November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Community Works, Friday Lunch

This week Fathom completed our coat drive and brought the donations (115 coats!), along with dinner from Agave Grill, to friends of Joe the Barber. Agave owner Al Ferranti himself joined us for the Wednesday event in Bushnell Park and was, as always, happy to be a part of helping others. We were amazed at the support of our friends and family (shout outs can be found on Give Coats Facebook fan page), particularly during a time when most of us were dealing with the aftermath of the freak October snow storm. On behalf of the team, thank you for your support!

About 60 people braved the pouring rain to find their way to a warm winter coat, hot noodle soup and good eats from Agave.

If you were unable to help and would like to in the future, there’s good news. We will be doing more. The who, what, where and when have yet to be determined as we tackle some bigger questions first. Today’s Friday Lunch was spent discussing our Joe the Barber experience and how we can make doing good a part of who we are.

The points we raised in October about supporting good causes are now even more apparent. If we are to incorporate good works into the DNA of Fathom, it needs to be sustainable and meaningful for all of us.

Our event with friends of Joe the Barber mattered and we could see that first-hand. Many of us commented on the personal experience of helping someone try on a coat or watching a mom stand in the rain with her two kids, waiting for their turn. Writing a check to a non-profit is always a good thing, but there is something different that happens when you are able to talk to people and help them with your own resources. To read a very personal account of what this event meant, read Jenn Ford‘s post on her blog.

We learned a great deal too. Next time, we will consider more carefully what expectations we are raising. We disappointed some people in need, when they were unable to find a coat that fit or when we ran low. Overall, we received a lot of thank yous, hugs and I even was the recipient of a kiss on the head.

Each of us walked away inspired by someone we met and it is energizing us to do more. The biggest challenge is to consider all the big questions (i.e., “what difference will this make?”) and the details too, such as: “what is the most feasible day or time that will allow all of us to participate?”

We walked away from lunch agreeing that we will construct a clear consensus for what we can commit to in the future. We promise to be diligent about what we take on. And, if we say no to an opportunity to help, understand that it’s only because it lies outside the framework of what we are committing to.

We also promise to share what we learn along the way. If you or your organization is looking to make doing good a natural part of who you are, we hope our experiences will help you find your way to supporting someone like Joe the Barber.

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Posted by: Suzi Craig
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