by Jentry Davis
Special Events Manager
Being on the development team at The Senior Source provides me with the unique experience of connecting with our amazing donors who are essential in funding our programs. It is their generosity and eagerness to share our mission which allows us to provide services for older adults throughout Dallas. I am continually in awe of the dedication and trust these special donors have in the agency. Ninety-nine percent of the time, donations are designated to be used “where the need is greatest.” By doing this, they give complete trust in us and without expectation or demand for accountability.
In return, we are careful and deliberate in the use of the funds and where they are distributed. Their trust allows the agency to function the best way that it can and from my perspective, it runs like a well-oiled machine. That may not be what most people envision when they think of a non-profit organization – a large, high functioning machine. However, from my office, I see the precision of the machinery running perfectly and on time. The programs provide critical work for our clients and the development team provides the funds they need by planning, setting, goals and meeting or exceeding them.
Connecting to the Mission
At other nonprofit agencies it can seem that the development staff is far removed from the heart of the mission. They feel like cogs in a machine and don’t connect with the importance of their role. At The Senior Source, I have been able to experience “the other side.” I assisted in a small service we provide to our clients.
I joined a group visiting a local nursing home to play bingo with some of the residents. I went into the experience with modest expectations about what the home and residents would be like. The reality was so much better. Overall, the home was bustling with nurses and doctors and had a warm, homey feel that was inviting. The residents were happy, active, and most of all, considerate of each other.
The resident group chose to put our bingo game on hold to wait for a resident who was finishing a doctor’s visit. She had mentioned to her friends that she wanted to play. Once she arrived in the cafeteria, the other residents called out to her and encouraged her to grab her bingo card. In that moment, her face lit up. I saw that not only was our visit a welcome interruption to her daily routine, but she was touched and pleased at the other residents’ excitement to have her finally join them.
Carrying the Impact
For me, this bingo experience and that woman’s face illuminated with happiness was a short, rare occasion, but I will carry its impression with me for a long time. It reconnected me to the purpose of the agency and gave me a glimpse at the impact my coworkers make in the field. It reminded me why so many gracious people support our cause. My job might be planning the fundraisers and events for our donors, but the impact of our combined efforts has given me a new perspective and passion for my part in the well-oiled machine. It relit a fire in my heart for serving others and no role is too big or too small when doing that.