Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Did you brush your teeth this morning?

It's the first thing I do in the morning, and I don't think about it. Most of us don't. Yet, CCSC just ran out of toothbrushes at one of the food pantries, a highly requested item by the people who come to us hungry.

I have to remind my 13-year old son to brush his teeth regularly because he dislikes doing it. Last year, when he was on a week-long camp out, he didn't brush his teeth all week.  But I digress.  I need to tell my son that oral hygiene is a privilege and a luxury, not simply a chore.  This is one of the many things in life we take for granted.

By the way, the other highly requested item besides food and toothpaste is bibles. They fly off our shelves. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Are your hands open?

We've finalized our numbers for 2014, and now know precisely how many people we helped and how we helped them. On Tuesday night, we shared these results at our Annual Meeting.  The new Board President, The Reverend Patrick J. Miller from St. Mark's Episcopal Church, did some quick math during the meeting and then shared an interesting statistic:

If CCSC didn't exist, each of our 41 member churches would have been expected to help 1,600 Houstonians last year with food, basic needs, employment services, connections to other community resources, and/or the seasonal needs of children.

Each church working alone would be inefficient, especially considering how many of the churches are located near each other. CCSC's purpose is to be the local outreach office on behalf of each church, minimizing the duplication of services and creating a more efficient delivery system.

As we begin 2015, it's good to remember our purpose.

The picture below is of the stained glass in Bethany Christian Church. I'm sure it reflects a particular verse of scripture, but whenever I see a picture of Jesus with his hands open, I think he's telling us we should also have our hands open, ready to serve. Do you?

Friday, January 9, 2015

It really is the people who matter

CCSC's JobNet Manager sent out her program's newly-completed 2014 statistics this morning. She began her email with a statement about the quality of work done, noting the many individual lives this program positively impacted. She then shared a few client stories followed by a dashboard view of the statistics.

I love that our staff meticulously tracks and maintains program statistics (which are a valuable tool) while staying focused on the people behind the numbers.  We value a balanced view of quantitative information coupled with qualitative, non-measurable data. It's like using both the left and right sides of your brain.

Here is a snapshot of a few clients who successfully used JobNet this past year:
  • Mary completed an on-line application at CCSC and had a phone call for an interview when she got home that day
  • Ben landed his ideal job after being prepped by one of our volunteer coaches
  • Eva spent her summer at JobNet, researching teaching jobs and ultimately finding just the right fit
  • John, who came faithfully after serving a prison term, found a job in the public sector
  • Anne gained confidence through coaching and workshops and was able to find a job that fits her current stage in life
If you know anyone who is struggling in their job search, have them call JobNet at 713-626-8320. We'd love to help.