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January 12, 2010

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January 12, 2010

I first met John Records when I was interested in bringing Yoga Nidra meditation classes to COTS at the Mary Isaac Center. John's life story and generous soul guided my decision to teach a 6 week program there. What a surprise and delight to meet and get to know a dedicated group of eager and curious people in the program at Mary Isaac Center. I found that it was a reciprocal teaching; I learned from week to week more about my students, their struggles and courage, as they learned the benefits of yoga practice. I continued to teach yoga movement classes long after the 6 weeks, and cried when I had to make the decision to leave that program. Thank you John Records for your work and generosity, and to all the participants in my classes who touched my heart and soul.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

receiving so many blessings from working with the people who are actively seeking positive change in their lives.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

generous and kind.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save and enhance the lives of so many more in need.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

January 10, 2010

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January 10, 2010

COTS has become an integral part of the local community by providing programs that enable homeless people to confront the issues that caused their homelessness and work to enable them to rejoin mainstream society. A special focus is given to children to ensure that they do not suffer from the homeless experience and end up homeless themselves. A particularly impressive aspect of the way that COTS works is that it uses large numbers of community volunteers in many different ways, thereby increasing the bond between the community and the organization, and demonstrating to the clients that the community is supportive. It's 'tough love' policies (zero drug and alcohol tolerance, for example) have demonstrated some amazing results in relatively short time horizons. I'm proud to be able to be a part of this organization.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create a program designed to share their success and help other communities and other organizations duplicate it. Think of the resulting decrease in homelessness nationwide!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 8, 2010

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January 8, 2010

I've spent some time around COTS and interacted with clients and staff. It's amazing how this organization not only provides "relief" to those in desperate need, but actually enables its homeless clients to build independent lives with dignity and comfort. There are so many elements to this labor of love--from resume building and job skills training to family counseling to education to spiritual support--not to mention the free meals and beds. And ultimately, the clients have to contribute too, which they do with warmth and enthusiasm, making COTS a culture of kindness.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the unpretentious generosity of everyone whom I've encountered there.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

pleasant, warm, alert, and welcoming.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

alleviate untold suffering, make our nation a kinder, more compassionate place, and raise the consciousness of those of us who take our privileges and comfort for granted.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

January 8, 2010

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January 8, 2010

COTS is perhaps the most caring, most demanding and most effective non profit in the region - if not the nation. Mr Records, the wise leader, has built a cadre of thinkers, workers and innovators who have been able to adjust and adapt to an ever changing economy, funding cycles and red tape. COTS stands out in a community of other effective non-profits that serve the community - due in part to a clear mission and purpose that were present from the very beginning. The "hand up, not a hand out" credo is a message that works with families and individuals who are without permanent housing."COTS helped me get back on my feet again.." is a comment I hear from former clients. The credo also works well with funders who are often suspicious of similar efforts in other places.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

consistently motivated, caring and committed to the mission of COTS. Volunteers uniformly downplay their own import and simply serve others.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 8, 2010

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January 8, 2010

My association with COTS began in 1990 when I began delivering food to needy families in the Petaluma area. I have since volunteered in other capacities and have grown to regard COTS as an amazing organization that has saved hundreds of lives and improved the lives of thousands more. They do this with a small but dedicated staff that rallies hundreds of volunteers to serve the needs of homeless and needy people throughout Petaluma and southern Sonoma County.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

meeting clients who have successfully "graduated" from the homeless ranks and become happy productive members of our community

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Meeting the dedicated staff, and volunteers who believe in the mission of COTS

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Involved hands-on with the programs AND the clients

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand our successful programs to serve a much wider population

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

January 8, 2010

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January 8, 2010

COTS is a spectacular, inspiring place where miracles happen. People's lives are transformed. I have been a volunteer at COTS for the past several years and helped my colleagues establish a somatic trauma clinic there. The executive director, staff, and residents have received us most warmly and with deep gratitude. It's a blessing to be connected to COTS.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the openheartedness of the people and their passion to innovate and truly help the residents transform their lives.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

January 8, 2010

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January 8, 2010

I love volunteering at the Mary Isaac Center. Everyone is very nice and they make me feel so appreciated while at the same time I am doing the same for them - by showing care and giving attention. This is a top notch organization. The rules are strict for one reason only - to help people get through this difficult time in their lives and get them back on their feet. With all the people I have come to know here, it is clearly visible that support and camaraderie exists amongst everyone. John Records tireless hours in building this valuable shelter into one of the finest in the country is something I will never forget in my lifetime.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Exceptional!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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