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Conversations with Beth Thorp

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Thorp.  

Hi Beth, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, I wear many hats. I’m a philanthropist, leader, author, faith influencer, and speaker. The world of philanthropy came to me through the tragedy of losing my precious son Mitchell to an undiagnosed mysterious illness that took me and my husband across the United States in and out of hospitals and doctors’ offices looking for answers. After five hard long years, and still, with no understanding of the cause, Mitchell passed away. 

I have such strong faith in God, but at the time my faith was tested. It was in my deepest pain of grief that the Lord spoke to my spirit saying, “this is not the end only the beginning.” At the time I did not know what He meant by that until my husband came home with a similar message as he sat in church one day. I felt such a strong fire within my spirit that the enemy messed with the wrong mama and papa bear that fueled me to do something. I finally came too from my pain of grief and told my husband that I don’t want to do anything else in this world unless it has eternal significance. 

You could say that this was my transformational life-changing moment. What the enemy meant to steal and destroy God had another plan. See God knows how to take a tragedy and turn it for good to Glorify Him in the end. My husband and I both knew that there must be many other families struggling and children who are fighting for their tomorrow. 

So, in August 2009 the Mitchell Thorp Foundation was born as a public 501(c)3 organization. The mission is to, support families whose children suffer from life-threatening illnesses, diseases, and disorders, by providing financial, emotional, and resource support to their desperate situation. 

Here we are thirteen years later the foundation has given back over $2.6 million dollars back into the community. We accomplish this through our four programs: Medical and Home Assistance, Healing and Rehabilitation, Wheelchair Conversion Vans, and Youth Leadership Council, training student’s 8th-12th grade in servant leadership skills and learning to give back to those less fortunate. To learn more: www.mitchellthorp.org 

I’m humbled that the Foundation has been recognized nationwide for its impact and I for my leadership, with multiple awards. Among the most recent, Community Impact Award 2022 in addition in 2020 Non-Profit of the Year by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. Distinguished Humanitarian award presented by Marquis Who’s Who in America. Leadership Award by ABC 10 News and Lead San Diego. Starfish Leadership Award given to those who inspire, engage, and lead, presented by City of Carlsbad. Professional Woman of the Year from National Association of Professional Women. It inspires me and my team to know that what we are doing is truly making an impact. 

My new book titled, “ANEW Creation: finding meaning in the midst of tragedy.” (Morgan James Publishing, 2022) Is a super empowering story that will ignite the reader’s spirit as they find the hope they seek through God’s promises. It is written as a witness for Christ living through them as they trust His love and faithfulness throughout their journey-even when it felt as if God had abandoned them. Readers can purchase wherever books are sold and autographed copy at www.anewcreation.org 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Starting a non-profit organization like any business has many learning and growth curves. It truly takes an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong passion for the mission. Starting with nothing but a God-given vision. I got busy writing a business plan, with our mission, vision, and value statement. Next, I needed to recruit talented people to sit on my Board, so I began searching for like-minded professionals who were talented in different giftings than myself. We can’t be good in everything so align yourself with people who are strong in areas that you are not. 

The Board of Directors had to have a strong belief in the mission and the impact it will make in the lives of children and families in the community. Thirdly like any non-profit you’re in the business of raising money to support the cause, through events, individual, and corporate donations. In honor of Mitchell’s legacy, we continued with the Warrior Spirt 5K Run/Walk and Family Festival that we hold every year on the first Saturday in February. Followed by the Grand Slam 4 Mitchell baseball tournament in September since this is childhood cancer awareness month. Baseball was Mitchell’s favorite sport. 

Next, I aligned ourselves with the children’s hospitals and spoke to all the social workers to make them aware of our services to help children and families in crisis. We created our programs and learned to collaborate with other organizations to better serve the families and children along the way. 

One thing about running a business is that it is always changing and revolving, so it is good to be flexible and pivot when needed. I’m always viewing the foundation from the 30,000-foot level, this is the WHY vision, seeing the big picture as I stepped out in faith to take the risks for the Mitchell Thorp Foundation to grow and prosper. 

When Covid-19 took over the world, it devastated many businesses and nonprofits. Our 5K Run/Walk was the last event to take place before everything was shut down and all events had to be canceled. Talk about pivoting, business as we knew it changed and we had to accept the Virtual Zoom call world. I did not panic, as I knew I could use this time of solitude to finally write our story that has been in my spirit for so long. 

Being the faithful woman that I am, I heard God speak to my spirit again telling me, “Daughter it’s time to write our story.” When God speaks, I move. I was amazed as every day before I sat down to write, I would pray asking the Holy Spirit to speak through me. It began to pour out of me like living water, from my heart to my mind to my fingers as I wrote this beautiful inspirational story. 

It took me 15 months to write the manuscript. With my very first book proposal in hand, I submitted it to a big New York publishing house, who wrote me a letter congratulating me that my manuscript proposal “ANEW Creation” been accepted by Morgan James Publishing. Proceeds from the book go back to the Mitchell Thorp Foundation to help more and more children. Wow! God does work in awe-inspiring ways. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My Leadership Style 

In my professional life, I lead by the five practices of exemplary leadership, starting with modeling the way. Leaders not only talk about the way things should be done; they show the way they should be done. Titles may be granted, but leadership is earned. Leaders earn credibility by putting values into action and living by the same standards and principles they expect of others. Secondly, I inspire a shared vision, which is to envision the future and enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations. Thirdly I challenge the process, searching for opportunities, experiment, and take risks. Leaders are willing to step out into the unknown, knowing that failures and disappointments are learning opportunities for growth. Fourth, I enable others to act. which involves building relationships and is a group effort. I actively involve others. Number five, I encourage the heart, by recognizing contributions and celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community. 

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
In today’s world, there are countless opportunities to make a difference. More than ever before, there is a need for people of all ages, from all backgrounds, with all types of life experiences, to seize the opportunities that can lead to great success. More than ever before, there is a need for leaders to inspire people to dream, to participate, and to persevere. Being a great servant leader is being a servant first and having a servant’s heart. It’s about identifying and meeting the needs of others in any business. 

Pricing:

  • $24.99 Paperback
  • $34.99 Hardcover

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Mitchell Thorp Foundation

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