Last night I had the privilege of attending the annual Community Services Board dinner. It never ceases to amaze me who attends these types of events. I’m continually surprised by the faces and the history that enriches our small community. Yes these are often events in which those with privilege mix and mingle with others of privilege, but it isn’t as cynical as one might want to believe it is. I am inspired by the amount of individuals who have dedicated their lives to trying to improve our community. As is custom, the Director of Community Services gave opening remarks. That night, it was a different tone than I’d expected, or am used to listening in on. It wasn’t about the struggles our community experiences, or applaud for the obstacles we have overcome. It was about hope, despair, comradery, and the believe that each one of us has the power the change the world. He renewed my sense of hope, that in a world which often has us feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, and under-supported, that there is us. His tribe, the Warriors of Hope. He talked about how despair runs rampant in the human experience. Not just within individuals who participated in community services, but in those of us who work in this field. It is that despair, that leads to the dark and lonely experience. And there is much to despair in this world. There are many individuals living without shelter, those without food, individuals and families who are being crippled by the very systems that should be offering relief. There is violence, discrimination, and unjust practices at every turn. The widening gap between those with and those without breeds despair and distrust. These cyclones of emotions are tearing down the fibers of our community. Even with all that stacked so high, there are so many of us who have been called to be Warriors to Hope. To continue to claw and scrape away the festering despair to shine light on the hope that must be ever present. In a system of help that often divides, he reminded us all that we are one army. We are the army of warriors who fight side by side, day after day, to bring hope to a world being overtaken by despair. We may not always agree on the way in which we bring hope, it was a reminder that we are all on the same side. It was a refreshing charge to draw upon the strengths of each other to continue to work on bringing inspiration, passion, and hope to those we interact with. For me, it was a much needed reminder that although it often feels like I am the lone dutch boy with my finger in the damn, there are so many others standing alongside helping. I ask each of you, are you living your days like a Warrior of Hope? Can you draw upon the strengths and resilience of others when despair creeps into your heart? Despair is a dark and deep cave in which we often become lost and disoriented, it plays tricks on the mind, body, soul of those sucked inside. But there is Hope. And there are Warriors of Hope within all of us to reach out and shine light into the cave of despair. After the remarks last night, my Warrior flag is high. I’m ready to take on the energy of despair. I hope that each of you are also willing to fight alongside me.