OMD has been acclaimed as ‘a window into the world of child welfare’, an accolade we carry carefully. Our volunteers are unique in that they are welcomed through secure doors, down fluorescent lit hallways, and into humble rooms that offer comfort to children in times of extreme stress.
Sure, we’ve changed our look over the years, but the soul of Office Moms & Dads hasn’t changed a bit. We began with five volunteers (ok, they were all my friends), one location and one handmade apron. Come closer, dears. Let me tell you the tale…
It’s July 20-something, and one of our offices has already reported intake numbers into the 20’s. Let me say it another way. More than 20 children have been removed from their homes due to severe abuse or neglect – one for each day this month – and this is only counting one child welfare office.
A letter from Executive Director, Sarah Desjarlais, explaining why OMD is getting lost this July.
Today was hard. I sat with two little girls for 5 hours. They were only 3 and 5 years old, but so sweet and full of constant energy. We cut out paper hearts, colored, cut and pasted, played with toys, and put puzzles together. The girls wanted to go play in the snow, but we could only look at it through the windows into the parking lot. It was a long time for them to be stuck in an office, but Child Welfare couldn’t find a home for them to go to.
“O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life? Answer. That you are here — that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.” – Walt Whitman
A Jew and a Christian walk into a bar.
…have I got your attention? Good. Because it wasn’t a bar, it was a child welfare office, but that felt too wordy for an opening line.
My little boy turned five last weekend. Each day leading up to The Big Day we fiercely debated what the words “today”, “tomorrow”, and “not yet” meant.
Director’s Notes is pushing pause today to hear from one of the newest members of our OMD family. As Volunteer Coordinator for our Caldwell, Idaho office, Sarah Wicks has written the story of her first experience as an Office Mom. It is a beautiful tribute to the raw heartbreak of volunteering, the richness of parenthood, and the abundance found in the middle of it.
Fundraising is not my favorite thing. This is no secret. In fact, I’ve said it to crowds I was fundraising in front of. If it were up to me, I would barter and trade my way through life – one labor of love for another. If it were up to me, world currency would be based on the going rate for a jar of lovingly prepared strawberry jam or pickled beets….