The Right Opportunity Can Save Your Life
- Wednesday, January 3, 2018
- By Matthew Smedley
As we begin another year at Mission Possible, I want to thank you for your partnership with us! Your support is impacting lives in profound ways. Those challenged by poverty here in the Downtown Eastside are being empowered through opportunities for meaningful work. But it is my hope that, through your partnership with us, YOU are being impacted as well! I know that this is true for my staff and me. In fact, I’d like to take a moment to tell you how Mission Possible has been a place of transformation for me.
Through my time in university and early employment, I never had the slightest interest in working at a place like Mission Possible. However, 11 years ago a friend invited me to volunteer at MP and my life began to change! Through the stories of and interactions with those in the Downtown Eastside, my thinking and understanding of poverty was radically upended. The stories I heard were never the same, but they all shared a similar pain and sense of brokenness.
This deeper understanding led to my personal transformation. Looking back, I know that I was pretty judgmental before coming to MP.
I thought along the same lines as my friend Mike (in photo). He told me recently that there was a time when he would drive through the Downtown Eastside and think, “Look at those useless people! I’ll never be there.”
And then he was…living on the street…in the grip of a heroin addiction.
Mike lived a life much like yours and mine until things fell apart. Looking back, he realized that this could happen to anybody. And I now know this to be true. Life affords us no guarantees against trauma or tragedy, nor how we will respond when faced with them.
That is why the work that we do at Mission Possible is so critical. Every person matters, no matter their story, and deserves a chance to flourish in life again. It’s that chance that we offer.
Mike now sees Mission Possible as a light along his road to recovery. Starting employment with MP gave him a place to experience real dignity and self-respect again after losing both. He says, “Mission Possible helped me to get my life back. There is a good chance that I would have ended up on drugs again if it wasn’t for MP.”
As Mike and others who have come through MP attest, having a job is critical to maintaining sobriety, for being able to break free from the cycles of addiction. Your partnership with us provides this chance for a new lease on life for those who just need the right opportunity.
Thank you for making a difference! May this year be one of continued impact and transformation for us all.