We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Moore and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katie, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I first started my nonprofit 7 years ago, I had no sense of balance. All I thought about was, if I’m not doing something for the nonprofit, or thinking about the nonprofit, no one is. This really caused a glitch in my personal relationships. Over time, I have realized that unless I am able to provide myself with personal space and personal time, I will not be 100% in anything I do. I’m blessed to have a team alongside me that I can trust to keep the nonprofit going when I need to take some “Me time”. I have since started leaving my work computer at work, rather than taking it home; taking some time in the morning to visit my happy place, the beach, with my dog, and practicing being more present with family and friends. Balance is so vital to a person’s overall health.  

What should our readers know about your business?
ABC Hopes was created because of our love and passion to better serve individuals who have intellectual disabilities. Each of our Hopers is a true inspiration of our mission and the work we look to do each day. We are all impacted by a person with an intellectual disability, and it is our goal to share these incredible moments with others by allowing them to see the great works these beautiful individuals can do. ABC Hopes was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2013. As a dedicated sister, daughter, and community member, I felt compelled to help build a community that provides greater opportunity for my younger brother, Christopher, who was born with Down syndrome. Having Down syndrome has not stopped Christopher, or any of our Hopers, from living their life to the fullest. ABC Hopes was founded with a focus on bettering the lives of persons with intellectual disabilities through the development of social, physical fitness, and life skills programs. “As much as we feel we need to provide for our Hopers, our Hopers are providing perspective and bridging the gap for the community as a whole.”  ABC Hopes Hoper, Jessica Macias says: “It’s about having great joy and creating new memories to come in the days of our young lives; and also being a part of the community, being united as one big happy family.” Not only do we work to provide opportunities for our Hopers through the fitness programs we have created, but we strive to give back to others through community service. Our Hopers love to get involved in giving back and holding fundraisers for other persons in need, I think this is a unique aspect of our nonprofit. Starting a business, nonprofit, or project of any capacity brings its fair share of challenges. What helps is surrounding yourself with people who believe in you and your vision. I am blessed with an amazing family who has come alongside me on this journey, and friends, and a community who believe in ABC Hopes. When life seems to be throwing a few more hurdles my way, what gets me through is witnessing a Hoper on the Autism spectrum break out of his shell and lead a workout for his peers, or another Hoper give a phenomenal speech about inclusion and acceptance in front of an auditorium full of 5th graders. Breaking barriers, building confidence, and awareness is what it’s all about!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh super easy – when my best friend visits from NYC the only way to make a week long Cali trip great is by taking an epic drive up the coast. We are big beach, nature loving foodies!! Like to find as many Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives to test out along the way. The more secluded the side of the road nature stop is, the better. One trip I would love to take is to drive up the coast into Canada.   

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

My path and drive for starting the nonprofit I did, ABC Hopes, is all because of my little brother, Christopher. He changed my life when he was born. Christopher was born with Down syndrome, and because of who he is and how he lives his life – with genuine love, kindness, and sincerity for others; I wanted to share these attributes with others. He reminds me on a daily basis to “Be Happy”, to enjoy the little things in life, and reminds me that every single person has a purpose! This is something I think too many of us forget, no matter who you are, what battles you endure and obstacles you overcome – you do have a purpose. Creating ABC Hopes – All Because Christopher Hopes (Hands Offering People Empowerment in Society) has created an opportunity to bridge a gap and build awareness that persons with Intellectual Disabilities have a purpose and want to be a part of society. Thank you Christopher and all of the other Hopers for continuing to inspire and empower others through the way you live life.

Website: www.abhopes.com
Instagram: @abc_hopes
Twitter: @abc_hopes
Facebook: @abchopes

Image Credits
ABC Hopes, Inc.

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