Blocks and Bridges is an initiative that pairs sisters with lay co-workers to help build and transform their ministries. It provides best practices in nonprofit management for sister-led, sister-founded ministries. The mutually beneficial relationship ultimately allows for a stronger posture when leadership transition occurs at the ministry.
This month, one Blocks and Bridges consultant, Janus Small, blogged about her experience for U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Read her blog post below, or on the Sisters Against Trafficking website.
The Path Chosen for Me
By Janus Small
My personal belief is that there is a reason for everything that happens in your life – sometimes revealed immediately, sometimes later, or not at all.
My journey to becoming a part of the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking Ministry started when I became a part of the team that developed and perfected a concept titled “Blocks and Bridges,” a program of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. This is a capacity building initiative for ministries founded or led by Catholic sisters. My extensive background working with faith-based organizations and congregations of women religious positioned me well to provide best practices, infrastructure development, content and oversight to “Blocks and Bridges.” All great ideas and worthy causes need a sound business plan to survive, grow, and impactfully fulfill their mission. My professional specialty is building and strengthening the foundation of organizations from day-to-day nuts and bolts activities to thoughtful and strategic planning for the long-term viability of an organization.
In 2015, “Blocks and Bridges” was launched and one of the ten ministries selected to be part of the first cohort was the Cleveland-based ministry, Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, whose director of education is Sister Anne Victory, HM. Part way through the “Blocks and Bridges” program, Sister Anne, in her capacity as President of the Board of Directors of U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, made the assessment that the learning and activities from “Blocks and Bridges” could be most valuable to the newly formed national organization. So, here I am, working with the most amazing, dedicated, and compassionate sisters to eliminate the crime of human trafficking nationwide.
Being part of something so big is awe-inspiring. As we work together to build infrastructure of the organization and grow deep engagement of membership, dozens and dozens of individuals and organizations joining together amplifies the power of work to end modern day slavery. I am so grateful that God blessed me with the ability to master the complexities of the nonprofit world and chose the path that led me to be a support to the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. Thank you for all the good work you do and thank you for making a place for me. I am forever changed.