A Heartfelt Thank You

Posted on July 21, 2016

Oakwood Team 2016
Left to right: intern Mariana Lehoucq; supervisor Brianna Higgins; AmeriCorps members Yancill De Morla, Amber Leigh Blevins, Lorel Schmitzberger, and Eliot Esparza.

The nonprofit and helping professions are not known for their financial compensation but rather for being an outlet for the passionate goals of those who work in the field.  It may seem like a thankless job at times, but anyone involved in day-to-day work with the community can attest to appreciation that community members have for the work we do.  Usually, gratitude arrives at the most unexpected moment, just when you start to wonder how much of a difference you are really making.

At the Oakwood Community Center, in the heart of the Oakwood Forest mobile home community, site coordinator Brianna Higgins and her crew of AmeriCorps members and volunteers were surprised by a handwritten, heartfelt thank you letter sent by the parent of two of the children to whom the community center provides afterschool tutoring and educational enrichment opportunities.

KimMarie Letter-page-001Dear Staff at Tutor Center,” starts the letter from Kimmarie.  “I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for helping Nicole and Gianna thru out the year.  Your presence in the tutor center makes the children in Oakwood Forest feel at ease learning and understanding school and social issues, that without your help and kindness would be impossible to accomplish.  Helping Gianna with her sight words enabled her to be promoted to the 1st grade.  Nicole scored 5’s on her EOG because of the direct tutoring geared at the specifics of the EOG’s.

She continues, “I would never be able to afford these amazing services, I am truly thankful for your presence in our community.  With you here, my girls feel like they go “to camp” with all the wonderful activities and lunch program you have available thru out the summer.  Thank you all for your time, dedication and compassion.  Especially thankful for Amanda Blevins and her kindness to our children here in Oakwood Forest.  Sincerely, Kimmarie.”  KimMarie  Letter-page-002

Kimmarie refers to Amber Leigh Blevins, the center’s volunteer coordinator, who is completing her service as an AmeriCorps member with the ACCESS Project.

Of her time with the center and the family, Amber says, “As an AmeriCorps member I work closely with the families in the community, but my focus is getting the children career ready by giving them homework help and a positive role model.  I worked closely with Nicole and Gianna. Nicole is a bright young woman who is very interested in the sciences. Gianna is a kindergartner who is in the beginning of her school career. Both are very smart, but only Nicole really loves school. I have encouraged Gianna to practice her sight words and hope one day she will have a love for learning, just as her older sister does. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to work with this family and all the other families.”

Amber’s supervisor, Brianna Higgins sums things up:  “The best part of my job is getting to know the families. Not just the basics we need to conduct our day-to-day service, but their gifts, challenges and how they interact as a family. Kimmarie’s family has a great number of strengths, and the humility I have seen in them shines through in this letter of gratitude. This is just an example of what we receive when we create authentic relationships with the families we serve. Every expression of gratitude becomes embedded in my heart – I’m so joyful to have this example to share with the wider community.”

Share This