April 24, 2012 | By: Cathy Gordon
Yesterday, I spent a few hours meeting with Best Friend Pet Adoption, one of our "Give an Adventure in Story" contest winners. This organization is 100 percent volunteer-driven and foster-based -- meaning that it has no physical space. It's a powerful team of passionate and dedicated folks, to say the least.
I heard story after story of animals adopted, selfless foster homes and the extraordinary work being done by a group of devoted volunteers. As I was meeting with BFPA's public relations coordinator, I was struck by the sheer necessity of story -- for any organization -- but especially for this one.
No one is going to drive by this nonprofit on the side of the road and decide to drop in. No one is going to walk inside its doors and see its mission statement posted on the wall. Lacking walls or even staff members, it could be easy for the narrative of the organization to simply slip away.
That is, until we can find a way to capture and preserve these stories, and ultimately use them to share Best Friend's wonderful work with the world at large.
Earlier this week, I came across a quote by storytelling legend Robert McKee and it has been stuck in my mind ever since. He famously said, "Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience. They are the currency of human contact."
I feel McKee's quote accurately summarizes why we take a story-based approach to our work here at Signal Hill. It is when we reflect on our stories that we think critically of our experiences, and realize the meaning in our past and the potential in our future. It is how we connect with one another emotionally and relationally.
For BFPA, it's how they will spread their message, expand their organization and grow to help more and more helpless animals.
For us at Signal Hill, it's just our way of thinking.