My Nonprofit Reviews
George Mc Innis
Review for Dorothy's Place/Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra, Salinas, CA, USA
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
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
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.