"Start each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart."

Starting Each Day with a Grateful Heart

Team NLC Stories

At the Nonprofit Leadership Center, we’re big believers in starting each day with a positive thought and a grateful heart. During this season of giving, we reflect on the moments, memories and people Team NLC is grateful for this year. We thank you for your leadership and friendship as we continue to develop and connect nonprofit leaders to strengthen organizations and our communities.

Diving for Joy

“Unbridled joy … that moment when you can freely pursue what you love the most. Those are the moments to live for.

“Meet my dog, Cassie. She lives to immerse herself in water. A bucket, a stream, the ocean, a swimming pool — water of any kind, anywhere, will do. She also loves to retrieve balls, toys, pine cones, or even a block of wood. Whatever is handy. Recently, we discovered a sport that combines her love of water and retrieving into one fantastic event: dock diving. She’s pictured here at the moment when I released her to sprint down the ramp and launch her 75-pound body off a dock to catch a ball midair, then plunging into a pool below. I love this photo because of the pure joy she shows and the total abandonment of all else. I look at this photo often and am grateful for this everyday reminder of what unbridled joy looks like.” #BeLikeCassie

Emily H. Benham, CEO


Blessing a New Home

“People say moving is one of the most stressful times in one’s life. I can certainly vouch for that this year. It wasn’t easy leaving a home and a neighborhood I’d grown to love, nor was it easy to organize, sort, donate, sell, pack and arrange all the details a move takes. But I did it. The next challenge was unpacking, arranging, settling, decorating, fixing, cleaning, meeting new neighbors, sorting out a new commute to work, and more. And I did that, too.

“Finding the blessings in a new home took time, encouragement from family and friends, and steady love and support from my wonderful sister. One important step I took was to hold a Hawaiian blessing to invite harmony, health, peace and protection in. I now enjoy watching nature in my backyard and am open to finding more reasons to find more blessings in my new home.”

Lorraine Faithful, Operations Manager


A Growing Family

“This year, I am grateful for the ongoing love and support from family and friends. Our family grew this year by one great nephew who is a joyful addition to our lives.”

Charlie Imbergamo, Director of Strategic Programs


Bee-ing Outdoors

“I’m extremely grateful for outdoor event venues and restaurants, farmer’s markets and u-pick farms, and for living in a climate that allows me to enjoy that year-round. I’m always appreciative of that as a Florida resident, but especially in these last 20 months as COVID-19 has continued to affect indoor gatherings. I’m grateful that I’m able to get together with loved ones in a relatively safe way in outdoor spaces and get out of the house for some solo time outdoors whenever the mood strikes me. 

“I’m also grateful to our bee friends for helping to keep us fed by pollinating.” 


Carina Kleter, Program Associate


The Simple Things & New Horizons

“I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say I don’t know where 2020 ended and 2021 began. What I do know is that throughout all this time, my loved ones have been my solace and my joy. For them and the memories we crafted, I am grateful. 

“Professionally, I feel like I struck gold for a second time. I took a risk when I walked away from an organization I believed in and colleagues I loved to join the Nonprofit Leadership Center. Fortunately, the NLC family has been impossibly kind and affirming, and I am so glad for the opportunity to serve alongside them. 

“Finally, I’m grateful for much-needed laughter and long-awaited hugs, and for learning to let go, so I can embrace what’s new.”

Meriel Martínez, Program Director

A Community of Support

“I am most grateful for my community, both near and far. This year, on top of the life-altering changes brought forth from living through a pandemic, a close family member was presented with some serious health challenges. There have been many moments in the past year that have caused me to pause and think about how lucky I am to have a network of such love and collective strength. I have felt that support in many places, from within my family, dear friends, local community and my wonderfully thoughtful team at NLC.” 

Tess Plotkin, Fellow in Resource Development


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