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Muddy Boots Blog

Run to the Fire

Posted by griffithd on October 16, 2019 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)


If you are reading this, you are, or are about to be,  a stakeholder in Episcopal Community Services.


First we say thank you for your commitment and support of our work. You often ask us for the elevator speech on Episcopal Community Services. It strikes us that our annual report letter is an excellent place to share that story.


ECS is a 150-year-old social service agency that has always “run to the fire,” fighting some of the...

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The Movement

Posted by griffithd on July 9, 2019 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The Movement

I work at a one of the oldest social service agencies in Philadelphia. For 150 years we have run to the fire and served some of the most vulnerable individuals in our City. The elderly, the homeless, youth, individuals and families experiencing poverty and deep poverty, many over generations. There is no question that our work saved lives, improved immediate situations, and eased the pain of being in crisis when no obvious solution was apparent. For many social service agen...

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Leadership Matters

Posted by griffithd on April 3, 2019 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

“It is hard to be accountable for history that you did not make. However, it is even harder to be accountable for the history that you will make.”

It is popular in the current political environment to look at the historical record and find an explanation for today’s ills. Poverty, Race, Economic Inequity, Climate Change, Gender differentials to name a few across the spectrum. One hears in the current call for restitution to right historical ills a call for accountabili...

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A Storm in America

Posted by griffithd on January 17, 2019 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Poverty in America is not unlike lightning that comes in the middle of a summer night.

You lie in bed the windows open. It is dark but you wake to the rumble of what could be distant fireworks, but it is not July. If the shades are open, you might catch a flash of light over the horizon followed again by that rumble.

Slowly, but not that slowly, the rumble grows louder and the flashes more distinct. You grow more awake and a primal fear grows.

The air grows moist and you be...

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Face Book Live 1.9.2019

Posted by griffithd on January 6, 2019 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

On 1/7/19 I will be participating in a Face Book Live event in my role as Head Coach at Episcopal Community Services. Our chief of programs, Arley Styer, and I will be fielding a number of questions about our agency and our work and some of the challenges our participants face. I thought I would share some of the questions and our responses. The FB Live will be posted, but in case you miss here are some of the points we will be covering.

1. Why do we need to innovate in this sector?

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A Christmas Blessing

Posted by griffithd on December 20, 2018 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

In this season of Joy, may you find Joy.

In this season of Peace, may you find Peace.

In this season of Hope, may you find Hope.

May you be blessed with all three.

As you anticipate the birth of the Carpenter from Bethlehem let me offer this addition.

To those where there is little Joy, may you bring some.

To those who have little Peace, may you create some.

To those who have little Hope, may you give Hope.

To the good women and men of ECS f...

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The Summer Job Lift

Posted by griffithd on April 30, 2018 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)


Across the region, a time-honored transition is occurring. The school year is ending, and summer vacation begins. For many young adults, this is also the time for early resume building to occur in the form of a summer job, summer internship, summer camps or travel that provides exposure and experience.

In large parts of our region, such a transition holds no such sets of experienc...

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A Call in the Night

Posted by griffithd on March 25, 2018 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)


It is rarely good news when the phone rings late at night. The same when your text reads “ Call, it’s urgent.” Such was the case last week.


ECS is made up of some 150 individuals focused on the issues of intergenerational poverty in the Philadelphia region. The work is challenging, but one thing that makes it less so are the individuals we work with, as they a...

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Snow Day

Posted by griffithd on March 21, 2018 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)


For the fourth time in March, a Nor'easters have come through Philadelphia. I have not had this many snow days since I was a kid growing up in Connecticut. I have been fortunate in that I have been able to adjust my schedule; I did not have major travel disrupted, I could get work down with technology. My biggest project was getting my chainsaw to start so I could clean up some limbs that broke off from our white pines.

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Innovation

Posted by griffithd on March 10, 2018 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Innovation



The challenge with any system built on processes and best practices is that once designed and implemented they immediately start to become obsolete. The cause is not necessarily inferior design or execution. The reason is that the market, technology, and knowledge changes with every minute in every day.


The tension is systems, with the associated processes, training...

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PHILLY PHILLY

Posted by griffithd on February 7, 2018 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (1)


I want you to hold onto the feeling you had Sunday night, 4th quarter and Tom Brady has the ball with a little over two minutes to go. We are up 5 points and your heart is in your throat.

In your mind, you are replaying the Atlanta game a year ago.

Then for the first time in the game the Eagles defense come through with a QB sack and recovered fumble. Eagles run the clock, put three more on the board and shut ...

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A Day of Service vs. A Life of Service

Posted by griffithd on January 16, 2018 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (1)


Across America today in many communities individuals and organizations have gathered to give a day of service. They do so in honor of Dr. King's legacy. In my part of the country, the day comes in cold weather, and the needs of the homeless and hungry are particularly significant.


As I wrote last month, this work on a holiday is always appreciated and always needed, but perhaps the highest value is highl...

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ECS Employee and Board Message

Posted by griffithd on December 23, 2017 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Our families traditional note at this time of year is:


In this season of Peace, we pray for Peace.

In this season of Joy may you find it.

In this season of Hope may you have it and give it.


To that, I add


I wish you a Happy Hanukkah, Joyful Kwanzaa,

I acknowledge and pay respects to Eid al-Fitr,

moreover, Merry Christmas.


Regardless of your tradition, and we honor all, I thank you for ...

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A Christmas Wish

Posted by griffithd on December 11, 2017 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)



Across the region this month hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals will give time and treasure to assist individuals and families in need. As someone who works in social services in Philadelphia, I am thankful for these good and kind acts.

But an uncomfortable truth persists in this season of Peace, Hope, and Joy. Philadelphia has the highest poverty level of any major city in America, upwards of...

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A Good Sermon

Posted by griffithd on December 7, 2017 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

A few weeks ago I listened to a sermon, and one phrase has been rattling around in my brain since:

“There is right, and there is wrong, and there is no in-between.”

I will grant a combination perhaps of the Gospel and Yoda. I am good with that as I am an equal opportunity listener and enjoy a strong, solid sound bite regardless of source. Especially one that grows from a soundbite to a full meal.

The lesson here hits on a few levels.

One the simple, a con...

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Privilege and Poverty

Posted by griffithd on October 17, 2017 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (2)



“I know a few folks who were born on third base and think they hit a triple.”


“ People in poverty just don’t want to work.”


In the work that we do I hear the above all the time. The issue is the very uncomfortable topic of privilege. Privilege defined as a condition afforded to one set of individuals and not another. Th...

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Values

Posted by griffithd on September 29, 2017 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Over the last several years much has been written about values. To the point where one could grow numb. Perhaps this is a function of individuals giving speeches about their values and then living a life inconsistent with their words. Substitute the word faith for values, and the same comments are accurate.

I am not saying, in fact, few of us would say, that our own accountability to our v...

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Thoughts

Posted by griffithd on September 21, 2017 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Values Matter.

Dignity

Community

Justice

Impact

Wear Muddy Boots.

Go into the field and listen.

You can be in the maintenance business or the change business.

Choose change

It is all about talent.

Your goal as a leader should be to be the dumbest person in your organization.

Scar Tissue is the best teacher.

Just make sure it is not repetitive.

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