This month, we wanted to recognize our entire administrative staff: Char, Elsa, Kayla, Lynn, and Maria. Each of them are truly passionate about HOPE’s mission and are essential to HOPE’s day-to-day operations. They have answered a few questions to help you get to know them a little better.
Here’s a little background on their roles at HOPE:
- Char is our Chief Financial Officer and has been with us for 20 years!
- Elsa began working with us in our Donor Relations role but now heads Contract Compliance for HOPE.
- Kayla is our Development Manager. Her role is to coordinate our volunteer groups and donations, schedule and attend speaking engagements and events, and work with HOPE's marketing and social media team.
- Lynn is an Executive Assistant at HOPE and is currently pursuing a business degree with a focus on leadership and management.
- Maria works as a receptionist at our Outreach Office. Her role handles scheduling appointments, receiving clients when they come in, taking calls and making everyone that comes and or calls feel safe. Maria is the calm reassuring voice for a caller trying to negotiate a storm in their lives.
Q: What have you learned on the job? 💡
Char: While working at HOPE, I've come to realize that I will learn something new every day!
Elsa: I have learned to be grateful and appreciate all that I have and to listen and believe when a participant shares her/his experience.
Kayla: Survivors come first, that's why we are here. We need our community to bring awareness of domestic violence, support survivors and hold batterers accountable.
Lynn: I’m originally from Canada, so working for HOPE has given me an opportunity to learn quite a bit about the not-for-profit world on this side of the border.
Maria: I have learned many things! I’ve learned how to create a safety plan for a survivor and to be a good listener when someone is in crisis.
Q: What’s your favorite pizza order? 🍕
Char: Thin crust with pepperoni and pineapple is definitely my favorite.
Elsa: It’s a tie between Chicken Alfredo and Pepperoni.
Kayla: Hmm...a Wood-Fired Margherita Pizza with fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and maybe some arugula and a balsamic glaze drizzle.
Lynn: It would have to be Canadian bacon, red onion, jalapeno, and pineapple.
Maria: Pan pizza, pepperoni with jalapeños, yummy!
Q: What advice would you give to a future volunteer? 🙌
Char: HOPE is a great place to work (and volunteer) if you like to help people and maybe have a laugh along the way.
Elsa: If you are compassionate, can listen, and believe the participants with an open mind - you are in the right place.
Kayla: Be compassionate, patience, non-judgmental and expect the unexpected. When you learn the experiences of individuals you otherwise would have never met, and see how hard they’re working to rebuild their lives, you start to see people differently, in general.
Lynn: Get to know the people you’re working with, have a sense of humor and live the mission of non-violence, safety, and lending a hand.
Maria: Be a good listener - Let participants share their situation and remember that it's all about helping them to be safe. Also, if you don't know or are unsure of how to help them, always ask others in the organization for assistance.
Q: What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference? 🐶
Char: My girls, CoCo and Chloe, would say I give the best belly rubs and I love to go for a W-A-L-K (which we only spell out in our house)!
Elsa: My beloved, Ziva, who is no longer with me, would say, "My Mommy is loving, giving, caring, and protective, and reprimands with kindness, when necessary."
Kayla: Lady would say, she always wears a smile and gives the best hugs, cuddles, scratches, and treats. She really likes the outdoors and going to the beach. (and that's my favorite because I often get to go with her).
Lynn: Simon would report, she's an efficient cookie distributor, highly talented in the tummy rub department, and completely lacks self-control when kissing my head.
Maria: Oh my, at this time I have kittens I'm nursing because their mommy passed away. I am feeding them and cuddling them and I think they will say, "Thank you for your patience and your time with all eight of us!"
Q: What motivates you to work with this organization? 💪
Char: I have the pleasure of working with a group of compassionate, hardworking women who never cease to amaze me in their ability to find ways to help.
Elsa: My passion and dedication to serving domestic violence survivors!
Kayla: What we’re doing here at HOPE is so essential to people’s lives and we're helping to create a healthier existence for everyone. Our awesome team of staff and volunteers is truly what motivates me to come to work every day.
Lynn: I’ve always been interested in social justice and women’s issues; HOPE’s method of empowering survivors is inspiring and should be adopted by more organizations serving others.
Maria: My motivation is knowing that I can help someone leave an abusive relationship, stay safe, and change a life.