Working in a non-profit organization is a lot like riding a roller coaster without a safety belt. There are very high moments and very low moments. When we have low moments and need things, our community is there for us. Thank you.
Here are two stories of great success. One is from Anna Marie's Shelter about a woman and her child who excitedly planned for their new home with the help of Anna Marie's Shelter staff and donors. The other story is from our school program about a young boy who has learned a lot about handling bullies in school.
Our success is really due to your help. Without the donations you provide to us...we could not do this work. Thank you.
Let's enjoy our success together.
Anna Marie’s Shelter recently created a store inside the shelter for women who are moving out and into their own homes. Women come into shelter with few belongings, setting up a new home can seem daunting in terms of expense. In an effort to remove some of the stress of purchasing everything needed for a new life/new home, Anna Marie’s Alliance Manager of Volunteers and In-Kind Donations has set up a room where women can come and shop. All items in the store, and gift cards, have been donated by our amazing community.
This story is courtesy of Kim Salitros:
“Last week a staff member told me a woman and her young child were moving into their own apartment and asked if she could bring the woman into the store. I said, “Absolutely!” Later the staff member came to my office with a big smile on her face and proceeded to tell me what an amazing experience it had been. The staff member kept repeating how happy she was that she got to experience this woman selecting items for her new home, including toys for her young son. The woman had no idea that we had “the store” and was so thankful for the items she received.
Then I met with the woman and proceeded to give her gift cards; one for an oil change, one for groceries, and one for additional household items and/or clothes. The woman was so appreciative and just kept thanking us for everything we have done for her and her son. I was so happy that I got to give this woman these special gifts to help her succeed
I shared this experience with two of our volunteers who help with donations and keep the store stocked with items. The volunteers were so happy we could provide these items for this family, that their hard work is paying off and making a difference. They repeatedly thanked me for sharing this experience.
The store is leaving its mark; on those we serve, on staff who can feel unappreciated or frustrated, and on those who give their time to our mission. The store is uplifting to all of us and creates ripples of hope that lead into our community.”
And from the School Program:
I have been working with a male student in a local elementary school for the last 2 years. Last year, the student started out in my group as a very shy, hesitant, 4th grade boy who often experienced bullying by his peers. This school was new to him. His family had pulled him out of his previous school because the bullying had escalated to the point where he no longer felt safe. Now he was worried that his experience at this school would be more of the same. He was reluctant to reach out to try and make friends because of his fear, and was convinced if he told an adult at the school about the bullying no one would help.
Once a week in group we created space for kids to talk about their difficulties, not only making friends, but in dealing with bullying behavior. There was a shared experience in the group in these experiences, and group members began opening up about their own experiences in being bullied. I was happy to see this. In an ideal group, members will be supportive of others in the group, and help each other create solutions to problems.
My 4th grade student must have felt relieved hearing the stories of others, because he began to relax and discuss his daily struggles. He knew he wasn’t alone. Every day he opened up a little bit more as we discussed topics related to bullying. We talked about safety in the halls, who to talk to about bullying, assertiveness, conflict resolution, friendship skills, and self-esteem. Students in the group began buying into the group, seeing it as a safe refuge from some of their negative experiences in the hallways. I could also tell that my 4th grader was beginning to apply some of the skills that he was learning in group. He was coming into group with more and more confidence, sharing stories about being able to speak up for himself if a classmate was picking on him, and was able to talk with school staff when he wasn’t able to solve those problems on his own.
Now a 5th grader, he is the veteran of this group. He still occasionally deals with kids bullying, but when asked how things are going this year as compared to last year, he asserted, “I’m really happy because I don’t get bullied at all like last year. Things are way better.”