I am a life–long Cubs fan. In case you are not a sports fan, the Cubs are a Chicago-based baseball team. I both know why and don’t know why I support them.
It began with my grandmother, who was determined that one of her grandchildren would end up a Cubs fan. My cousins resisted, but I fell victim to the heartache that is loving this team. The Cubs have gone 107 years without winning the World Series. They are a team that is notorious for giving you a glimmer of hope, and then crushing all of your dreams.
Like in 1998 when Kerry Wood struck out 20 batters in one game. Of 27 outs in a game, his pitching alone handled all but 7 of them. It’s probably the best pitched game of baseball ever, but they didn’t go to the World Series that year.
Or in 2003 when they were just one step away from the World Series and an unfortunate, and now hated fan got in the way of a play. The game tumbled downhill from there and they missed the World Series.
Or last year, when again, just one step away (and after crushing the Cardinals, my husband’s favorite team I might add), they got swept by the Mets.
It’s hard to cheer on a team that breaks your heart so many times within your lifetime. If you listen to the chatter, fans and experts are claiming this is finally the year – the year when the losing streak ends. I personally have a hard time getting excited as I’ve been down this road, but I will still get excited with every win and cheer them on loyally, because that’s what diehard fans do.
And that’s what makes being a Cubs fan fun. No matter where you go, there is a certain level of respect given to you by other teams and fans. You are a fan that has stuck by your losing team, even when things were at their worse.
The same goes for helping struggling communities. It’s not an easy task, and you may feel like you’ve come out the loser at the end of many days. But when there is that glimmer of hope, you can’t help but get excited and support this moment of change.
That’s what Leaven communities are experiencing today. The challenges these communities face is unimaginably difficult, but The Leaven brings hope to children, families and neighbors; hope that change can come and things can get better. And when there is hope, that’s when change can really begin.
By supporting The Leaven, you are a diehard fan of change. Helping kids and communities rise is a tough job, but we know with partners like you, we can help communities change from within. We’ll give some of their youngest citizens a strong foundation in education so they will never believe they are losers, but instead know the pride that comes with being champions.