Volunteer Spotlight: Dan Poiree

Dan Poiree, and side-kick Ginger, has cheerily been volunteering at Hospitality House for several years now after answering an ad from Natalie who was looking for someone to install a sink in the kitchen counter.  He answered this call and it’s been a steady and happy affiliation with Hospitality House ever since!
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Dan grew up in Palo Alto, California and after two years of college embarked on what would be a life full of adventure and challenge. Life is short and his interests have been many:

  • Surgical Technologist, 21 years
  • Aerial photographer (to pay for his advanced pilot ratings), two years
  • Flight instructor, charter pilot, flight school director of operations, and corporate pilot, 20 years
  • Contractor, six years
  • Portrait photographer, one year and counting.

Let us count the ways Dan has helped keep the Hospitality House facility running. He has replaced the bunk beds with stronger metal bunk beds, hung towel hooks in the bathroom, unclogged sink drains, patched defects in walls to prepare for painting by other eager volunteers, replaced the kitchen cabinets, repaired the washing machine (twice) and moved the Christmas tree and decorations to and from the basement.  He is willing to tackle any need expressed by staff or residents!

Dan says that volunteering at Hospitality House has always been a pure joy for him.  He often brings his little golden retriever, Ginger, with him. Certainly Ginger slows down his day, but he thinks Ginger serves as a welcome, even therapeutic, distraction for many of the residents. The residents usually delight in seeing her with her wagging tail and her funny dog grin. Others, those who have had negative experiences with dogs, learn that Ginger can show unconditional love and affection to everyone and they usually become a ‘Ginger lover’.  He feels privileged when at times the residents will simply share what is on their mind. That might be the sadness of missing their family, sharing other life’s difficulties, or the pronouncement and uncontrollable joy of getting a job or finding an apartment. Dan, Mr. Fix-it, in his paint stained clothes and worn out shoes, a stranger in their presence, seems to be a trusted friend during their transition and challenging time.

Dan marvels at how the Hospitality House staff knows how to get the maximum benefit from every dollar and is amazed at the small army of ladies who constantly supply Hospitality House with food, supplies, donated time, and other needed duties.  Hospitality House has served some wonderful residents, who likewise take their time at Hospitality House and make the most of the opportunities to better themselves in whatever way possible.

Besides volunteering at Hospitality House, Dan was appointed by the Burien City Council to serve on the Business and Economic Development Partnership (BEDP), a volunteer advisory committee to the City Council. He also gets involved with other local but less formal groups of various interests.

 

As for Dan’s future, in a year or two he and his wife plan to move to Canada, to his wife’s home town, to be closer to her brother and extended family.  Clearly, after the move, he says he will miss all the wonderful people he has been fortunate to meet and interact with, not only throughout Burien but especially those at Hospitality House. He hopes that he has in some small way touched the lives of those he has met at Hospitality House as they have touched him.

 

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Employee Spotlight: Randi Kemp

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A covenant with the community that Hospitality House has continuously honored is to provide overnight supervision of shelter residents.  Randi Kemp has filled the very critical Overnight Manager position for nearly two years while currently enrolled in Oregon State University where she is working toward a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences.

Randi is a life-long Washington resident and grew up in the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle.  She received an Associate of Arts Degree in the early learning program at Renton Technical College.  Before coming to Hospitality House, Randi worked primarily in the child care field in various settings such as after school programs, in home day care centers, community centers and center based learning programs. She also worked with at risk children and youth in the foster care system as a Case Aide and as a Residential Support Interventionist in group homes.

Randi worked briefly at another homeless shelter which she enjoyed.  She found that her experience working with at risk and vulnerable children and youth provided her with transferable skills that proved to be useful with the homeless population.  When searching job postings, she learned about Hospitality House’s Overnight Manager position which she applied for and was hired.

Randi shared that the most rewarding part of her job is when a client moves on from Hospitality House, from homelessness, to long term stability.  But the most challenging part of working for Hospitality House for Randi is being a compassionate and accepting listener without being overly empathetic or sympathetic.  It is sometimes difficult to maintain a professional demeanor when learning of the hardships and barriers that the clients face every day and when listening to the stories that led some into homelessness.

