On December 21st I sat next to my husband, the director of Casey Family Services in Concord, in the large conference room of their office. We were sitting around a large table eating a delicious meal with the remaining staff of Casey Family Services. It was a bittersweet time as it was the last day for Casey Family Services to be in operation. As I was sitting there eating I noticed a big picture of Jim Casey on a wall in the conference room. Jim Casey was the founder of UPS and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. He was a man with a vision and did not settle for the mediocre. He always worked to make things better and had a generous heart to help others in need. Next to the picture of Jim Casey was a one of his quotes from 1947. It said, "You cannot be successful entirely through your own efforts. All of us, if we are to acoomplish anything worthwhile, will do it largely through the help and cooperation of the people who work with us." I thought of Jim Casey and his vision for Casey Family Services to help hurting children and families and I thought of all the staff sitting around that conference table for the last time and I thought what a wise man Jim Casey was. Casey Family Services had helped many, many children and families over the years because everyone worked together. It had been a team effort by dedicated staff that had made Casey Family Services a quality agency. As we sat around that conference table finishing up our lunch each staff member shared where they would be going now that Casey was closing. Some were moving on to other jobs in social work, others were moving on to completely different occupations, some were taking extended vacations, some temporary jobs and others didn't yet know what they would be doing. Now that Casey Family Service is closed Ed and I will focus on Soaring Wings Ministires. We will focus on turning a dream into a reality and will travel out to Colorado to purchase some property for Soaring Wings Ministries. Looking back I can say without a doubt that Casey Family Services was a top rate, quality agency that worked hard to improve the lives of hurting children and families. They worked together as a team and it was not the effort of one person that made their work a success. Ed and I are laying it all out on the line and committing our lives to Soaring Wings MInistries and we will do our best and yet as Jim Casey said "we cannot be successful entirely through our own efforts". Ed and I have always known that we would not be able to" accomplish anything worthwhile" on our own. We need the "help and cooperation of people" to move forward and make a vision a reality. So many of you have already helped us move forward and because of your donations, prayers and encouragement we are able to look forward to 2013 knowing that Soaring Wings Ministries will become a reality and will improve the lives of hurting children and families in Colorado. We want you to know that YOU DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Because of you a young adult or family will have a place to live next year!!!! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!! Without you we would not be moving forward!!! In closing I would like to say that it has not been easy to watch Casey Family Services close its doors and to say good-bye to top rate staff...no ifs, ands or buts about it...it was just plain hard. 2012 is almost over and 2013 is almost here and in looking forward I think of another quote by Jim Casey also from 1947, "Within each of us there is a mysterious innate force that drives us onward. It wants us to do better and be better. Call that force conscience, ambition, determination, power of will, or whatever you choose, it constantly whispers in our ears words of advice, stimulation and encouragement. If you will but heed the voice and utilize that inner power to the limit of its potentialities, nothing on earth can stop your progress". Ed and I recognize that power and voice whispering in our ear as God and so we listen to His voice and move forward and because of your help we are able to look forward to the future of Soaring Wings MInistries with confidence and expectation. We wish all of you a Happy New Year and a year filled with God's blessings!
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries