The Belmontes are constantly working on Change is Simple. They will pick up things at yard sales, discuss new T-shirt designs or games they could incorporate into programs, and brainstorm new ideas for lessons. Change is Simple is not something that Patrick and Lauren just do on the side; it is their life, their passion. But what surprised me the most was when Patrick and Lauren mentioned that if Change is Simple became financially unsuccessful they would sacrifice the rest of their personal resources to travel across the country and show up at schools, teaching their programs for free and hoping to raise support that way.
Now that Change is Simple is one of the recipients of the Cummings Foundation grant for $100k, it seems unlikely that the Belmontes would have to resort to that radical plan. But it is amazing that this couple would risk all rather than quit on Change is Simple. Even though I wrote a blog a few weeks ago focusing on their passion for Change is Simple, I do not think I understood the full extent of their dedication to it. I recognized that they had invested much time and money towards this organization, and would continue to do so. But I did not realize that they would be willing to risk it all, even after their nonprofit has not found the success they needed to keep it going.
They are not alone. Hannah and Kelly, the other two members on staff at Change is Simple, also made sacrifices for the non-profit by volunteering for the first several months that they were involved. Additionally, there are many more people involved who have given in various different ways to this non-profit.
What enables the Belmontes and others to make such sacrifices for Change is Simple? The answer is simple— their focus is beyond themselves and their lifetime. This rising generation of students is the one that will face the world’s environmental issues. By teaching our students and children about environmental care, we have a chance to stop unsustainable practices and to make changes for the better. Already we are witnessing positive changes because of the awareness Change is Simple’s programs have raised.
The Belmontes, and many others, know that Change is Simple is a worthy cause, and are willing to make the sacrifices needed to make it succeed. Will you?