By Rochelle Sanchirico

Hello, Thrive DC community!  My name is Rochelle, and I’ve been fortunate to be involved with Thrive DC for almost 4 years now–first as a pro bono consultant and then, for the last 2 years, as part of the Board of Directors. While our volunteers and clients mostly see and benefit from our daily programs such as meals, showers, and computer training, the rest of the board and I spend the majority of our time working on activities that are more administrative–helping with our development events, strategic planning, and financial management.  Both of these sides are tremendously important to ensure that we have an organization that is a true asset to our community–well run, high impact, and ideally positioned to operate effectively and help our clients well into the future.

Thrive DC has been a part of my life as long as I’ve lived in the area.  My husband and I were new to DC in 2008, and I wanted a way to connect more closely to the community as well as meet a group of people outside of work.  I was paired with Thrive DC via the Greater DC Cares pro bono consulting program, and had the opportunity to assist in the rebranding of the organization from “Dinner Program for Homeless Women” to “Thrive DC”.  As part of that project, I conducted focus groups with clients and spent considerable time with the staff and board.  What I gleaned from those interviews was a deep understanding of what Thrive is at its core:  client-focused and mission-driven, while also growing and evolving.

In 2009, Thrive DC moved from downtown to its current Columbia Heights space, and in 2010 I was asked to join the board.  I was thrilled with the chance to contribute on a more consistent basis and have really enjoyed partnering with others across Thrive DC’s community to ensure that our activities–program, financial, development among others–support our mission.

Here are the things that really impress me every day, and make me grateful to be part of Thrive DC:

  • We have a real impact on the outcomes of DC’s most vulnerable.  We have assessed the services and items they need to be able to live happier, healthier lives–and do our best to provide those, or act as a conduit to other organizations that can.
  • We have a staff and volunteer base that is 100% committed to our clients.  I am always amazed at how much our staff and volunteers do every day, and how many different activities, just to ensure that our clients receive the best possible care.  From managing shower lists to organizing fundraisers to case management, we have a tireless team that has a real and positive impact on our clients.
  • We have a board that is managing today, but looking to the future.  Our board meets as a full group monthly, and more often as smaller committees and working groups.  Our key focuses are making Thrive DC the best organization it can be today, while making sure we have the staffing, finances, and programs in place to be a viable and thriving organization 3, 5, and 10 years from now.

We invite anyone within the Thrive DC community to provide feedback to the Board of Directors at any time – we welcome the dialog, and appreciate ideas for better ways to serve our clients and plan for the future.  Please feel free to email me directly at [email protected].