What makes a person a hero? We’ve all heard stories of intrepid explorers or courageous soldiers, but what if your daily life seems much more ordinary than the actions we deem “heroic”? At Yippiekiyay, we believe anyone has the potential to be a hero—and with our nonprofit services, it’s our goal to make it easier for ordinary, yet extraordinary, people to make a difference in their communities.
People like Bill Strickland. Growing up in inner-city Pittsburgh, Bill Strickland had few expectations for his life. School failed to motivate him and he didn’t expect to move beyond the gritty Manchester neighborhood where he was raised.
Life changed dramatically the day he discovered high school ceramics teacher Frank Ross’ skill at the pottery wheel. Ross invited Strickland to experiment with the clay and over the hours they spent in the studio, the beauty the young man discovered at the pottery wheel inspired his otherwise uninspiring life. Bill Strickland had found his calling.
Strickland saw how the arts could transform the lives of children living in poverty and founded the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a tiny workshop where he taught Frank Ross’ principles to neighborhood children. With luck and determination, the Guild grew and now serves more than 3,900 urban youth every year.
Many questioned Strickland’s passion to bring a world class arts education to one of Pittsburgh’s roughest neighborhoods, but the children whose lives have been changed through the Guild are grateful for a humble ceramics teacher’s legacy and his intrepid student’s vision.
Strickland understands that heroes come in all shapes in sizes—having a heroic impact begins with being willing to give what you have to make a difference. In his book Making the Impossible Possible, he explains:
Dream big, but start small. Ask yourself, “What do I have to offer my community?” The best way to live your life is with the assumption that your purpose on the planet is to strive, in some way appropriate to your means and your talents, to make a difference. To save, in essence, a little part of the world. An impossible notion? Perhaps. But an impossible notion is just an idea no one has had the guts to try.
You don’t have to be a world leader, a CEO of a major corporation, a genius, or a saint. You don’t have to move to the slums of Calcutta or live on the plains of Darfur. Every day, the world invites you to make a difference. You only need to recognize these invitations and respond in a way that suits your ambitions, your values, your resources, and your passion.
Few of us have the stuff to become another Gandhi, Mandela, Mother Theresa, or MLK, Jr., but all of us can be part of the same continuum of heroic humanitarianism, in however modest a way.
At Yippiekiyay, we believe it shouldn’t be hard to do good. We want to put wheels under the great idea you have to serve your community—to streamline the administrative processes that often bog down young nonprofits as they’re just getting started.
We can save you time, money, and stress with free incorporation services and our Turbo 1023 tax exemption process. Every day, we hear form clients who are thrilled by the simple, speedy, personalized (and let’s not forget—cost effective) services we offer.
Let today be the day you live up to your heroic potential as you pursue your dream of making a difference!