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Read the thoughts and impressions on a variety of topics written by Christopher F. Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Community Foundation as well as occasional guest bloggers.

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Sky in Your Soup
By Denise K. Spencer / July 1, 2016

One of my favorite art forms is children’s literature. It is creative and magical. It entertains and teaches. It moralizes and immortalizes. And it is often enhanced by amazing illustrations—an art form in and of itself.  

As an adult, I find that a return to children’s literature is a joyful reminder of the comforting times on my mother’s lap when I felt the protection of her arms and her soothing voice. But it is also an important reappearance of the life lessons we should have gathered into our minds and hearts. In addition, it is an opportunity to catch the learnings that we might have missed at the time we first heard them; perhaps the student was not yet ready.

My favorite books include the
Velveteen Rabbit (Margery Williams), Oh the Places You’ll Go (Dr. Seuss), Winnie the Pooh (A. A. Milne), The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry), The Giving Tree, and anything else by Shel Silverstein.

In so many cases, we learn values that impact us for a lifetime. And for me, with so much of my career spent in the nonprofit sector, I’m grateful for the influence of children’s literature on my life. It speaks so much to the nature of the work.

Remember the story of the lion and the mouse? Aesop taught us “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

For a community-builder like me, isn’t it great that L. Frank Braum reminds us, in
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home”?

From E. B. White’s
Charlotte’s Web:

“’Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’

‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’”

And a quote I often use from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

A recent return look into Where the Sidewalk Ends brought to mind once again the genius that was Shel Silverstein, and an amazing poem:

Sky Seasoning
A piece of sky
Broke off and fell
Through the crack in the ceiling
Right into my soup,
KERPLOP!
I really must state
That I usually hate
Lentil soup, but I ate
Every drop!
Delicious delicious
(A bit like plaster),
But so delicious, goodness sake---
I could have eaten a lentil-soup lake.
It’s amazing the difference
A bit of sky can make.

What does sky mean to me? It is a vision for improved community. It is trust that we can create a better quality of life for our four-county area. It is a belief that we can assure that all property owners on Hilton Head Island can one day be connected to a safe sanitary sewer system. It is a commitment to those with a charitable heart and pocketbook that we can help them make the positive difference they want to make in the world—and leave the legacy they want to leave. It is hope for all students who hunger for an education that the resources might be found to make it happen. It is a process for assisting front-line nonprofits to receive help through training, volunteers, grants, and increased donors to help them do their best.

When the technology breaks down, or we’re short-staffed, or the stock market did not behave as hoped, we have our lentil soup days. But more often than not, the sky drops in and makes it all so delicious!

It is my sincere belief that living generously is part of the sky that can make your soup taste so very much better. And if you need to know how to find the sky with which to season your soup, please contact Community Foundation of the Lowcountry (843.681.9100). There is a very helpful creative staff within our organization and we are eager to show you just how delicious life can be!

Denise K. Spencer
President and CEO


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Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

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