Dignity and Respect

Nine years ago Brenda and I sat down with our newly formed Board of Directors to develop a set of values for David’s Refuge.  Values are the fundamental beliefs upon which all of our behaviors, decisions, and services are guided by. They are our guiding principles.

The very first value we worked on is summarized by the word RESPECT.  It states,

“We believe in the sanctity of human life and therefore will treat everyone with dignity and respect.”

Regardless of race, color, marital status, gender, disability, or religion our goal is to love, empower, and care for the caregiver!  This has always been our goal and always will.  While I would like to take credit for this value, I have to be honest and let you know we plagiarized this value from the Bible.  Yup, we stole it from the Good Book.  Thankfully, I don’t think God is too worried about this!  Brenda even says He is happy about it.  🙂

I want to show you two of the Bible verses which helped us develop this value.

Genesis 1:26-27: We are made in the image of God

Then God said, Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”  So God created human beings in his own image.  In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Psalm 139:13-16: We are all wonderfully created

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.  15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  16 You saw me before I was born.  Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.

As an organization, we are committed to living out this principle in everything we do.  I am so proud of how our staff has responded to the challenging times we find ourselves in.  While this is a value we hold to tightly, we know we can do better.  One of the steps we have taken is to form a diversity team.  They developed the following statement:

At David’s Refuge, we are devoted to serving families who care for some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. We want caregivers to know they are not alone, what they do matters, and God and this community loves them. During this troubling time in our country, we stand by our values of respect, relationships, compassion, empowerment and excellence and see where we are called to speak out, condemning racism in the strongest possible terms.

Our staff and Board of Directors will be reviewing our policies and practices to ensure that our organization is a place of inclusion, safety, love and support to people of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds. We love and celebrate our differences at David’s Refuge and we will use our platform to support continued change in our community and beyond.

If you are a person of faith, pray for David’s Refuge.  If you have ideas, share them.  If you have any concerns, let us know.  We want every person we serve, every staff member who strives to live our mission, every supporter who sacrificially gives to know we respect you and love you.