That was the first question one board member asked at a recent meeting about my first year at HOPE Network. It’s hard to believe that April 9th, I celebrate one year at HOPE Network.
What things we have accomplished in a year!
- 287 Members
- 49 Cribs distributed to families in need
- 10 scholarships of $1450 each (our largest ever!)
- 17,500 HOPE Network News readers
And so much MORE! I encourage you to take a look at our Annual Report if you haven’t already to learn about all that HOPE is achieving for single mothers.
Of course, the administrative perspective is always a little less heartwarming, but beyond software updates, mailings, and, decluttering, my biggest project has been this website…and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you today!
In addition to this blog, you’ll find new forms to apply for membership, cribs, and scholarships online, a way to easily update your contact information, and new ways to access the Network News, including a robust Resource listing that we can update in real time (rather than waiting three months between issues). Best of all – unlike our old site, this new site should look just as pretty on your mobile phone as it does on your desktop, tablet, or whatever device keeps your thumbs busy.
That prettiness, by the way, is all thanks to the talented team at Making Waves Web Design. I would be remiss if I did not thank Tammy Poppie for all of her help in bringing the sometimes ambiguous direction of our team into a reality that looks so sleek and modern. Reader, I hope that you love it just as much as I do!
Of course, launching a new site like this is bound to come with some quirks. I hope you will reach out if you find something not quite as it should be, or even horribly wrong! Please email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, what did I say to that board member’s question? “NOPE! I feel like I have been here for-EVER!” Founder Gail chuckled, “Well, we know we can always count on this one for honesty.”
It’s true; I am honest to. a. fault. But I hope that the board members could read between the lines to find what I meant. It’s not that my time here has been an eternity in a negative way. In fact, it’s the opposite. To begin with, I feel light years from where I started. I came into an organization stricken by grief and tragedy, running on a skeletal crew of board members – a couple of “old war horses,” they called themselves – returning to the office. My first responsibility: hiring the other employee, followed by a laundry list of catch-up tasks. The relative calm, understanding, and organization that surrounds me is in sharp (and welcome) contrast.
But in addition, I have been so warmly embraced by the community of members, supporters, and partners that are friends of HOPE, that, trite as it sounds, it feels like being part of a family. I get hugs from visitors to our office. People at community events reach out to say they were a member in the 1980s, that they received a crib from HOPE 20 years ago, or to share their own experience of being a single mother. A donor drops off handmade afghans and says she has been doing it for years. Familial bonds take time to form. But our shared mission helps cement them. And make it feel like I have been a part of this organization forever.