It is with great sorrow that we will wave goodbye to Jenny at the end of November. She has been hired by a medical clinic in Portland where she will be greeting their clients with her gentle smile and helping them to overcome their anxieties just as she has done at NAMI for the past several years. We will miss her.
Jenny began volunteering at NAMI Clark County in 2012 because she wanted to help others in the community. Over time she began spending more and more time at the office, learning systems and helping to make life better for anyone who came to the old office on Fort Vancouver Way. Her interest and knowledge about NAMI were a touchstone for me when I first began working at NAMI in mid-2013. When I was appointed Executive Director that Fall I asked to hire Jenny as Administrative Assistant to build continuity. Our Board of Directors agreed.
Since that date Jenny has helped us grow and progress in many, many ways including our move to expand services and change our name to NAMI SW WA. Her knowledge of computer systems has helped us move from a completely unmanageable system to one that is sufficient and workable even on our limited budget. Her efforts have helped us to expand our services from an occasional NAMI class or support group to a point where we are able to reach many hundreds of people every month. Most of all, I have viewed Jenny as part of my ear-to-the-ground conscience as she quietly points out societal inequities or special needs of a client or a person who comes in off the street asking for help.
I know that many, many people will miss Jenny. Just last week someone described her as having “great compassion and empathy and a willingness to listen.” While we all wish Jenny the very best in her new job, we do look forward to seeing her around the office in the future as she periodically volunteers with us to continue work that she helped us to begin.
Goodbye, Jenny, and the very best of luck!