Randi’s hope is that now and in the future, Hospitality House will continue to support women in their journey to stability and that it will have the resources to serve as many women as possible.   Randi’s personal goals include furthering her knowledge of case management principles, applying for and attending graduate school, and continuing to have an impact on the women while being an asset to the team at Hospitality House.


2016 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Alice McGregor

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A wonderful soup, salad and dessert lunch was served at Prince of Peace Church by the Hospitality House Board of Directors on Saturday, November 5th to honor all the volunteers who lovingly share their time and talent with Hospitality House, a haven for homeless women.  At the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon hosted each year to honor meal coordinators and preparers, office help, overnight chaperones, handymen and other volunteers, Alice McGregor of Normandy Park United Church of Christ (NPUCC) was honored as the Hospitality House Volunteer of the Year.

 

NPUCC was one of the first churches to cook for the women of Hospitality House in October 2000.  Each night a different church greeter, host, and 2 meal providers were scheduled by the church meal coordinator to provide a meal for the women.   By the next April the meal providers were doing the set up and serving of an evening meal to the women who came to the House in a van at around 7 PM.  The meal providers stayed to visit with the ladies and usually left by about 8 PM.

As a representative from her church, Alice hosted Hospitality House’s first Halloween and stayed from 7-10 PM!  Alice became NPUCC’s Meal Coordinator in July 2007 and started attending the monthly meetings.  She took over the job of creating the yearly schedule for all of the churches and other organizations that prepare meals for Hospitality House in 2012 and has continued to compile the yearly meal schedule for all preparers.  She takes and distributes the monthly meeting notes from the meal coordinator meetings.  But that is not all – Alice collects and delivers in-kind items from her church as needed, is always willing to help with Hospitality House fundraisers and has been known to offer a website article or suggestions for letter campaigns.

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Alice loves to make meals for the women.  Not only is she willing to share a favorite dish to help nourish, heal and affirm the women, she gets to feel the warmth and bonding opportunity that is Hospitality House.  Her gift of a meal, she believes, is returned to her many times over because the women’s appreciation is so evident.  A big compliment she once received was when a cook from another night came to church on Sunday and told her that one client was raving about her lentil soup!

 



Walk for Women Registration

The Walk for Women is Saturday September 17, 2016 

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Join Hospitality House at our annual Walk for the Women fundraiser!

September 17, 2016 at 10:00am in Burien Town Square.

An easy 2-mile walk through the heart of downtown Burien.
For walkers of every sort: families, kids and well-behaved dogs!
Prizes, music and the fun of the Burien Health Fair.

Have you registered?  Print your registration and start gathering sponsors:

Walk for the Women 2016_REGISTRATION


Walk for the Women 2016

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday September 17, 2016 is the Walk for Women 

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Join Hospitality House at our annual Walk for the Women fundraiser!

September 17, 2016 at 10:00am in Burien Town Square.

An easy 2-mile walk through the heart of downtown Burien.
For walkers of every sort: families, kids and well-behaved dogs!
Prizes, music and the fun of the Burien Health Fair.

If you are interested in sponsoring the event or know someone who is, please print and return the forms below:

HH 2016 Walk for the Women Sponsor Form

HH 2016 Walk for the Women Sponsor Letter


Get Ready to GiveBig on May 3, 2016

GiveBig is a one-day event and a fantastic opportunity to give to Hospitality House. Thanks to the Seattle Foundation, every gift through our online giving profile will be STRETCHED by the Seattle Foundation in order to maximize its impact!

Homelessness is unfortunately on the rise.  The 2016 one night count found at least 4,505 men, women, and children were without shelter, an increase of 19% over those found without shelter last year.  Hospitality House helps women who would otherwise be on the street or in a car.

Your gift helps us provide lifesaving shelter, food and case management services every night of the year.

Three ways YOU can join us!

  1. Mark your calendar for May 3, 2016 and bookmark this giving link. Join us!
  2.  Please make a donation to support us on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. If you can’t participate on May 3, you can give early here!
  3. Help us spread the word! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Share and repost our giving page and your stories with the hashtags #GiveBIG, #GiveBigHH and #iGiveLocal to see the nationwide buzz.

