An old VHS tape and a tattoo
– by Laura Huth-Rhoades, President & CEO, do good Consulting

In 1991 I was a junior at Bradley University. There to study Political Science, I was on a path destined for law school. But I was deeply unhappy: bored with my studies and unmotivated by what a future in law might hold for me.

Lacking a Plan B, I decided to set my constitutional and contract law books aside and explore life beyond my dorm room and discover my true passion in life was.
VCR cart

I found it one wintery evening in January when I stumbled into a meeting of a college group called Student Action For Environment, or SAFE. I’m not sure exactly what called me into that particular meeting – there were plenty of other activities on campus that night. After a short introduction and some opening business, the group leader, Heather, pushed an AV cart in front of the group and using her index finger, pushed a VHS tape into the VCR.

My world changed.

The story of Cesar Chavez unfolded before me through the documentary, The Wrath of Grapes. I watched a man I had never before heard of before transform an otherwise voiceless people into a force for change: protecting the environment and fighting for fair labor standards and worker’s rights.

I was mesmerized. I was electrified. The hairs on my arm stood up. And I knew at that moment I was meant to be an agent for social change. My life was suddenly on a new trajectory.

Social change as a profession was not really common in 1991. I found my way using elbow grease, determination, and the grit my mother said she saw the minute I was born to create the experiences I needed to be successful in my newly-found career path.

After a stint in the government sector that was productive but not the right fit, I moved into the nonprofit sector with a job as Program Manager with the Illinois Environmental Council. From day one on that job, I knew I had found my calling.

So where does the tattoo come in? It was a dream – a premonition, if you will. While working as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, I had a vivid dream one night that I had gotten a tattoo on my left arm where a watchband might lie if I wore one. So realistic was the dream of this small light green circle with the word “do good” imprinted inside that I woke up and checked my arm for evidence.


The image of this tattoo stuck with me and years later when I went into consulting, I discovered exactly what the dream of that tattoo meant. Today it’s the symbol of the good work we do at do good Consulting for nonprofits of all sizes across the U.S. who are in turn doing good in their communities and for the families and children they serve.

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