Volunteer of the Year

This year, we would like to thank, recognize and honor, Barb Campbell as Hospitality House’s Volunteer of the year. Each year, we carefully and thoughtfully assess a long list of incredible candidates that have positively impacted Hospitality House with their time, talents, and service. While there were many amazing nominees to choose from – Barb Campbell’s long standing history of advocacy and investment in Hospitality House is what confidently moved us to our final decision.

Des Moines United Methodist Church is one of the local churches, that have partnered alongside 11 other churches to ensure that the Residents of Hospitality House have access to delicious hot meals every day. Barb has served as the meal coordinator at Des Moines United Methodist Church for over 12 years. Not only has Barb served as the Meal Coordinator there, but anytime there were not enough volunteers to fulfill DMUC’s meal commitments – with no hesitation, Barb stepped up sometimes preparing an extra two or three meals, on top the original meal she had already planned to give.  


Hospitality House has been successful in coming alongside thousands of homeless women over the years, because of people like Barb. Barb has worn many hats at Hospitality House, supporting and championing anything that she believed would better serve women experiencing homelessness. For example, years ago when times were changing and society was becoming more dependent on technology and the connectedness off the world wide web – Barb helped spearhead setting up the launching of Hospitality House’s original website. Barb wanted to ensure that homeless women had 24 hours a day access to information to who Hospitality House is, where we are located, who we serve and all the services we provide. Barb has also chaired the Silent Auction for many years procuring, cataloging, storing and setting up hundreds of items for Hospitality House’s biggest annual fundraiser. Not to mention, Barb actively contributed to policy review and formation, bylaw reviews and updates – always confirming that the rules, regulations and policies of Hospitality House stayed relevant and informed by the needs of Hospitality House’s clients and staff.

We here at Hospitality House are in awe of Barb! We are blown away by how she has managed to spin so many plates at Hospitality House over the years, doing it all with style and grace – serving as anything ranging from Board of Director’s Vice President to an Overnight Volunteer, she’s done it all. For all of it, we are thankful!



Employee Spotlight: Annesley

Today we’d like to showcase our overnight staff member, Annesley!

Our overnight staff member, Annesley DeHaven, began to work at Hospitality House in April 2018 after a brief stint as a Solutions Specialist at Verizon.  Annesley graduated in 2017 from Azusa Pacific University in California where she earned a BA in Philosophy.

 

Annesley grew up overseas in Germany, Korea, Taiwan, and England.  She explains, “I think that growing up overseas provided me with a world perspective to help me see how a lack of privilege can unjustly marginalize people with few resources. The stark difference between opulence and poverty shocked me in a way that urged me to want to help those who want to help themselves, but simply do not have the funds and/or connections. This underlying motivation for justice mentally prepared me for this job because I have personal reasons to want to push through the things that can be stressful or emotionally difficult.”

Annesley feels that Hospitality House is well organized, which fosters the staff’s ability to better help the clients.  It is the small things that are encouraging or uplifting to Annesley.  One client, in particular, dealt with extreme chronic pain and periodically went to the ER because her health issues were so severe. In spite of her health issues, this client always made an effort to do her chores and follow house rules without complaining. Knowing how difficult this was for her, Annesley was inspired to see the amount of effort the client was expending to work toward being in a better place in the future.

Annesley’s long-term goal is to earn a PhD in Philosophy. She hopes to share her passion with others one day by teaching philosophy at the collegiate level.

Annesley, we are so happy to have you at Hospitality House and appreciate the energy you have to share with the ladies!


Employee Spotlight – Bianca Harding

Bianca has been our Day Case Manager at Hospitality House since November 2017.  She answered a job posting on Craigslist and when she was hired, she discovered that her cousin was involved with providing nightly meals through her church and found she also knew one of the other volunteers!

Bianca grew up in East Los Angeles and attended California State University, Los Angeles.  Bianca retired after 30 years from Seattle Central College in 2015 where she was an Administrative Assistant for a Dean in the Information Resource Services Center.  In addition to overseeing the day to day operations of the library, computer center and copy center, Bianca also assisted the Dean with accreditation issues and other bigger projects.  She dabbled in everything including payroll, human resources and bookkeeping.

Bianca’s own words best illustrate what she brings in the way of support and understanding to Hospitality House:

“I was pleasantly surprised at the care and attention each client is given.  The staff and volunteers are amazing and the residents here are treated with dignity and respect.

I am very inspired and filled with joy when our residents meet a goal.  When they walk in the door they are facing so many obstacles.  Just having a safe place to lay their heads is sometimes all that is needed to motivate them to fulfill their goals in life.

I have faced situations of homelessness.  I have faced tragedy, heartache, loss–common human experiences.  But, I have always had the support of other friends and family, something many of our residents do not have.  I want to love and support those facing adversity.”

Bianca’s long term goal is to continue working at HH and to learn and grow in all aspects of her life.  We are so happy to have Bianca at Hospitality House!