 


Board Member Moves On but Says Hospitality House Made a Real Difference in her Life

Liz Martel

Liz Martel, Board Member from Southminster Presbyterian Church, has served on the Hospitality House Board for four years.  She became a Board Member from her church after working for 33 years for the phone company.   While friends from her church thought this would be the perfect thing for her after retirement, little did she know what an impact it would have on her life.

Southminster Presbyterian Church, a founding member and long-time supporter of Hospitality House, has always encouraged its congregation to be involved in the mission of Hospitality House.   While still working, Liz raised quite a bit of money one year to benefit the women of Hospitality House for their annual ‘Walk for the Women’ fundraiser.  Being a Board Member brought Liz into more contact with the women of Hospitality House.  Over the last several years, she has spent many hours preparing meals, serving as an overnight chaperone on the weekend and by working in the office.

Liz came to love the women as they shared their stories and challenges with her.  She loves spending time with them and really believes that by sharing and listening to others she has gained confidence and found personal strength.  Her wish is that Hospitality House will grow to best serve the homeless women and children in the community.

Liz currently serves as a deacon in her church and prepares lunches for the handyperson group at her church on the days they work. She provides ongoing in-home care for two elderly people which she sees as another blessing in her life.


Board Member Changing Hat but Not Heart

Nancy Bagley

Nancy Hadley, Board Member from Prince of Peace since 2014, has tendered her resignation from the Board but not from Hospitality House.  She will continue as a monthly overnight chaperone for the women of Hospitality House.  In the past, Nancy has been a meal preparer from her church and has delivered donations to Hospitality House from her church as needed.  She brings to us a wonderful new Board Member replacement from Prince of Peace Church, Barbara Atkinson.

Nancy has always had a sense of adventure and concern for others as reflected in her life-long passion for teaching and feeding the hungry and homeless.  After college, she went into the Peace Corps and became a high school teacher in Malaysia.  Returning to the US she taught at the elementary and junior high levels.  She ended her teaching career in Federal Way where she taught junior high students for 15 years.  During that time, she became a part of a tight knit teacher group who has been long-time volunteers at Calvary Lutheran Church community suppers.  For 16 years, Nancy and her friends have been servers at this church sponsored community meal for the hungry twice a month.

Nancy continues to be active in her church and is currently coordinating the Blood Drive ministry at Prince of Peace Church and surrounding community.  Nancy is a member of the Parkside Garden Club and Woodmont Book Club and is very active in her Wesley Homes community.

Nancy enjoyed working with the women on the Hospitality House Board and Staff and looks forward to continuing her involvement with the women of Hospitality House.  We thank you Nancy for your wonderful presence at Hospitality House!


Spring Fling 2016

Thank you to everyone that attended the 2016 Spring Fling. We raised over $30,000 in support of the great work at Hospitality House! 

The Spring Fling was held on Saturday, March 5, 2016 in Unity Place at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. A huge thank you goes out to St. Francis of Assisi for their generous hospitality.

The evening started with a silent auction that featured themed gift baskets, theatre and fitness certificates and gift certificates donated by local restaurants.  Student staff from Puget Sound Skill Center prepared and passed hors d’oeuvres during the silent auction. The mouthwatering appetizers included, risotto cake with saffron aioli, smoked salmon canapes with lemon caper mayo, wild mushroom canapes with coriander cream, heirloom tomato bruschetta and serrano ham quiche.

Enchanting music was provided during the silent auction and dinner by the Cascade Youth Symphony.

Guests enjoyed pan seared steelhead with fava bean pesto, chicken marsala, wild rice and quinoa salad, Northwest Waldorf salad, potatoes Lyonnaise and sautéed petite spring vegetables prepared and served by the staff and students from Puget Sound Skills Center. The Skills Center team is led by Executive Chef, Kevin Blalock, Tony Poplin, Maret Omen and Dean Dweedle.

After dinner was the moment of the evening that everyone enjoys the most. A former client named Anna shared her story. Hearing Anna’s story reminds why we are all here. We are reminded why the meal coordinators, volunteers, board of directors, staff and the entire community give so much. It’s for all the Anna’s in need of home and hope.

Thanks again to those that attended and if you missed it, mark your calendar for the 2017 Spring Fling, Saturday, March 4, 2017.