On Values

Me Fine’s Executive Director shares thoughts about Me Fine’s core beliefs

“I wisely started with a map.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

I’m now in my eighth year at Me Fine. I was called to this position because I understood the need that Lori Lee saw. Since my first day, it’s been an incredibly rewarding ride that presents us with a constant stream of opportunities to make a meaningful impact on our neighbors and our community. Yet, as most nonprofit leaders will tell you, you get so buried in the work that you don’t have time to see what’s ahead of you; think that whole forest/trees adage.

As our reputation within our partner hospitals grew, and as our network of support expanded to allow us to impact more families each year, we at Me Fine found ourselves in an identity crisis, struggling with the ethos of who we were vs. the image of who we and the community needed us to be. One of the biggest issues was that as an organization, we’d been focused on making Me Fine a reliable resource for families and had never really spoken about who we wanted to be and where we wanted to go. Sure, we had a loose, colloquial sense of our organization’s ethos, but as far as real collective vision/values from our organization as a whole? Nope. 

We were on a remarkable journey, but had no road map.

That changed last year. At our first-ever staff and board retreat, we actually wrote out what our values were. Everyone had a chance to speak into the process, and we built out our map. 

Then we used it for a year. 

Now, as 2020 begins to fall from the calendar, we’ve gone back and made a few minor tweaks to our map. We’re still going to the same collective place, but now we’ve optimized what roads we’re using. If the navigational analogy is wearing thin, know that we revisited and polished our values. We feel that they now accurately represent our spirit as an organization, express our understanding of what the community needs from us, and can guide our work for the future. 

With that, here’s Me Fine’s North Star: 

At Me Fine, we have one core belief:  Families come first.

This means:

  • We prioritize family dignity, privacy, and self-determination.
  • We use our mission as the litmus test for all operational decisions.
  • We honor and affirm the lived experiences of the families we serve, in their own words whenever possible.

We hope these will resonate with you as well, and that you’ll join us in support of our community.