I was raised by parents who told me I could do or be anything and somewhere along the line I began to believe them. “No” has never been a word in my vocabulary, for better or for worse. Did I mention that being stubborn is also part of the equation? The result of this is being a bit of big dreamer.
Over a decade ago, a friend reached out and asked a group of us girls for help. He was the one of two chaplains at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. He shared his vision for help, support, families having chaplains of all faiths before surgeries, end of life, celebrations and simply someone trained to listen and provide faith and hope. It was a tall order for a group of women who had never started a non-profit before but a perfect big dream.
Within a year of the launch of The Spiritual Care Guild we had chaplains 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But big dreamers don’t stop at that, they keep going because once one dream is achieved, its time to make the dream bigger. Each year the Spiritual Care Department grew as did its integral role in the hospital, with staff and patient families.
Like all good dreams, they can’t come to an end. Then five years ago, the dream expanded to having a chapel that would accommodate people of all faiths, families, patients, staff and give them a place to pray, to think, to hope and to dream. This was the biggest dream of all, especially in a hospital where real estate is reserved for medicine and all that goes with providing excellent health care to tiny patients.
However, last week that dream became a reality. I stood in the physical space, now a construction site, that will become the new Interfaith Center at CHLA. It was such an amazing moment to see what happens when people come together with a common goal, a big dream and a huge team effort. Dreams do come true and the bigger the dream the better!
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