Having lived and worked in cities all throughout the U.S. and even the world, Buffy Adams has a few stories to tell. She celebrates life and allows herself to grow every step of the way, no matter where she is.
Adams grew up in Northwest Indiana and made her first move to Washington D.C., to expand a Chicago based-public relations firm that she worked for in her 20s. Adams then left the security of a six-figure corporate job to work for an international non-profit bible ministry in her 30s.
“Growing up is an everyday opportunity to grow into a better version of yourself,” Adams said. “I didn’t grow up in one particular place. Rather I think it’s safe to say I grow a little more every day right where I am, in a particular time, place or situation.”
Adams has recently left her role as the Vice President of Mission Advancement at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana to accept the Director of Development role at St. Jude House, a family violence prevention center and shelter. Nearly one in five kids has witnessed violence in their homes and 20,000 domestic violence crisis calls are received nationally on a daily basis. After being introduced to St. Jude House and their mission, Adams knew she had found her calling.
“When I opened the St. Jude House website, a Quick Escape box popped up and it sent chills through me. The reality weighed heavy on my heart,” Adams said. “I believe each and every one of us was put here for a reason and given unique gifts to fulfill a very specific purpose, and I feel I am finally home doing what I am meant to do here at St. Jude House.”
Many people often verbalize to Adams how hard it must be to ask people for money for a living. But for Adams, it brings nothing but joy. She uses a quote from Hank Rosso, a philanthropy fundraiser and educator, to explain what she does:
“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.”
According to Adams, what she really does is help people find joy in their own lives.
“Once people are given an opportunity to volunteer or make a donation, their entire life begins to change,” Adams said. “Their life suddenly has more meaning, more passion, more light because they see the impact and change in someone else's life because of their gift of time or treasure.”
Through everything, there was one specific event that changed everything for Adams - 9/11. Living in Washington D.C., at the time in an area just miles from the Pentagon, she rushed out to give blood and read a life-changing message on the back of a shirt of a Red Cross worker: “Imagine who you will become if you put yourself last.”
And that made Adams think.
“That changed everything for me as I began to more deeply explore putting myself last - understanding the roots of that concept in the teachings of Jesus and His unconditional love for us and His clear direction of living and leading with a servant heart,” Adams said.
With a faith and career that has taken her all over the world, Adams has never experienced anything close to the community of Northwest Indiana. The love and compassion that others have for those in their community makes Adams happy to be home.
“In a crazy world where it’s easy to focus on the darkness and the lack and the need, we are all surrounded by some of the most generous and caring people who really want to continue to make Northwest Indiana a beautiful home for all of us,” Adams said. “There is so much good in this Region, it’s such a special place.”
For more information on St. Jude House go to www.stjudehouse.org.
Check out a powerful video that’s inspired Buffy Adams, here.