14 Oct Mission Minute: Traditions – Old and New
by Kathe Rae, Manager of Mission Integration and Volunteers
As we approach the holiday season, we often think about and celebrate traditions. At New Hope, the holidays seem to begin in October with the annual Fall Festival. Traditions, especially at New Hope, often include everyone’s favorite thing: eating! We like to cook together, host big family dinners, bake cookies and maybe even serve meals at a shelter. For most of us, the holiday season means celebrating many traditions. Some people continue to brave the crowds at the mall the day after Thanksgiving each year. Others decorate a tree, have gift wrapping parties, attend holiday services and programs and, of course, share gifts!
New Hope’s Fall Festival (our Halloween Party) is one of the oldest New Hope traditions which started in the residential facility many years ago. Individuals served enjoy the chance to dress up in costumes, see longtime friends and meet new ones, dance and enjoy pizza. Also a part of the tradition is the teamwork which occurs to make this favorite event such a success. Everyone has such a fun and memorable time, and most will tell you that it’s a favorite tradition! A close second might be the monthly Kiwanis Bingo night or Friends of the Fox outings to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each May.
While we recognize and respect the importance of old traditions like these, starting new traditions helps us to embrace change and lead us into the future.
“Traditions are important, but there’s always that balance between traditions and newness and change. Change is hard, but this will be the start of new traditions and experiences.” -Jeff Wardle
One of the newer New Hope traditions is the Silver Cup Celebration which occurs in the spring. While the luncheon is a fundraiser, it is also an opportunity to highlight our mission and share the spirit of the individuals we serve, and we are proud to make it a new tradition at New Hope. We also enjoy celebrating our diversity each fall. Started as a part of our 40th Anniversary last year, we recently had our second Celebrating our Cultures Pitch-In at which associates bring a heritage dish and wear traditional clothing of their culture. In the last few years, at our fall associate forums, we’ve celebrated our diversity through interactive and interesting programs on cultural competency. Our diversity adds so much to who we are as an organization, and making it a tradition to celebrate has been such a valuable experience for many associates.
Hopefully we are able to find a balance between the treasured New Hope traditions and new exciting ones as we continue our journey. You can become a part of our traditions by signing up to volunteer, by donating or by joining the team!