Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Sometimes you don't ask but just thank

I was giving a “moment for mission” at a church , thanking the congregation for its support, updating them on the ministry, and sharing a recent client story. After the service, one of CCSC's volunteers came over and asked why I didn't use the time to also request donations of men’s and children’s clothing. She thought I missed a great opportunity to share this need. I was taken aback by her gentle scolding and fumbled a response.

I thought about her comment for several days. Yes, she was right: we do need those clothing items. We also need food donations, more volunteers, and increased financial support.

In the nonprofit world, we ask and ask and ask. We are efficient in processing donations. But I wonder if we could do a better job in saying "thank you", with no strings attached.

So I wish I had responded to our concerned volunteer that my talk at her church was only to say thank you. And to reassure her that we do also ask for the resources we need to keep CCSC moving along.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

CCSC's Endowment Board gets an A+

CCSC has an endowment, and it helps cover some of our operating costs each year. We have a special board who oversees the funds, and today's meeting was the one in which they review the investment strategy to ensure the funds are properly invested.

We have a dedicated group. This year Gordon Arnold, Beth Bruce, Brian Grove, Don Miller, and Frank Wozencraft serve on this board, and they were thorough in analyzing, discussing and determining the best investment strategy, given today's economic climate. They made good decisions today and consistently do so, taking good care of these assets that are so important to the ministry.

Essentially, these assets translate into investments into human lives. For example, while the Endowment Board met, the food pantry next door was open and helping the community:

  • We provided food for an elderly woman living on $958/month.
  • We helped a mother who works for a major retailer, earning about $1,200/month to provide for her family of four. Her oldest son is currently studying to join the Marines.
  • A disabled man came in asking for a new shirt because he only had one: the one he was wearing. He happily found four shirts that fit him.
  • And then we helped a man who works for a well-known Houston restaurant who lives with a chronic disease. He was hospitalized last week for a flare-up, but is back at work now. He lives on about $1,000/month.
There were many others who came through the ministry today, at the other food pantry as well as the two employment programs.

These client stories illustrate our mission. And backing up our mission are lots of people serving on committees, overseeing resources, and helping to make decisions that propel the agency forward. Today I'm grateful to the Endowment Board, for their outstanding stewardship of CCSC's assets and commitment to our work.

Monday, February 1, 2016

See who we helped recently

Before CCSC’s Annual Meeting last month, our new Board President, Chris Martin, decided to immerse himself in our mission. Within 48 hours, he had visited JobNet, met with a group of current Martha’s Way students, sat through a client interview at one food pantry, and toured the other pantry, all while asking thoughtful questions.

From these field trips, he shared the following impactful stories at the Annual Meeting: 

At the food pantry, a gentleman came to us immediately after his chemotherapy appointment, understandably not feeling great. He had recently received custody of his eight-year old daughter who is the center of his life. During the interview process, he shared that finally having his daughter back with him is what keeps him going during these tough times. However, with the addition of his daughter and the medical expenses, he is struggling on his limited income.  CCSC helped this family with rental assistance and food.

At Martha’s Way, one of the students shared that she is starting her house-cleaning business to increase her income. Her daughter is currently a student at Baylor and plans to attend medical school, so she wants to make sure her daughter can pursue her dreams.

In the latter story, Chris noted that it’s a wonderful example of how CCSC’s assistance can be a long-term investment in a family.

Do you want to see how we helped other families in 2015? Click here to see a summary of last year’s work: https://www.ccschouston.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/2015_CCSC_YiR1.pdf