As Compass’s Community Engagement Manager, I’m responsible for resourcing our programs with the donated items they need, engaging volunteers to give their time and talent to our mission, and engaging with the greater community, especially our faith community. In my job, I never know what is going to touch someone deeply.

On a typical day, I arrived at Jan & Peter’s Place Women’s Shelter to deliver donated items. There, I met a guest who really humbled me.

I was dropping off new women’s jackets and other warm items for the winter season. The ladies were looking through the items and were all extremely grateful for what was donated.

There was one guest who was a bit standoffish and hesitant to look through the items. I let her know that she was more than welcome to see if there was anything that she liked. As she slowly made her way to the clothes, I could tell she was eyeing a particular jacket. I grabbed it and told her she could have it if she’d like.
She got teary-eyed and said, “I’ve always wanted a Patagonia jacket.” She tried it on and fell in love with it. I don’t know about you, but a Patagonia jacket has never made me teary-eyed, but that’s just it. This guest needed my encouragement to see herself as welcome and worthy of a nice piece of winter warmth.

Timothy, a case manager at Jan and Peter’s Place, later told me she was a newer guest. He shared that while homeless, she’d spent most of her day looking for quiet places to read and rest while she tried to escape certain vices and relationships that had been toxic for her. 

This small thing, this jacket that was donated to Compass by one of our supporters had brightened her day and given her another glimpse at hope. I’m truly thankful and humbled that I get to be a part of this beautiful process.

Thank you for answering the call for in-kind donations and other gifts. This community shows up BIG and it means the world to our guests and residents. 

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