As a board member i have enjoyed being a part of the Lantern House (St. Annes Center). It has been a great experience for me to be a part of.
Three years ago, I decided to come out as a gay man. The experience shocked my very traditional family and I was asked to "not be gay" or leave my parents' house. I chose the latter. I wasn't prepared financially or emotionally, nor did I have the skills needed for living on my own. My family and my church had been my support system for 18 years, and suddenly I didn't have them anymore. I was lucky though. I had a graveyard shift to work and a 1977 Cadillac inherited from my Grandfather to sleep in during the day. I also had a gym to go to for a hot shower and a hundred dollars in my checking account to eat on. I was only homeless for 2-3 weeks, and it wasn't too bad because I started out with enough resources and knowledge to get myself back on my feet. There are others without support systems, who don't have the knowledge and resources to get themselves on their feet. I believe those good people deserve a fighting chance, that's why I give to, advocate for, and volunteer at St. Anne's Center. I can honestly say, it has been a good investment.
I've had the opportunity to work with St. Annes Center on a professional level over the last 3 years and during that time I have been extremely impressed with the way they manage their day to day operations. St. Annes puts the client's needs and well being in front of every decision they make. I had the chance to volunteer in their kitchen and witnessed the caring and friendly nature the staff at St. Annes has for their clients. They treat everyone as an important individual, an action that is much needed, yet seldom expressed in the lives of many residence at the center. They have done an amazing job adjusting to the growing needs in the community and have proven over and over to be a valuable partner in our community.
I have served on the Board of St. Anne's Center for more than 10 years. One of the reasons I have served so long, and will continue to serve is that I believe in what St. Anne's is doing. Over the course of 10 years I have seen a lot of people's lives changed, people who have gone from hopeless situations to living a life of self sufficiency, from desperation to becoming productive members of the community. St. Anne's helps thousands of people each year, providing food, shelter, and important services including case management. I will continue to support St. Anne's through my service on the board as well as volunteering at the Center, financial support, and by encourageing others to get involved with what St. Anne's is doing. St. Anne's not only changes the lives of those who walk through their doors for help but also changes the lives of those who serve and support St. Anne's.
I have been a Board Member at St. Anne's for almost 4 years. I am so impressed with the work they do and the lives they change. I know that any donation I make to St. Anne's is going to help a lot of people in a very positive way.
My wife and I choose to donate to St. Anne's because we know the money will be well spent and multiplied by the volunteer hours and matching dollars. It also goes to help those that really need it. The stories from clients we ate with recently touched our lifes and reinforced our belief that really good work is done here. The road back to a mainstream existence begins at St. Anne's. Through good case management and being provided the basics, many people have left the roles of the homeless and are living productive, happy lifes. I see one such lady in town and she always greets me and shares the latest update that is always positive...all thanks to the work done at St. Anne's.