We’re all struggling in some way, now many more of us and to a greater degree than ever before. Gratitude provides a moment of softness away from the tension and worry of our lives. It can also help us gain new perspectives on all the ways we’re blessed. Senior Development Advisor Sarah Granger shares Catholic Charities’ newest effort to ensure our donors feel the love and understand the impact their generosity has on our vulnerable neighbors.
Catholic Charities holds gratitude in high esteem. During these challenging times, our Development team is committed now more than ever to connecting in meaningful ways with our donors, which enables us to continue serving the most vulnerable members in our community.
We believe that “what we appreciate will appreciate” (Lynne Twist), which is why we launched in May the new Gratitude Volunteers Project. Manager of Donor Engagement Ann Smith-Palenchar leads our new Gratitude Volunteers Project and has a few favorite quotes about the honesty of gratitude:
“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
— Albert Schweitzer
“Gratitude changes everything.”
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.”
— Brené Brown
Sometimes gratitude is more difficult to remember in the face of extreme challenges. By the same token, it’s all the more important to help us endure and to come out the other side better citizens, colleagues, family members, and friends.
With seven volunteers (including longtime supporters, staff, and board members) enrolled, Ann trains our volunteers in the spirit of gratitude and then provides a list of donor names for each of them to call and share Catholic Charities’ appreciation for opening their hearts in so many Oregonians’ greatest time of need. We’ve received heartwarming responses to our efforts and the work of Catholic Charities since May; we’ve developed deeper relationships with our supporters and have seen an increase in the frequency of donations. By January, we hope to have 20 volunteers participating in this project, making 800 gratitude calls a month.
Indeed, Catholic Charities was built for times like these. When we go to work for our clients, our staff and volunteers bring dedication, heart, and compassion, but we certainly don’t do any of it alone.