Hope and Housing

A large part of my job as the Management and Development Fellow is fundraising. Davidson Housing Coalition (DHC) has its two main fundraisers during the winter, before Christmas and for the Super Bowl. While planning for these fundraisers I noticed a trend. When in doubt about the name for a fundraiser, incorporate “Hope and Housing” into the title. For instance, Campaign for Hope and Housing and Holidays for Hope and Housing. This got me thinking, what do we as an organization really mean when we say “hope and housing?”

The housing part is pretty obvious. DHC has almost 60 affordable apartments targeted at lower income families and helps other families achieve their dream of home ownership, by educating them and walking them through the home buying process.

But, hope can be an abstract idea and can take various forms in different situations. In the nitty gritty day-to-day of a nonprofit, sometimes there can seemingly be little hope. The craziness, business, lack of money, juggling act, and stressfulness can take a toll. I think that anyone in the nonprofit field would admit that it is all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind. This can obscure the good work that goes on in these organizations and can sometimes make us downright cynical. Finding hope here can be tough. It can be easy to focus on the negative. It is during these times that I realize that hope is what we try to give clients and is just as important as the tangible things we provide, such as an apartment or a home repair.

Many of our clients hope for a better, brighter future in which they have stability and are self-sufficient. Safe housing, secure jobs, and financial counseling all provide the hope of achieving a better future. For instance, when single parents finally find an affordable but also safe and clean apartment for their family. Or, when a person that has worked for years on rehabilitating her credit score and stuck to a strict budget purchases her first home. Or, when a client lands the job that he has been wishing and working for since becoming unemployed. In turn, these circumstances give me hope and are what makes my job so fulfilling. After much consideration, I would say that we are in the business of “hope and housing.”

Stay tuned to hear more about our upcoming fundraiser, Holidays for Hope and Housing!

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On Route to Munich

The Greek Fellows pose with our Arts & Culture Program Director, Susi Seidl-Fox (10/22/2014).

I am on route via train to Munich after a memorable, successful trip to Salzburg, Austria. My time in with the Salzburg Global Seminar staff in Salzburg was truly priceless on both professional and personal levels. Since my first week with Salzburg Global, I have consistently emailed, called, and Skyped with our staff “across the [...]

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Spiral Bound

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Before starting my fellowship, I spent much of the summer wondering what exactly I would be doing as the “Cultural Education Special Projects Fellow” at ASC. Sure, my job description provided a glimpse of my daily responsibilities – “supports the ASC education team by providing logistical and managerial support in the area of special projects” [...]

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Reflections at Schloss Leopoldskron

The Schloss from across the lake (10/18/2014).

Since 1947, thousands of people have been invited to retreat at the Schloss Leopoldskron for Salzburg Global Seminar (SGS) programs. During their stay, our participants discuss large topics, forge new friendships with people around the world, and reflect on the work they have done and will do when they return home. Last week, I arrived in Salzburg, [...]

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Transitioning to Impact

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  Spring 2014: I am a second semester senior, on the brink of graduation, yet I still have no idea what direction I want my life to take. I am a psychology major with no intention of becoming a clinical psychologist and though I have deeply immersed myself in many extracurricular activities, none of them [...]

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Leaving my Mark on the Organization by Leaving their Mark in the Community

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The Carolina Thread Trail is a planned regional network of greenways, trails and blueways that will ultimately connect 15 counties, 2 states and 2.3 million people. With the tagline of “Weaving Communities Together” the Thread Trail works to link people, places, cities, towns and attractions together. The Thread Trail preserves our natural areas and is [...]

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My Place at The Mint

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Wow! It is incredible how quickly the time passes. I cannot believe it has already been a month and a half at my new position of Davidson Impact Fellow with the Learning & Engagement Department at the Mint Museum. Brief history: the Mint Museum was the first art museum in North Carolina and is so [...]

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The Job Description (and highlights reel)

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This is the spiel I’ve found myself repeating in response to the ever-prevalent post-grad prompt, “So what are you doing now exactly?” As a woman’s health advocate at the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) in Asheville, NC, I have two main jobs. One is supporting the work of a women and children’s safety coalition [...]

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A Month Down: City Livin’ and Workin’ in the District of Columbia

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Last spring, I applied for the Williamson Fellowship—a subset of the Davidson Impact Fellowship Program—and was awarded the opportunity to work with the Trevor Project in Washington D.C., the nation’s leading nonprofit organization that promotes mental health wellness and suicide prevention among the LGBTQ youth population of America. Due to a somewhat sudden shift in [...]

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A Return to Davidson

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Two weeks ago, the town of Davidson became inundated with students as Davidson College began freshmen orientation and the fall semester. For the last four years, I have been among the ranks of students visiting the bookstore in droves and moving an unimaginable amount of stuff into my small dorm room. But, this year is [...]

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