We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Fischer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I hate the term “work-life balance.” I think we should be striving for work-life alignment. I don’t want to be a separate person at work and at home. I want my kids to see my work, be part of it, and see the sacrifices it takes to start and run a business. And I want my work family to be just that–a family. I want them to know when I’m having a rough time or taking a mental health day to recharge. And I want both of these parts of life to know that sometimes one or the other will have to take priority for a little bit. Sometimes I need to say no to things to be at my kids’ events and spend as much time as I can with them. Other times its nonprofit busy season and I’m going to need to have a babysitter more often because there’s more evening events to attend. But if both work and home are in line with and fueling your life priorities in some way, AND neither one is dominating consistently, I think people need to lean into the rhythms, cycles, seasons of life and accept that 100% balance is not achievable.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am so proud of the fact that this little grass-roots, local movement (which was supposed to be run out of my basement forever) has turned into one of the largest basic needs banks in the country. We have spent an enormous amount of time, energy, and money building and refining our processes and facility to ensure everything we do is best-in-class. It has been nearly 7 years of learning and innovating on the fly with many, many mistakes and missteps along the way. But we are persistent, courageous, and have the BEST team you could ask for. And that has allowed us to move through difficult periods and come out on the other side stronger than before.
One of the greatest challenges we face is the fact that not many people realize that diapers aren’t covered under any government assistance (including food stamps and WIC). That means families must have cash to go to a store to buy them. Because of this lack of understanding, our mission and organization aren’t even on people’s radars as a place to give their time, talents, and treasure. We ask everyone we meet to help spread the word about diaper need and that we’re here in Greater Cincinnati to help do something about it in our community.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am OBSESSED with my city!! I think Greater Cincinnati is the most fantastic place to live, work, and play. Over the course of the week, we would:
*Spend an evening in the Incline District of Price Hill, which includes dinner on Somm’s beautiful outdoor patio and eating ice cream from the Bold Face Dairy Bar while looking at one of the best views of the city next to Incline Public House.
*Visit Eden Park for a long walk or bike ride and picnic lunch, making time for stops at the Cincinnati Art Museum and Krohn Conservatory that are both located within the park.
*We’d make time for an all-day trip downtown, focusing on OTR and the Washington Park area. There are so many fun shops, restaurants, and bars–we’d eat and shop our way through so many streets in this historic, renovated area.
*Enjoy a Mayan Sacrifice from Darkness Brewing across the river before browsing the cute shops and eateries Bellevue, KY has to offer.
*We have a fantastic music community in Greater Cincinnati. This week would have to include a trip to Music Hall or a concert at one of our many local venues. There is always someone great playing at places big and small!
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?
I would not be where I am today without Leadership Council for Nonprofits, a Cincinnati-based organization that provides leadership development programs, training, cost savings, and networking opportunities for its members. The programming of Leadership Council taught me the basics of how to run a nonprofit when I founded Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank. After leaving my corporate job and work family to run Sweet Cheeks full-time, the networking opportunities of Leadership Council welcomed me into the local nonprofit community, gave me incredible friendships, and created a place where I felt like I belonged. Not every community has a unique organization like Leadership Council, and I know without it, the Sweet Cheeks mission would not have the reach it does today. I’m honored to now be a Leadership Council board member and have the opportunity to impact others the way this organization has impacted my life.
Matthew J Capps Image Services (team photo, warehouse inventory photo)