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Happy Thanksgiving

With the holiday season underway, it’s often at this time that we take the time to be grateful, relish in our blessings, and spread joy to those around us. It’s also often at this time I find myself wondering, why can’t I do these things year round? Why don’t we all do this year round? Why save this goodness for one month between Thanksgiving and Christmas to spread joy and gratitude? Perhaps it’s because we get so caught up in our day to day duties, or bogged down with deadlines and to do lists. Or maybe it’s simply because the “magic of this season” wouldn’t be quite so magical if things were always this way. Regardless of the reason, one of my personal goals for 2019 is to carry the practice of gratitude well beyond the confetti and celebration on December 31st and I hope many of you will join me!

Recently The Kim Foundation staff had our annual retreat where we celebrated our successes of 2018 and planned for 2019. There were many successes to celebrate, and I want to once again thank our team for making the year one of the best on record for the foundation. Every goal was achieved, a wonderful team is in place that works to empower each other and remain mission driven, and we have set a high bar for years to come! I also want to thank all of our board members, volunteers, and donors, because without each of your support, we would not have reached so many milestones this past year, nor had the impact we did on the Omaha community. I’m so excited to see what 2019 has in store for the foundation!

Another theme that came out of our retreat, as well as several presentations I’ve attended and books I’ve read recently, is that of mindfulness. Slowing down, being present, and understanding that what we put into this world is often what we get out of it. This theme kept sticking with me each time I heard it, and it was after our retreat that I reflected on how true that statement is. When I’m frazzled, hurrying, and trying to get from one thing to the next, this is often when “chaos” appears and I start to feel frustrated and like nothing is going right. So another goal I have for 2019 whether in my personal life or at the helm of the foundation, is to slow down, put good into the world, and be present in each task I’m doing. That might mean a little more delegating or having to say no when my plate is full (something I’m terrible at!), but I do believe overall this practice really can benefit everyone!

I hope that each of you had a blessed Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to a festive and cheerful holiday season – no matter the holiday you celebrate. Surround yourself with loved ones, those who bring out the best in you, and those who support you. For our family it is one of many “lasts,” but also many firsts, and I hope to slow down enough to enjoy each and every one of them! Thank you again for all of your support in 2018; no matter how small or large your commitment to our mission was – together we are able to spread a message of hope and healing and most importantly, save more lives!

Julia Hebenstreit, The Kim FoundationJulia Hebenstreit, Executive Director of The Kim Foundation

Julia received her J.D. from Creighton University in 2005, and her BS in Journalism from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2002. She has been with The Kim Foundation since 2011, and prior to that worked for local non-profits doing development, strategic planning, communications and advancement. She has a passion for helping people and improving lives, and serves on the Executive Committee for Nebraska Association of Behavioral Health Organizations, as the 2015 Hill Day State Captain for the state of Nebraska, and as an active member of the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition, the Early Childhood Mental Health Coalition, BHECN Advisory Committee, RESPECT Advisory Board, Connections Advisory Board and the Project Propel Planning Group.