2011 was a good year for Trinity Center in all aspects. I am in gratitude to an excellent board and staff that helped me to lead the organization forward. The following report captures the year in regards to programs, to staff, and to budget.
Working or volunteering at Trinity Center offer a unique opportunity for selfless service. It is an organization that succeeded in remaining true to its mission of radical hospitality even as it grew and became more professional. The people that we serve remain neighbors rather than clients and working at Trinity Center offers a possibility to recognize God in All, that is unparalleled in my professional experience. “The veil” is often quite thin here. Likewise, I believe that if one does not deepens one’s attitude of gratitude while serving at Trinity Center, one is blind, or at least not paying attention. Most of us who are privileged did not have to develop the survival skills that our neighbors have and will likely not survive similar predicaments. A possibility to develop a deep understanding, appreciation and gratitude for our plenty, as well as for the fragility of life, is very palpable at Trinity. Trinity Center offers all who are interested in serving others, as a component of their spiritual journey, a place to do so. I believe that a big contributor to my success in fundraising this year is how deeply excited about, inspired by, and in love with this organization and what it is and does I am. Indeed I am blessed.
2011 was a difficult year for us in mourning the passing on of beloveds who were active volunteers and servers of Trinity Center.
Before you go any further in reading this report, I ask that you take a moment to remember and send thanks to them, and love to the families of our friends:
May their families take comfort in the love of the community.
Programs at Trinity Center expended this year, some in content and ALL in size.
- Responding to an increase in need, we served more people daily.
We changed the number of people served through our Neighbor to Neighbor program (Wed-Fri) from 60 a day to 70, and we let more people in after breakfast as the capacity of the space allows.
- We have more interns and we offer case management to many more people.
- Our Women to Women program on Tuesday grew in numbers as well and we are planning to implement growth in number of women served on Mondays. This year we implemented financial assistance to women on Tuesday and we often meet the need of all women asking for it.
- Computer classes are now well established twice a week and more neighbors are taking advantage of it.
- We more than doubled the number of neighbors that we assist financially. Thursday and Tuesday’s financial assistance is now offered for recovering documents only and Wednesday is for limited bus passes and medication co-pay. The system by which we do so is much better organized.
- Free Health Care clinic: The jewel of our new programs is in a new collaboration with medical students from the UT school of medicine, Brackenridge. This program offers a free basic health-care clinic two Sundays a month. It will expand to every Sunday during 2012. At this time the students, under the supervision of an attending physician, offer services to about 10 neighbors during each clinic day. This number will un-doubtfully grow as the words about it will spread and the program will become a weekly one.
We added a new, and much needed, position of a Volunteers & Communication Coordinator and offered it to Meghann Ziler who held this role for a year as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer. We hired Amber Phillips as our Case Management Coordinator, and Annie Bryant as the Operation Coordinator. In addition we chose Rachael Saylor as our AmeriCorps volunteer.
The new staff took a two days retreat to come together with a shared vision and with shared commitment to working together in harmony. The staff work very well together and all express satisfaction and joy in their jobs.
This year saw the participation of 150(!) new volunteers. About half of them are on-going active volunteers and half are events’ related. As with all that we do, sustaining volunteers is about cultivating relationship, which is a complex human endeavor. While we became a magnet for many who wish to serve, we also lost some veteran volunteers. My gratitude is deep for our Volunteers’ coordinator, Meghann, for her effort and regular communication with and presence for the volunteers. Trinity Center is operating with a staff of only four and this is possible only due to the commitment of so many volunteers. You know who you are…considered yourself hugged!
This year we also launched of a new and much improved web site, we are on Facebook and we are sending E- newsletters regularly. Please visit, join us, and like us on our cyber options.
This was an excellent year for Trinity Center in its financial stability and health. We exceeded our budget goals and this new financial state enables us the ability to go forward into 2012 with less stress and worries than is accustomed to Trinity Center. Gratitude is due to Kathleen Burnside, our contract grant writer. A HUGE bow of gratitude to all you made financial contributions to Trinity Center this year. You give us both the ability to run this unique center for the benefits of the poorest people in town, as well as the inspirational support to stay with it.
Even as we should be proud and happy in the way we ended this year financially, there is no reason to sit happily on our laurels. The effort must continue. Attention is held to the fact that two major grants received this year, from the Austin Women Fund and from the Baxter Trust, each for $25,000, are one year only grants and are not open to second year applicants. We will have to find new sources and keep the funds coming in from small donors to big ones – all count. Yet, let us for a moment take joy in this year’s accomplishments.
I wish you all a joyous and gentle 2012 and I thank you for being partners in our “village”
Irit Umani – Executive Director