By Anna Kurnizki, Executive Director
In 2021, Community Warehouse welcomed six new members to our Board of Directors. Joining a nonprofit Board is no small commitment, and doing so during a pandemic is exceptionally courageous. We are delighted to introduce these brave new members to you!
We asked our newest members why they decided to join the Community Warehouse Board and what speaks to them about our mission. Check out their responses (and photos with a most-needed household item!) below:
I decided to join the CW Board because I believed in the mission and saw firsthand the difference CW was making in the lives of the community members. I wanted to be a part of that. Joining the Board has given me the opportunity to speak out to the community I live in and ask for them to support a life-changing organization by giving their used/new items to donate or for them to reach into pockets or companies they work for to help support the organization.
My favorite part of the mission statement “…connect essential furnishings to neighbors in need…” I love how we use the words “connect essential furnishings to neighbors in need.” This makes me feel like there is a furnishing for everyone. Neighbors feel like you are welcomed – friend, family. I feel we try to make the folks who walk through our doors feel comfortable like family, whether they are dropping off donations or picking out items for their home. It is seamless. We are all helping one another and no one feels singled out. Community!
I’m a firm believer that community service is one of the most satisfying contributions that one can make to society. I decided to join the Community Warehouse Board for this very reason.
I previously served as a Care Manager for a local non-profit and have accessed the Warehouse to furnish my clients’ homes. I’ve seen firsthand how much joy contributions from neighbors can mean to a struggling family. As important as these donations are, knowing that you have neighbors that care is an even bigger outcome of CW’s mission.
I decided to join the Community Warehouse Board after several years as a volunteer, because I wanted to expand my commitment to the work being done for individuals in need of donated goods to furnish their homes, who are engaged with social service agencies in our community. The heart of my focus as a Board Member is in strategic planning and system thinking.
The work Community Warehouse does to create stronger home foundations is laid firmly in the concept of donating goods that provide recipients with dignity. When individuals come to CW, we connect them to essential furnishings that fill their house with warmth and make it a home. This is the part of the mission that speaks to me personally.
I decided to join the CW Board because I wanted to give back to my local community. Houselessness is all around us. Giving people transitioning to new stable housing is needed, but so is furnishings. Community Warehouse provides that crucial service and fills a gap that no one else is filling. I wanted to be a part of that.
The Dignity that CW exhibits with each of its clients is what speaks to me. The insistence on the quality of what they give and how they give speaks to me. I am proud to serve on the Board and support the amazing staff that run CW.
I have an interest in helping our community in an effective way. The concept of collecting furniture not needed by some, and reallocating it to people in need, seemed to me a very simple yet very effective way to help and support our community. CW’s “effective operating model”, coupled with the passion of the management team, were strong reasons for me to join the Board and support the organization.
I think the concept of “creating strong home foundations” is very powerful and inspirational. A strong foundation increases the chances of a better future, sometimes having a positive impact to many generations.
I joined the CW Board because, as a relatively new Portland resident, I wanted an opportunity to serve an organization providing one tangible solution to what can feel like an intractable problem in our community: houselessness and lack of affordable housing.
As the chair of my workplace’s Pro Bono Committee, I devote my volunteer legal efforts to helping at-risk populations either avoid eviction or recoup damages for wrongful landlord practices. This work aligns well with Community Warehouse’s mission of helping our neighbors in need of furnishings and household items to bring comfort and functionality to their homes.
We thank our new Board members for their willingness to step up during a difficult time and provide support and guidance to Community Warehouse. Their expertise helps Community Warehouse provide quality furnishings with efficiency, dignity, and kindness. Their passion for the mission and dedication to community service inspires us every day!
We also want to give a shout-out to our Board members who departed in 2021: April Doll, Colleen Harris, Jack Heims, Darrell Nelson, Nick Shepherd, and John Witherspoon. Each made and continues to make an indelible impact on Community Warehouse.