Part 2: Canstruction
During my time in learning more about Canstruction with Lora J. Katz, AIA, partner with Gilliam Katz Architecture & Design I asked her a couple of more questions, more personal this time. I asked, what brought about your passion for service and the willingness to help others and why do you look to better your community?
These questions struck a chord within her heart, as I could see the passion flowing from her answer and stories she shared. She said that she grew up in a home where service was emphasized. Her father worked hard and provided for his family but didn't want to be involved in service to his community. But she explained that her mother had a very different view, she made sure to serve and she knew that it helped and changed people's lives. Her mother encouraged her to get out there and help people so Lora did all that she could to make a difference and simply serve. This view has stuck with Lora ever since and she still makes time for service.
She continued and said, "That if you don't do it yourself then it may not get done." She has seen plenty of needs in her community and she has ultimately recognized that she needs to step up to the plate and help, because if she doesn't then who else will. In these aspirations though, she also recognized the importance of bringing others along with her to create change in the community. It's the old adage that with a team you can accomplish so much more than what you can do alone. It was incredible and encouraging to see her zeal for service, especially coming from an experienced professional who may not have the time to do much else besides work and attend meetings.
We then started to branch off and talk about the needs that are so evident in our communities, whether poverty, abuse, or food insecurity. Ms. Katz led with a story. During the winter she was touring a school with the principal to provide ideas on future designs and renovations for the building, when suddenly a little boy ran up. There were rumors going around that there may not be school the next day due to a incoming snow storm, he asked the principal to make sure. The principal assured the boy and said by the looks of things that there wouldn't be school. But this wasn't the answer that the little boy was looking for, he immediately had a frown on his face and exclaimed, "I won't have anything to eat then tomorrow."
By this time Ms. Katz had teared up and she was working to hold back more tears, she apologized for being emotional. But I praised her and said that her tears were encouraging and her heart for those in need was so big and so full of hope for continued change in our world. She was working hard and doing the best that she could to serve her community of Roanoke, VA and I know for certain that she will never slow down in her pursuit for a better world. I also know that this mindset is present in myself and many others and that brings me a hope that I am sure will transform itself into change.