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After writing a weekly blog for more than 12 years I took a long break.

Frankly, I hunkered down at home and hid the fact that I felt overwhelmed, alone, and uninspired.

It’s not likely anyone noticed but me. And that’s okay.

But now, it’s time to return and let my fingers glide across the keyboard and do what I love. Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. But I was stuck. . . and I mean really stuck. So, I decided it was best to wait it out and return when I felt my fingers itching to return.
Respect those that tell me the truth
As of today, I’m renaming this blog from Fire Starters to the Caring Truth-Teller. I will be as intentional and thoughtful as possible about what is shared in this blog.

Sure, there will still be some “how-to” posts and fundraising best practices that often focus on storytelling. But, there will also be times I put on my caring truth-teller hat and share my candid thoughts about how we can know better and do better — in all areas of our lives.

So, much has changed in our lives over the past 15 months. The changes have deeply affected all aspects of our lives including how we share stories and how we fundraise.

It’s been unsettling, scary, lonely, sad, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve rarely laughed so little.

But, for me, it’s time to identify the bright spots.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of “bright spots” I highly recommend the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Some of my bright spots:

The caring truth-teller and her grandkids

  • I’ve deeply examined my values and identified ways to make different choices to truly live my values.
  • Changes in my schedule allowed extensive time with my precious grandchildren, ages 3 & 5.
  • Meditation has become a regular part of each day.
  • My desire and energy returned and I’ve started delivering training sessions again.
    Upcoming dates and events are listed on my event calendar.
  • I was able to do extensive work for an organization with a mission that truly inspired me.
  • Together, the CEO and I raised more than $1.4 million in less than 10 months. People are giving!
  • In those 10 months, I made nearly 900 donor calls and spoke with amazing and generous people from around the world. Those calls were truly divine intervention. They brought me out of my self-focused sadness and deeply inspired me.
  • I’ve been proudly owning my caring truth-teller role by speaking my truth in my family and my work.

How about you?

What are your bright spots? Where has something that started as difficult ended up having some joy or positive outcome?

Oh, BTW, the values I’m choosing to live each day are: joy, well-being, and service.



  • Andrea says:

    Welcome back, Lori. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. My bright spot is a new job that I love with an organization I am proud to serve after an 8 month pandemic sabbatical. (You and I met when I was Director of Development at the National Eagle Center. I am now with Boys & Girls Club of Rochester as Director of Resource Development.)

  • Garth Warren says:

    Hey Friend,

    I am happy to see you speaking and living truth. We all need that as we seek to live an integrated life amidst a world that so often seems fractured. Thanks for your admonition and thanks for shining light and pushing back the darkness. Also 900 calls!!! $1.4M!!!! $1555 pe call!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!
    You Rock!


  • Thank you Lori. As always, you got me thinking 🙂

  • Chris Gabriel says:

    I am so happy to hear that you are back doing what you love… Helping others achieve their dreams! I finally retired from full-time work on June 30, 2021. However, I will stay engaged with Volunteers of America as an independent contractor to complete our Communities In Schools/LightHouse expansion, advocacy and building capacity through growth of our Cherish the Children and Evergreen Societies. I look forward to reconnecting with you!

  • You continue to inspire Lori. You have come out the other side of a very tough year and a half with grace, focus and JOY! You truly practice what you preach, and that why we all want to ride on your motivational coattails. Thank you for being you. Being honest. Being able to shift gears with aplomb. That’s why you are truly ignited!

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