United Way President on loss and giving.
Anna Babin was the CEO of Catholic Charities, one of the largest Catholic social service organizations in Texas. In 2005, during the Katrina evacuation, she became president of United Way of Greater Houston. Babin had received United Way help as a teen, and this strengthened her desire to make a difference for others. She shares the virtue of generosity and why giving can change your life.
Anna Babin is an agent of change!
LS: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
AB: I would want every child to start life healthy, with quality education as a given and then an education system that prepares a child for life, college or career.
LS: Do you embrace change or fear it? Why?
AB: Change is a constant. It’s like the air we breathe. It is always present. So go with the flow. Why fear it?
LS: What’s the greatest change you’ve personally experienced in your life?
AB: The realization that every dollar I make or receive is a gift. I lost significant dollars, actually my children’s college fund, in a bad investment. It was at a time in my life when every dollar saved was critically important and a sacrifice. After going through the initial state of outrage, fear, sickness in the pit of my stomach, I turned the situation over to God. Through a lot of soul searching and prayer, I came to the conclusion that all that I have is a gift, every birthday gift and every paycheck. I did not possess that money nor did that money possess me. There was a sense of freedom and relief at the moment I realized this. It did not mean that I could invest foolishly in the future. It made me view money in a different light and it no longer controlled me.
LS: Since we cannot change others, what is the best way to help them through challenge?
AB: Modeling and mentoring others is a place to start. Nothing is more motivational than hearing the challenges of another or watching them live through a challenge in real time. Encouragement and patience, with an expectation that they embrace the change, is an approach I take.