You would all be surprised at how often I talk about 100 People Who Care. To the Founders, Your concern for Marin, your generosity and the warmth of your spirit is something that gives me a emotional rush every time I think about it, and it’s something I describe to anyone who will listen. To the members, You have collectively changed the face of Jessica’s Haven and Rescue. The 27,000 you awarded to Jessica’s Haven was a “game changing” amount of money,
You may remember from my previous talk that I related that Marin has too few places for our disabled youth and adults to learn skills and responsibility, I spoke about how our little, budding organization was struggling to support the need that was knocking on our door and ringing our phone. Thanks to your kindness, Jessica’s Haven is springing forward in many exciting ways.
Because of you we have enrolled 2 more agencies – Marin Ventures and OFI, to our roster that includes 7 other schools and special needs programs. We are now serving 51 participants each week. Thank you.
Our community needed us open longer hours, because of you we were able to add an afternoon program, twice a month. In this extra time, we not only serve special needs individuals, we now conduct professional volunteer training, which we will leverage into even greater quality and quantity of service. Thank you.
There’s more - We hired, part-time, just 6 hours a month, a Creative Director with your funds. Her name is Lizzy Domash, and she is amazing. She brings musical talents, and a incredible art program – this week, with puppets in hand, the kids were singing “I get by with a little Yelp from my friends”. She just adds so much joy to our program, and she is teaching all of us how to connect better with our special needs folks. Thank you for her.
And here’s how a little money – which we didn’t have before your award to us – can turn into big things. You sponsored our Bowling with Friends event where Marin high school students interact with those less fortunate than themselves. Afterwards, 30 students sign up for 50 hours of volunteering apiece. That’s 1,500 hours. You can’t tell me those young people weren’t touched with compassion and respect for these special people. These are the things that make our community better.
Finally, I will leave you with the last bit of good news. Following the 100 People Who Care award, we were written up in the Marin IJ, and Marin Magazine. You brought us into the public’s eye and the public has responded. We were nominated for Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership at the Heart of Marin event, and honored at a luncheon with 890 people attending.
We also received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Lifehouse Agency, we really know we are making a difference in our community. Now when I meet with businesses, private donors to pitch Jessica’s Haven, one of the first things I say, after explaining who we serve, and how, is that we were chosen by you to fund our work. Because we were, in essence, “crowd funded” by the Marin community, others are now jumping on our bandwagon. If I had time I’d say thank you 100 times. I can’t so let this suffice. Thank you …, very…very…much.