Congrats to 2013 “Purpose Prize” Winners!

golfing womanThe best — or the most meaningful — may be yet to come for any of us.

Don’t believe it? Check out the stories of this year’s winners of Encore’s Purpose Prize. They’re all over 60, in the so-called “leftover years” of their life, when they’re supposed to be playing golf and poring over glossy brochures for round-the-world cruises.

Yet they’ve all drawn on their significant experience, professional and otherwise, to throw themself into a cause in an innovative way.

What struck me about the winners’ stories was that each seemed to have identified a truly unique need or approach. Just when you think the U.S. contains every type of nonprofit or charitable program imaginable, you hear about someone like winner Carol Fennelly, who saw how difficult it was for family members to keep in contact with their incarcarated relatives, and created Hope House. It offers programs that arrange video teleconferences between school-age children and their fathers in prison, helps inmates make recordings of themselves reading books aloud for their children, and operates a series of summer camps for children ages 9 to 14 that allows then to spend a week visiting their incarcerated fathers. Wow.

And there are six other winners, all with inspiring stories of their own. After reading them, you’ll be asking yourself the same question as presented on the Encore website: “What’s your encore?”