A THOUGHTFUL LEGACY

A THOUGHTFUL LEGACY

Michael Traynor | Board Chair

CHAIRMAN’S COLUMN

A THOUGHTFUL LEGACY

 

The holidays are an ideal time to take inventory and reflect on our blessings as we look forward to the coming year. As my term for Board Chair comes to a close in December, I am proud of what has been accomplished by the staff and Board of Directors on behalf of our clients and community. Union Mission is a relevant, fast-paced, nimble non-profit that displays leadership in the areas of homelessness and affordable permanent supportive housing. Our stewardship of your investment in Union Mission offers a brighter future for our clients than would otherwise be possible.

For 82 years, the generosity of our donors has kept the light of hope burning for our clients. The support we receive from you provides a safe place to sleep, meals, transportation, mental health services and a helping hand for men and women and children – all of whom have no place to call home.

In 2019, we saw men overcome decades of drug addiction through our supportive services, graduates of our culinary program become gainfully employed and mothers transition from homelessness to home-owner. There is not a secret sauce for the changes shared here but rather talented staff, volunteers, committed Board members and your donations that fuel the resurrection of a life, one client at a time. Your partnership with Union Mission means hundreds of men, women and children have the opportunity to find hope in 2019 and beyond.

As you prepare for the holiday season, I hope there is an opportunity for you to reflect on your blessings and how you can fund blessings for those that you may never meet. Your gift transforms lives (see chart below) including your own life, as you become part of something meaningful to a life less fortunate than yours. Fueled by faith and the desire to make a difference, your gift is a thoughtful legacy.

BECOME A PART OF THE WORK OF UNION MISSION

BECOME A PART OF THE WORK OF UNION MISSION

Pat Youngquist | Executive Director

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COLUMN

KICKS OFF BECOME A PART OF THE WORK OF UNION MISSION

I was recently asked to speak to the women’s group at Isle of Hope United Methodist Church on how my faith and work intersect. Preparing my talk allowed for a time of reflection.

Certainly, commonly asked questions for many of us pertain to life’s meaning of why we are here or why we do what we do. I was at a point in my own life with those questions in my 30’s and decided to return to church after a 20-year absence. Being an accountant, I was almost immediately asked to be the volunteer Treasurer and thus began my work in the world of non-profits. I found when I became involved with helping others; a lot of my questions about life’s meaning went away because I was involved with something greater than myself.

My faith and career intersect because I can use my business education and experience in a non-profit organization that helps others. This has brought meaning and purpose to my life.

Maybe being involved with a non-profit is something you want to do. I invite you to become a part of the work of Union Mission, whether that be through volunteering, advocacy or donations, both financial or of goods and/or services. I can tell you from personal experience, giving of your time or treasure is something you will never regret. The rewards not only make a positive impact on yourself but your community as well.

“We make a living by what we get. We made a life by what we give​.”

-Winston Churchill

LIVING A LIFE FULL OF GRATITUDE

Union Mission recognized Selina Johnson for her 25 years of service to the community of Savannah.

 

Article by Emily Bressler

EVENTS

LIVING A LIFE FULL OF GRATITUDE

Union Mission was invited to participate in honoring 92-year old Selina Johnson during a retirement celebration in October for her tireless efforts in providing over 117,000 meals to the community of Savannah for 25 years.

The volunteer group at St. Thomas Episcopal Church known as the “Unseen Guest,” was founded and led by Johnson. Their mission is to prepare healthy meals for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Johnson originally started working with patients during the peak of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the early 1990’s when she was drawn to the misunderstanding and mistreatment that individuals were receiving from others. “I first started working with HIV
individuals while I was in industrial nursing,” said Johnson. “We had five men in our department that were HIV positive and I
remember everyone being so nasty to them because they didn’t understand the dangers of the disease at that time.”

When Johnson retired from nursing in 1992 after 45 years of service, she knew that she couldn’t stop helping people. She had
seen first-hand how important proper diets were to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The idea of the “Unseen Guest” was born with 6 volunteers providing ten meals a month. Today, this group has grown to 26 volunteers who now prepare 350 meals a month for the Phoenix Project at Union Mission, a housing and supportive services program for persons living with HIV/AIDS.

After a quarter of a century of providing her services, Johnson retired, passing the  leadership torch to fellow volunteer, Angie Nichuals. “It’s going to be tough filling her shoes but we are all very enthusiastic about serving the community of people that need us,” said Nichuals. “It’s an exciting feeling to embark on this next chapter.”

Help Provide a Fresh Start

Your donation can help someone rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind. Your gift today can change lives and provide hope for a better tomorrow.