges women to sincerely reflect on their values and take the time to develop a lifestyle motivated from within. This is why I continue to serve at Hearth Homes and take such pleasure in being part of the board.