You know your running a good program when . . .

I live our mission, I love what we do.  I couldn’t do any of it alone.  Many people step up and work hard for our program.  I’ve gotten some really positive signs lately . . . so the top 10 reasons I know we have a good program.

1.) Referrals for something we don’t  ‘technically’ do.  Today I got a call from a 15 year old needing to do Community Service.  We don’t even really do this, except for my generous nature and helping those that come our way.  So I mailed out a Community Service Application, and provided a way to start out with a 2 hour volunteer orientation.  We have helped young people that have been referred (in diversion situations) when the process found ‘community service’ as a need for making things right.  I guess the word has leaked out.

2.) Referrals for things we do.  I need to talk to an area court.  I think they added one of our programs as an option without telling us.  That means I am collecting registrations and not knowing who referred these people.  Its great they are utilizing our program, but we need to have a process in place to ensure this will work for both sides.

3.) The committment of volunteers.  We have four people who have filled in over 1/2 the shifts needed to cover some office tasks.  The calendar was developed today, and this will allow me to get back to my book.  We’ve never asked volunteers to do this type of work.  The committment to our mission has them willing to help.

4.) Board Member volunteers.  One hundred percent of the board members (with board approval) recruited, have agreed to serve.  This is the first time that has happened, we have vacancies throughout the year and always in February.

5.) Connections in the Community.  Seldom do I go to the coffee shop or a meeting and not know someone.  I really feel like I belong in the community of River Falls, we have great office space and great connections with a variety of people and businesses.

6.) Strong Partners.  I never knew how many people really watched MN Twin Cities Public Television, I do now, they tell me they saw our program.  A new idea I have for business sponsorship for our newsletter, the first quarter is already spoken for, and I am sure I can easily get a few more.  More on that idea later!

7.) Unsolicited Donations.  SCVRJP needs to get better about developing private donations.  We will have our first fundraiser this fall, we have never sent out appeal letters.  Yet last week a personal check for $100 arrived in the mail.  This is not the first time for our program either.

8.) Cross-pollination.  I have been accused of planting seeds, but never “cross-pollination”  I considered that an excellent outcome, to go to another area and get that group going with some of our types of programs.  A group I trained 3 days ago, already has a meeting set to move ahead on Circles.  I guess staff are still talking about it.

9.) Blog Readers.  How about that over 4,000 views for a blog that is 5 months old.  Having made around 150 posts.  That’s having a lot to share about.  That’s getting someone’s attention and it must be interesting.  Or I have more friends than I thought.  Or Thanks for reading Aunt Toni!

10.) 137 hours in two weeks.  I don’t like to add up the hours I work, it takes away my ‘denial’ about being a workaholic.  I’ve been forced to put in these types of hours before.  It was different, I was as a Child Protection/Juvenile Justice supervisor. 

These 137 hours are different.  I wanted to work like that.  I feel tired, sure, that’s about 30 hours more than a typical work week.  Driving back from Milwaukee, that was considered work.  Cleaning the office and organizing so a volunteer team could help, that was needed.  Leading Circles, meeting with victims, preparing offenders.  All great work tasks.

Without number 10, there might not be 1-9, so that’s the biggest payoff of all.  Gosh, I’m going to bed, for some reason . . . I’m exhausted!