JOIN is nothing if not bustling at this time of year. Walk in the door and you’ll find a crowd of folks–old friends and new–checking their mail, getting a pair of socks, waiting for a shower, browsing job openings on the computer, or just enjoying a cup of coffee and a conversation while their canine companion sleeps under a table.
Round the corner and you’ll see that one of JOIN’s partner offices has been appropriated for donations–piles 6 feet high of blankets and sleeping bags in all shapes and sizes for the outreach team to take to folks outside. Just as one pile starts to dwindle, another generous community member walks through the door with a few bags she has collected from her neighbors. And the piles are high again.
Continue down the stairs and you’ll find yourself in a forest of artificial Christmas trees, donated by Target to bring a little holiday cheer to JOIN households. In every nook and cranny of our offices you’ll find piles of donated sweaters and socks, presents wrapped and ready to be delivered to newly housed families, and Christmas music coming from a Pandora station in what we lovingly refer to as “the admin core.”
JOIN staff members’ job descriptions are flexible and ever-changing at this time of year. Everyone pitches in and works longer hours to pick up donations, deliver food boxes, provide blankets at night when the temperatures drop–all while continuing to do the real work of JOIN: getting people into permanent, stable housing and helping them stay there.
For those of us in the fundraising office, this time of year helps us feel more connected to our donors and our volunteers–they rally to organize item drives, put together move-in boxes, host house parties, and make generous financial contributions to help us continue to do our work. The generosity is overwhelming and impressive, and we can’t say thank you enough.
None of us on the staff make it through the month of December without feeling a little more exhausted, and a little more rejuvenated, than we did before. Thank you for sharing this crazy, chaotic, and beautiful time of year with us!
-the JOIN Development Office