• Kristina Arney

What Does A Small Town Job Offer?

When we think small town, it is easy for the idea of “little opportunity” to follow. When we think small business, it is easy for the thought of “small minded” to tag along with it. You would think my mind would have went there too, having moved from a small town in Illinois, then to Phoenix, then to St. Louis, then back to another small town in Illinois. But to be honest, the very opposite is true.

You see, I’ve lived in those big cities. I loved the work I did in those cities, but there was always something so much bigger missing. A level of care and intentionality that I craved from others, but never truly felt like I received. I missed the “oh, my parents went to school with them” and the “she grew up just down the street from here.” I missed the community that was forced to be community; the community that never really had a choice but to lean on one another. I missed all of these things that seemed like little things at one point, but when living somewhere other than a small town, I realized that they were the big things.

I’ll be honest and say that I was terrified starting my job at Meraki because it was all new for me. The town, the career, the people… None of it was familiar except for the fact that I would be working with children. My fears were quickly silenced and you want to know what silenced them? It was the heartbeat of Meraki and the mission it held.

At Meraki Health, I see care, intentionality, community, and a group of people that see clearly that the big things are actually found within the little things. I see hungry eyes and full hearts alongside of helping hands and time sacrificed. I see a body of people, all different, but all equally important, pooling together their gifts and strengths to build a well oiled machine. A well oiled machine that aims to care for, assist, and support children and their families through the process of development in multiple areas. I see children meeting milestones and I see every single person around those children celebrating those milestones as if they had just learned how to fly. I see passion, compassion, and empathy when mistakes are made. I see the goodness of mankind shine through this company and I see how this goodness impacts the community.

Moving back to working in a small town, specifically working at Meraki Health, is not what most people would peg it to be. It does not hold me back, but rather it pushes me towards greater opportunity. It does not lack resources, but rather lays out in front of me resources that not only pertain to my specific work, but resources that have to do with my self care and well-being. That is one of the most beautiful and beneficial parts of working for Meraki; they not only care about the work I put forward for their company, but they deeply care about me as an individual, too.

I share this story of mine because I think it is important to know that there is no such thing as small work at this small company in a small town. What Meraki and the people of Meraki do is nothing short of important and integral to the bigger picture at play; the community and the families within it.

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