Porter-Starke Services And ‘The Inspiration Project’ Are Strengthening Our Community Through Stories

Porter-Starke Services hosted their monthly Learn@Lunch educational series at their location in Portage on Tuesday. This month's informative educational lecture was “The Inspiration Project,” which was presented to those attending from around the region by Porter-Starke’s own Sandy Carlson, Vice President of Clinical Services at Porter-Starke.

The power of stories - whether at bedtime, at church, or in the classroom - is profound. Hearing stories is the way we communicate and have an impact on one another. In the sharing of stories, we build trust and we develop a sense of community.

Porter-Starke is looking to inspire our community towards health, balance and hope by embracing the model set forth by the international project, This I Believe. With the help of the non-profit, This I Believe organization, Porter-Starke has started the process of getting the community involved in the local storytelling experience that is ‘The Inspiration Project: Stories that Strengthen Us.’

“The Inspiration Project is a project of Porter-Starke which furthers our vision of inspiring people,” said Carlson. “The way that we do that is to explain the project to those here today to help push that vision into the community. We used a model that Edward R. Murrow used in the late 1950’s called This I Believe. It was a radio show where Murrow invited famous people to read an essay they had written about their own philosophy of life and what values they held. They would read it on the air everyday and he was doing this to inspire the country because he felt like the country had lost its inspiration after World War I, Korea, and the beginning of Vietnam. Eventually the program was stopped and put on the shelf but was resurrected in 2005 by Dan Gediman at NPR.”

Essays from prominent figures such as Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, Bill Gates and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as everyday citizens such as students, artists, scientists and writers have been featured since the 2005 revival of This I Believe.

“Our project is based on the new This I Believe organization,” Carlson said. “Their organization provides curriculums for churches, communities, middle schools, high schools and universities to do this in their own setting as a way to encourage people to share their own stories. We at Porter-Starke adopted that model. We contacted Dan and with their help we launched The Inspiration Project. First we did the essay writing with all of our employees so we’ve all written and read essays to each other. We believe that by getting people to connect it unites our workplace environment. When you hear stories they do something to you. They remind us of beautiful things and experiences in our lives.”

“We’re doing this for any organization that wants, free of charge,” continued Carlson. “I’ll be at Kiwanis coming up, I presented to the Rotary Club a couple months ago and I’ve presented to churches around the region as well. It’s really great for clients to do with eachother. It builds trust, it’s a great family experience and it can be adapted to any kind of group.”

To find out more information about The Inspiration Project: Stories That Strengthen Us, visit www.porterstarke.org!