I want to first say that I am honored to be part of a group of women who are extraordinary. Every single one of you has gone beyond the call of motherhood and has made a positive mark on your community and family.
Each and every one of you has seen a need, heard a call, saw an issue that moved you to serve.
Looking and seeing are two different things. When we look, we glance, we can quickly turn our heads and move along. To see something or someone is to take in the details. To really see what the need is. Is it that child who has worn the same clothes every day to school, is it that dog you see tied up to a post in the neighborhood never having freedom, the homeless man in town waiting for the shelter to open at night, or the teenager you see twitching and acting suspicious because she needs her next high. To see someone or something is to feel that stirring in your gut to make a change. To stand up for that person or issue. To see is to want to make a difference, a positive impact. That is the difference between looking and truly seeing.
Every Mother of the Year nominee is here because we are the ones that saw a need, or heard about a need, or stumbled onto a need and took action. Every mom in this room is the mom that said “sure I can help” even if their plate was already stacked full. One of my favorite lines is “you can always fit a little more into your day”.
To care is to place someone or something ahead of your needs. It’s the sacrifice you make without hesitation to make something positive happen for someone else. When you care about an idea or a cause you place yourself under the pressure. People depend on you to hold your end of the bargain whether it be going to a meeting, asking for donations, etc.
Caring is hard.
It’s pressure, its fierceness, its commitment.
It’s easy not to care, to walk away, to not get involved, to stay anonymous.
It’s easier not to take the leap because there will be no risk of failure if you don’t care. Sometimes caring can break your heart. However every mom here has taken that risk and have shined and succeeded and made a difference.
Serving is the ultimate commitment. How many times have you spoken to someone who says “I don’t have time.” or “I don’t know how you do it with all the things you already do.”
Can you imagine what the possibilities would be if every single person served their community in a positive way just a little bit?
Serving to me is the reward of my work. I have the honor of coaching The Fall Mountain Special Olympics Team. I watch these athletes work so hard week after week. They show a grit and determination that is awe inspiring. I watch them shine at their competitions. My reward is having them take to the starting line and giving it their best and having them give me a high five or a hug. I get to be part of their dream come true whether that is taking gold in bowling or running the 100 meters in snow shoes and beating their best time, or swimming to the cheers of a crowd not caring that they finished last. My reward is just being there to support them, stepping back and letting them bask in the glow that they so deserve. For me serving my special olympics team is one of the most rewarding things I can do.
Amy Rounds is the 2018 Vermont Mother of the Year. You can read more about Amy HERE.