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September 20, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
September 20, 2011

My wife and I started volunteering by making sandwiches for the homeless who visited Franciscan Workers. Over the past 25 years we have continued our involvement as volunteers and as members of the board of directors. Our clients are the homeless who have nothing ,and also the economically challenged who run out of money during the month.
We cook about 40 turkeys a year for their thanksgiving meal. We have served dinner to our guests and have dined with them. What is interesting is their comraderie toward each other. Many have recovered from addictions and some are mentally unbalanced. I remember eathing with a blind guest who had at one time been able to see. The other guests served him, arranged the plate and glass so he would not spill and put the fork in his hand and moved it to the plate. All our very polite at meal time and use good manners.

I once lent $500.00 to one of our guests as he needed to purchase a car to find work. I had no expectation of repayment. However, two years later my receptionist called and told me a man and a dog were in my office to see me. It was the man I lent the money and he carefully counted out $500.00 that he owed.

There was a man who was one of our guests and he expressed a desire to go to his daughters graduation from college in a distant town. He had not been a good father what with his addictions but was now sober and wanted this very much. We purchased a suit and shoes along with a bus ticket and he made it. He later showed us pictures of himself with his daughter and family members at the graduation.

We try and give our guests a sense of self worth and a feeling of dignity. So many have been beaten down. We have now opened a woman's shelter so that homeless women will be safe and not victimized on the street. They love the idea of a meal and a chance to sleep safely. We run tutor programs in the labor camps and now the parents become involved in helping their children. I sometimes wonder ...what if there were no Franciscan Workers. We are not affiliated with the catholic church and are supported by many denominations including the Jewish Temple and The Buddhists

The Great!

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

Our guests have prospered in their daily lives by counseling, reunion with their families, and receiving a sense of worth and respect. Everyone one of them want to do better and become self-sustaining which may not be possible for all. However, our guests look upon Franciscan Workers ( Dorothy's Place) as their home and their community

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

enlist the support of more leaders in the community who could publish our work and help raise money which is always in short supply. There is never enough.

September 13, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
September 13, 2011

Although I always gave cash, food, clothes and misc donations to this organization, I had never actually volunteered my time. Then in one of their newsletters I saw they were looking for people to "adopt a room" as they were converting the upstairs of Dorothy's Place to a shelter for those that were in a Gold Star Program. My coworker Andrea and myself quickly contacted Jill and she set us up. (Jill is awesome!! Lots of patience in educatng us about the homeless!)

We had so much fun painting, furnishing and decorating the bedrooms. We got to work hand in hand with the people that would soon be occupying these bedrooms. They were such a pleasure to work with. They helped with painting, clean up, moving furniture.... anything that was needed. And that wasn't only for their rooms, but for any room or anybody in the shelter that needed their help.

They were so appreciative of our time and donations. Thanking us over and over and over. Their excitment was such a joy to see. They were like little kids at Christmas! We felt like proud Momma's!

If you have never volunteered at Dorothy's, make a commitment to go at least once. I finally did and now I know I must go back to help. They need us, not just things.

To serve God is to serve others.
Love & Light!!

The Great!

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

The shelter upstairs of Dorothy's place is now a beautiful, warm home for numerous homeless people who are working very hard to transition out on their own someday. From what it was before, to what it is now, unbelievable. There are not only bedrooms upstairs, but a kitchen, dinning room, chapel, showers, etc. It is a home for them. They are a family working together to make their lives better. And the staff is fantastic. So committed. Bless them.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

the organization is great.....no changes. What they need is more assistance from everybody so they can continue to improve the building, day room, laundry room, showers downstairs, office, etc. etc. etc.

September 9, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
September 9, 2011

I visited as part of a student group and have come back twice since then due to the amazing educational experience provided. It nourishes my soul to be there and reminds me of what is truly important in life.

The Great!

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

educating youth about homelessness

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand it so that more people had the opportunity to learn from them.

September 8, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
September 8, 2011

My first experience with Dorothy's Place was through an alternative spring break trip sponsored by USC's volunteer center, and within that week I absolutely fell in love with the organization's mission, values, and its people. I found a second home in Salinas. Naturally, I returned to intern with the Franciscan Workers that following summer and after graduating from college I completed a short stint working with Jill Allen in the administration office. I'm thankful for the opportunities the Franciscan Workers have given me, and am looking forward to visiting them in the future.

The Great!

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

my encounters with the guests that have welcomed me into their home, creating life-long friendships. I foresee many future visits to Dorothy's to create mosaics, attend open-mic nights and enjoy a lunch or two with my second family.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase employees and volunteers so that regular programs offered to guests can be increased to cover various interests

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