By Shelley Hill Young
Sandy Morckel doesn’t hesitate to tackle projects that other people say are impossible. She’s never been afraid of failure. She says she knows that the learning that comes after failure makes you stronger. And she knows that even small steps can make a big impact.
Homelessness. Racial equity. World hunger. Gender equality.
Those are just some of the issues Sandy has addressed through the consulting firm she started — Solutions for the Greater Good — and her countless volunteer roles in the community. When her friends and family ask, “How can you possibly think that you can enact change in this world, when it’s so broken?” Sandy responds with a Margaret Mead quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Through Solutions for the Greater Good, Sandy works behind the scenes to help nonprofits and foundations see the big picture. She’s worked with the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness; Fisher House Charleston, which helps military families during medical crises; I Got Legs, which helps re-enable disabled people through the use of robotic exoskeletons; and Cypress Gardens, which suffered severe damage during historic flooding in October 2015.
The common theme among the organizations: “They have a bold vision and they need a path to get there,” Sandy says. “I see from the 40,000-foot view. I see pathways of where we need to go, and then we break it down.”
In addition to her business, Sandy volunteers and serves on boards of another slate of organizations. She’s the president-elect for the Rotary Club of Charleston, which means she’ll serve as president for the 2019-2020 year, which will mark the club’s 100th anniversary.
“Rotary is in perfect alignment with everything I believe,” Sandy says. “The ultimate goal of Rotary is cultural understanding and world peace. The more we know about one another, the more we have a chance to have a future that is less patriarchal and more collaborative and embracing of our differences.”
Sandy is a founding member of the Leadership Team for the Social Justice and Racial Equity Collaborative Council, which developed out of The Sophia Institute, which provides programs that foster the rise of the feminine and cultivate wisdom and mindfulness. Sandy says she’s encouraged to see more dialogue about and recognition of white privilege, but there’s still a deep healing that needs to happen and structural inequities that need to be addressed.
She is a big believer in the importance of the rise of the feminine, which she describes as men and women leading in a more collaborative way to solve the world’s problems. She recognizes that all the big problems won’t be solved while she’s alive, but she says, “The next generation and the generation after that will be better off because of everything we’re doing.”
The small things we can do now? That includes opening up to people who don’t look like you, who don’t share your same politics or religion or same economic status, she says.
It’s about “opening your heart to forming relationships that are real, not for the sake of what people can do for one another but for sharing a life together,” she says. “That’s what makes our communities rich.”
And, she says, the true measure of success should never be about how much money you have.
“It should be measured by your impact on the world,” she says. “That’s my mission: to inspire people to make an impact in big and small ways.”