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KevinRBurns

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Shanti Project
November 30, 2009

Shanti has been a part of my life since I first attended the volunteer training in the early years of the AIDS pandemic. I can still remember the powerful moment in my training when I knew that my life had been permanently changed. Since that moment I have never regretted the subsequent years I have spent with the organization as a volunteer, a staff member in every area of the organization from volunteer coordinator to Executive Director, and a volunteer again. Since joining the organization in my late 30's to now in my 60's, Shanti has helped make me a better person. I have never forgotten each client that I was matched with in the early years and the life lessons they taught me. The lessons I learned from them were so rewarding to me that I have always felt that I've received much more than I have ever given. I have continued to learn from clients, volunteers and staff throughout the ensuing years and find myself very grateful for the life I've had compared to the life I might have had if Shanti had not come into my life. I am proud to be a part of the Shanti community.

The Great!

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

in supporting women and men with AIDS and breast cancer who are homeless or minimally housed, uninsured,and frequently have no family to look to for help. Invariably they leave us better off than they were when first coming to Shanti.

Ways to make it better...

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

Well, I actually did run the organization for four years so if we had more secured or unrestricted funding we would be able to build up reserves and ultimately provide more activities and services with increased appropriate staffing for the clients.

More feedback

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

The valuable life lessons I learned as a volulnteer and the time I spent with the clients I was matched with up through my years as a staff member.

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

the most amazing and committed indiviudals that I had seen. Immediately I felt welcomed into a special community committed to supporting clients to make informed choices for their own care where we learned immediately we didn't have to "fix it" for them.

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

expand its type of nonjudgemental support services to just about any life-threatening or life-altering illness. Because the Shanti model can be so easily adapted it would also be able to offer more training to other organizations on a larger scale.

Ways to make it better...

I can't imagine my experience possibly being any better. I know that 85 cents of every dollar goes directly to client services so with more funding they would be able to expand services and staff.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

As with most nonprofits, more resources and increased unrestricted funding to be able to build up reserves to help through difficult times.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you to Shanti's founder, Charlie Garfield, and to the staff, volunteers, and clients for teaching me so much and for the opportunity to incorporate the Shanti model into my life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I have been a volunteer and staff person in every area of the organization over the years and retired last year as the Executive Director.