Special Thanks to:

Special Thanks: The MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

We have been awarded a three year grant to create a Fund Development Coordinator position here at Joel's Place. This staff member will help me write grants, fundraise locally and nationally and add a level of professionalism to my good intentions. Thank you MJ Murdock for your investment in Joel's Place and our community!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Two weeks start...now

     Allow me to tell you about my good friend Kelli.  Kelli is the Program Director here at Joel's Place.  She has done a remarkable job over the past 2 1/2 years in creating an atmosphere that is safe, welcoming and fun. She is passionate about teens having a space to call their own in order that they may have the freedom to grow and develop into strong and remarkable men and women.  She is great at juggling lots of different details and programs, dealing with teenage boys and adults, and keeping me sane when I am going a little off the deep end.

     And she is...clumsy.

     Kelli fell a few months ago.  Just walking around the Joel's Place grounds.  There were no kids or ice or skateboards flying at her.  Just her and the terrain.  She fell and tore her rotator cuff in her shoulder.  Didn't tell me about it for...oh, say a week or two.  Then kept working through the pain for another month.  Clumsy and stubborn.

     Finally the doctor took an MRI and told her she needed surgery.  And then she would need to be off work for two weeks.  And then she would need to wear a sling for a few months.  And then she would be able to do one-arm GI Jane pushups.  Kelli graciously scheduled her surgery during a time that would be most convenient for the Joel's Place staff...but here's the thing: We are facing the next two weeks without the person who keeps our house in order.

     I am not worried (much) that we will burn the place down.  My staff are really good at not doing that.  I am not worried that the kids will be ignored or the food will be raw or the bills will not be paid...although maybe I should be.  I was talking to a couple of friends this week who were looking after their kids while their wives went out for the night.  They both...BOTH...confessed that they forgot to feed their children dinner that night.  The rest of the staff and I are going to have a lot of details, both large and small, to remember while she is out...for two weeks...starting tonight.

     If you are looking for ways to help (and after reading this, I would think that you would be), here are a couple ideas:
  • You could donate some paper products: TP, Paper towels, cups, plates, printer paper, etc.  Running low on those kind of supplies is the kind of detail that the staff and I will likely miss.
  • You could donate a meal for our kids.  Kelli is our backup cook.  If our cafe manager gets sick or gets called away, she usually steps in (without complaining...much) and creates a masterpiece for the kids to eat.  I guess I am now the backup and while tonight worked (delicious spaghetti and sauce) I also had to answer 6 different phone calls while cooking.  Extra meals in our freezer would help...just in case.
  • You could volunteer for an hour, helping sweep, mop, do dishes and that sort of thing.
  • You could pray.  A lot.  Always and unceasing.  We may need it.
Thanks everyone for your encouragement and support.  Thanks to all of you who gave through Pick.Click.Give.  Your donations allow us to pay for our audit and tax preparations each year.  We are deeply grateful for all the support we receive from this community.

Kelli, the staff miss you and hope you have a good rest and a rapid recovery.

And you are never allowed to leave again.