Doing Good: A Recent Move

I bumped into a friend, Rachel Schreiber, this week at White Heron Tea & Coffee in Portsmouth as I was thinking about what organization or individual I could focus on for this, my last post for the Doing Good blog on Stay Work Play. I’ve had a wonderful six months writing about the fantastic work that happens in the state, so much so that it has inspired me to find new challenges for 2015 and I will be spending my time volunteering for RESULTS, the very first organization I wrote about in the Summer.

teaAs Rachel sat down with her warm cup of coffee I asked her about her views on the various nonprofits she has been working with over the past year since her move north from Washington DC, “I have a passion for women’s rights, and equality in life, work and political representation,” she says. “Mission driven organizations are so important to me, and that’s the appeal of being involved with them. It’s a collection of people who are working to benefit others. It just makes sense.”

And she is right, it does make sense. It’s right for individuals, it’s right for communities and it’s right for the State to have wonderful organizations that support the needs of everyone. And that’s what this blog is all about, it’s about sharing those inspirational ideas, organizations and people – so we can all feel encouraged to go out and do more with our time, and our resources.

Rachel, originally from New Jersey and a graduate of Wesleyan University, moved to New Hampshire from DC at the beginning of 2014. Her resume is pretty impressive with work in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, and with World Learning, a nonprofit organization advancing leadership in more than 60 countries by providing education, exchange, and development programs to professionals. “I enjoyed that work immensely, and I learned a lot but it wasn’t the right environment for me,” she explains. “I met people from all over the world and it was a great start to my career. I was ready for something new.”

Luckily that feeling coincided with her move to New Hampshire.”I’ve spent the year adjusting to the weather and learning how to drive in the snow,” she laughs. She’s also been getting to know the community, by volunteering and working with some of the most active nonprofits in the state. “I’m making the move to development, and event work for organizations with strong missions that help the community. There’s nothing better than being able to help fundraise, and support organizations that do such good work.”

Since January, Rachel has been working with Arts in Reach (AIR), a mentoring and arts training organization and Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) which is dedicated to the prevention of child sexual abuse, sexual assault and stalking, while supporting victims, survivors and others impacted by sexual violence. Rachel helped SASS organize their recent event at The Children’s Museum in Dover to celebrate their 35th birthday, and helped support summer programs run by AIR.

“They might just be small tasks that an organization needs me to perform, but they are crucial to the success of their mission, and to ensure they can keep doing their good work,” explains Rachel. “Coming up here from DC, there is a lot less government funding. It’s a different way of doing things. Funding is a universal challenge for nonprofits, you always need more money. And I hope to keep helping organizations reach their full potential in this area.” Rachel believes her experience can be valuable to small organizations who want to think, act and become big organizations. “We always need to ask, especially in the nonprofit sector, are we doing this the very best way? That’s where real success lies.”

LTN_10_survivorRachel says that she is enjoying the real sense of community she’s found since moving to the Seacoast. “It’s heart-warming how close the community is, and how hard people work for the projects they care so passionately about.” Rachel’s comments about thinking big, but focusing on community led me to take a second look at the people and programs I have covered in the past six months. In order to achieve success and sustainability whilst supporting great causes there has to be balance, and I think all of them achieve this. Whether it’s Girls Inc, or New Beginnings, the Currier Museum of Art or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society they all have big world ideas, that truly do good for individuals, and they combine them with the care, attention and support small communities can give. By doing that, they have all ensured that each and every person that they interact with can live a happy, fulfilled, safe and meaningful life here in the Granite State.

My conversation with Rachel felt like the perfect final post from me for the Doing Good blog (You can connect with Rachel via her LinkedIn Profile). Writing for “Doing Good NH” and talking with Rachel gave me lots of ideas about the volunteering I can do, and how I can support nonprofit organizations in my community. The work of the individual truly is very important, and I’m left feeling inspired by Rachel’s good work – I hope you are too.

The Doing Good blog will be back in 2015. If you know of an individual or organization working tirelessly to support their community please share their story with us at doinggood@stayworkplay.org.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.