For my first FRIENDS Friday greeting as President of this incredible organization, I bring a very tragic story that is supported by a truly inspiring amount of love, support, and compassion. In the wake of one of our teachers losing her very young life, I received the following story from one of our Regional Directors, Alyssa Robinson:
Earlier in the week, we learned of some news none of us were ready to hear – a passing of one of our own, Melissa from our Watertown Little Sprouts. In this time of sadness, I didn’t think I would ever witness such greatness, compassion, love, support, and comradery, but our Little Sprouts team has displayed it in spades. Upon hearing the news, Meghan McLaughlin, the Executive Director of our Boston South End and Belmont schools, contacted me instantly. She requested that I conference in Melinda Flanagan, Executive Director in Watertown. As Meghan, Melinda, and I spoke, it became clear what Meghan was attempting to do – she was determined to get as many teachers and administrators that wanted to attend the services for Melissa on Wednesday as she could. Meghan spoke with teachers at both Belmont and South End, and was not surprised to find many offered to either stay at the school for consistency for their children, or go to Watertown to cover their classrooms. On Wednesday, 9 teachers from the South End and Belmont went to Watertown to support their sister school. They brought all of their compassion to classrooms they covered, offering a smile, a hug, and anything that was needed. Meghan described it as a true team effort and summed it up in one word; BEAUTIFUL.
Meghan sent the following email to the parents at both schools, proudly describing the amazing teachers that care for their children each day:
“I wanted to take a moment to let you know how proud I am of the team that we have. Earlier this week, we learned that a teacher at our sister school in Watertown lost her life. Today, multiple members of our incredible team are working at the Watertown school so that the Watertown teachers are able to attend the funeral. We had even more volunteers who said they would work in Watertown, but we needed to keep the rest of our team at the Belmont school so that we could run the school. Our teachers did not know the teacher who lost her life, nor do they know the Watertown teachers or children, but they wanted to help support the school regardless. I am so grateful to work with such a thoughtful team.”
In times like this it makes you slow down and look around. For me, I have realized that not only am I surrounded by people that care about children, they care about each other, complete strangers, and our organization as a whole. We are stronger together. Thank you to our Belmont and South End teachers for uprooting your day to support and care for a sister school going through a terrible tragedy.
This amazing and selfless display of compassion by our teachers in a time of tragedy is beautifully expressed by both Alyssa and Meghan. Upon reflecting on my nearly 25 years with Little Sprouts, I can say with certainty that it is an honor and privilege to share my life with so many amazing people. These incredible acts of kindness make my lifelong dedication to growing Little Sprouts, and spreading our love and passion, as rewarding as can be; the power we have to positively enrich the lives of those around us is a true gift. I am so blessed to witness the love on a daily basis. It is clear that we embody the value of Family First at every turn – for both the families in our care, and our own Little Sprouts family. It is with a full heart that I thank each and every member of the Little Sprouts team for your commitment to making the world a better place for all.