What does MEND mean to me?

ESL tutor volunteer and MEND Program Board member, Jessica Edmond, was recently asked what MEND means to her. Here is her response:

I am here at MEND because of the people. People who lead with their actions, taking the initiative to make the world a better place, people who welcome all to MEND with open arms and a warm heart, and people who care for each of their members, no matter one’s role, status, or background.

MEND is a place where people from all stations in life come together as a self-sustaining community, a community who encourages and supports one another, a community who celebrates life’s joys together, and shares in the sorrows. For this reason, MEND is unlike any organization I know. Its vision and mission are not just for those living in poverty, but is modeled by the organization as a whole. This is the culture of MEND of which I belong.

I am here at MEND because of the people. Those of whom we serve in this community are some of the most caring, dignified people I know. I honor them for their kindness, their generosity, and dedication to their personal development that also benefits their families and the community at large. My students at MEND may not have much money, but they are rich in character.

I believe MEND’s vision is exemplified at the ETC. Our school is full of caring human beings,and every day that one of our students makes the choice to educate him or herself is a step towards self-reliance.

MEND’s mission is also to provide basic human needs: food, clothing, dental care, but feeling personally cared about, valued, and even needed are also basic human needs. Despite our current financial challenges, MEND is still very wealthy. We have tremendous human capital and capacity for compassion towards one another to continue caring for the bodies and souls of our community.

I am here at MEND because of the people for whom I am extremely grateful.

— Jessica Edmond