When we included community education and outreach in our mission statement, we were truly unaware of the journey we were setting for ourselves. Nine years and hundreds of not for profit events and causes later, the “outreach” had moved from an altruistic mission to just part of the job.  A normal course of business at HPE.

We had not yet heard of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) or National Philanthropy Day prior to Robert McKechie’s of Cathedral City Senior Center nomination for Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation.  So when were notified that had won it was a complete and pleasant surprise, but we were truly unaware of what an honor had been bestowed upon us.

Anyone who sets out to help others knows it’s not about winning recognition. The award and recognition is very appreciated, but what has had a lasting impression on us were the other people in the room.  To be among the Coachella Valley’s most giving and compassionate people and organizations was humbling and inspiring.  We congratulate all who were nominated and honored, but also all those who showed up to support the spirit of giving.

The timing for us was perfect.  An honor we did not expect, from people that we admire, was just the boost we didn’t know we even needed.

So on this Thanksgiving it’s with gratitude and warmth in our hearts that we thank Bob for the nomination and the AFP for the honor, and for the desert philanthropic community for the their selfless hard work and inspiration.