Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

An amazing non-profit employee

For those of us who fundraise for a non-profit, working at an agency filled with amazing, committed staff makes our jobs so much easier.

I am one of the luckiest guys in fundraising as I get the opportunity to fundraise for an agency that is filled with employees that bring it every day and are incredibly committed to the cause of serving youth experiencing homelessness. Every day I am blown away by their work and by their effectiveness in changing lives, in supporting youth, and in simply just showing up to serve those who are in need.

One of our employees that consistently rocks it for the youth and for our mission, and one who on a daily basis blows my mind with how incredible he is in supporting the youth we serve, is Clayton.

Clayton works in our Drop-In Center and supervises the staff there. The Drop-In Center is open Monday- Friday and is a place where youth experiencing homelessness can come by for a hot breakfast, to do laundry, take a shower as well as receive any of the dozens of services that our staff is there for to provide them.

I have met amazing youth at the Drop-in Center and spend a lot of time there as it's just across the street from my office. Sitting in the office for even the shortest of times one gets an immediate feel for what the youth we serve go through every day as well as the challenges brought to staff every day.

I have watched Clayton for almost a year and his patience, kindness, directness, empathy and compassion shine through in every interaction he has had with a youth. A youth could be screaming at him and this wonderful man, a veteran of the Iraq war, will simply stand there and listen. And listen. He then calmly will give guidance and support to the youth, and in a very calm and quiet tone take a situation that would freak most of us out and end it with there being some kind of resolution within the youth.

Watching Clayton invigorates me and strengthens me. It makes me want to be a better person. He 100% makes me a stronger fundraiser as after watching him in action I come back to the office and share what I have seen or learned with donors.

Clayton is also a rock star in my eyes because of his team. Our employees who work in the Drop-In Center are rock stars, each as an individual and as a team. Every day they are they for the youth we serve, in so many ways. And every day they greet me with kindness and a smile, the same way they greet the youth.

I'm sure your organization has a Clayton, or several Claytons. Thank them. Let them know they rock. Let them know you as a fundraise are way grateful for all they do. Introduce them to donors. Your entire fundraising world will change for the better.

Thanks for reading!

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