The magic is in the details, but there aren’t any details without the people.

9 14 20 Harry PotterOn multiple occasions, I have been asked what the best part of my fellowship at The Patterson Foundation (TPF) is, and every time, I respond with, “The Humans!” Due to the unique staffing model TPF utilizes, with a small core of full-time staff and a large base of laser-focused consultants, exceptional humans are making TPF excellence possible. As project manager for Honoring & Onward, it was my privilege to think through how we could show appreciation for TPF possibilitarians who had given of their talents for five- or ten-plus years.

TPF CEO Debra Jacobs first came to me with the idea of a milestone celebration in February. It will be in person. We can personalize in so many different ways, and it'll be so fun!

Oh, 2020, how you’ve challenged our creative scope. When we reconvened in COVID-land, it was determined that showing our gratitude for the people who had contributed so much over the last ten years couldn’t wait. So, how then do you show almost 30 people how much they’ve impacted not only The Patterson Foundation but also our community? Enter the Ministry of Surprise.

Like any organization, The Patterson Foundation has things cooking away that are commonly known as “internal only” but referred to as “Harry Potter.” When something is under Harry’s cloak of invisibility, it’s inner circle only. What better way to theme an event than going with a spicier version of a virtual surprise party? But how to make a zoom gathering special enough that folks feel appreciated and loved from whatever room in their house they might be joining?

Recipe for Great Surprises:
- 3 parts handmade wizardly parcels, hand-delivered for maximum love and anticipation, including;
- 1 part Pay It Forward Awards for honorees (to be given to any nonprofit in The Giving Partner);
- 1 part homemade Harry Potter sugar cookies, to remind you to continue to share your gifts;

In the age of the global pandemic, being able to appreciate each other is critical. At The Patterson Foundation, excellence is only possible because of the people who bring all of themselves to the work. One hour to affirm the importance of the people who have made ten years of impact is not just possible but magical. Each honoree’s wizardly impact was praised, and participants shared their own magical memories.

Consider who helps make your life magical, and take a moment to make sure they know it.

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