Recently our staff had a team building afternoon. As part of our time together we had a competition to see which group would decorate the best cake. Staff were divided into two groups; one would decorate a chocolate cake; the other, white. The "baker" in each group would do the actual decorating. What's the big deal about decorating a cake? In this challenge, the "baker" had to be blindfolded and so needed the rest of the group to communicate where to find the decorating tools, icing, and toppings set out randomly around the plain cake. Once in hand, the team had to guide the blindfolded "baker" on where to spread the icing and place the toppings. This meant that not only did the directions need to be clear and precise but also everyone needed to concentrate, not talk over each other or contradict anyone else.
It became very clear quickly that success would only occur if everyone worked together. The cakes turned out to be objects of beauty. Which team - chocolate or vanilla - won? We're not saying ...
At OIM it takes a team to support our street friends. Together, our dedicated donors, our valued volunteers and our committed staff keep our mission to our city’s most vulnerable alive. Because of all these many roles, our street friends have access to basic necessities such as food, clothing and toiletries. More importantly, by coming alongside them, our friends experience companionship, support, and referrals, which can be a rarity in their circumstances.
The impact of the OIM team is huge! In 2021, the team made 22,000 connections which is more than double the number from 2020. Clearly more people, not fewer, are now struggling with poverty and desperation.
Numbers continue to grow this year. Our Street Outreach team is connecting with up to 135 people nightly, compared with 60 a year ago. Our Door Outreach team is serving more than 70 people in a 2-hour window compared with 20 last year. Our IVOS (Innercity Veterans Outreach and Support) team has doubled veteran connections since the end of 2021.
For those of you that are currently a donor, volunteer, or staff member, thank you for being part of this amazing team. If you would like to join our team in any capacity to help make a difference in the lives of our city’s most vulnerable, we welcome you.
To become part of our donor team, or make an additional gift, please click here. To join the team filling the current need for goods, please click here, and scroll to “Current Items Needed”. To find out about being part of the volunteer team, please click here.
When we all work together, it really is possible to have our cake and eat it too!
~Cam – Manager of Fundraising