A Twitter Success Story

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I am not a huge fan of twitter. I am a little embarrassed to say, I don’t really get it.

twitter

That being said, whenever my co-worker let’s me take over our twitter account for an event (and sadly, this has only happened twice) I start to appreciate it a little more. But how knows if that is twitter, or the sense that I am wearing a super hero’s uniform (yes, for this blog’s purposes, Robin Hood is a super hero).

But I did have a success lately with twitter.  And I must give my sister Abby credit for encouraging me to go to the twitter-verse for help in the first place.

To hear the story, please visit Robin Hood’s tumblr page for my latest post.

Fighting Poverty with Cookies

A huge part of what makes my job so awesome is the incredible people who work here. It is inspiring to be part of an orgnaization that is full of intelligent, high achieving people, who have left fields like consulting, banking, and real estate management to come and work at a non-profit. The need to do something “meaningful” became greater than the desire to make a lot of money or “prestigious” career. And while Robin Hood is certainly “best-in-class” when it comes to fundraising and grant making, few people outside of the New York financial community have ever heard of it. But trust me, it is an awesome place to work.

If you don’t believe me, just read the email exchange I just had with my colleague. If this doesn’t show you just how incredible this place is, I don’t know what will.

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From: Molly
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:55 PM
To: Laura  

Want to get a chocolate chip cookie at paradise :)

From: Laura
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:56 PM
To: Molly
Subject: RE:

 Of course I do.  I was going to leave for my meeting at 2:30, want to go down in 15 and I’ll just leave from there?

From: Molly
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:57 PM
To: Laura
Subject: RE:

Perfect. I love that I can always count on you to partake in a mid-afternoon cookie break. It is really a big part of what makes you so great.

From: Laura
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 1:58 PM
To: Molly
Subject: RE:

A really big part of what makes you so great is that you request mid-afternoon cookie breaks.

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I am so happy that I have finally found a place of employment where people really “get” me. It took a few years, but I am here. And there are cookies!

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Girls Night with Jennifer Love Hewitt

Two weeks ago one of my co-workers invited us over to her apartment for a girls only movie night. We were all exited because Lindsay is on the events team at Robin Hood. Anyone who can put together this:

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is certainly going to put together a good girls night! And we were not disappointed. Lindsay’s apartment was impeccably decorated – I felt like we walked into a West Elm store. And she appropriately applied the “movie night” theme to the evening with fresh popcorn in red and white stripped boxes and large boxes of movie theater candy.

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We spent the evening chatting, snacking of delicious treats, drinking blood orange mimosas and sharing in the heartache of Jennifer Love Hewitt in Can’t Hardly Wait. It is pretty incredible to have such a fun evening with your co-workers!


Thanks Lindsay – you certainly have set the bar high! In fact, I was all geared up to host the next girls night, but I am now rethinking that idea… at least until after I see what you have in store for this year’s benefit!

R.I.P. Tex

A few months back, one of my co-workers came into the office with approximately a dozen beta fish. Apparently, she had a friend, a percussionist  in a band, and he performed at a wedding where they had beta fish as part of the centerpieces. At the end of the wedding, he had asked what was going to happen with all of the fish and was told  “they are hitching a ride on the porcelain express.” Well this was too much for this animal loving man, so he “rescued” all of the beta. While not quite on the same level as rescuing a puppy, impressive none the less. unfortunately, he wasn’t prepared to take in dozens of fish, especially since betas each need their own tank. So, the kind spirits at Robin Hood decided to help him out. And this is how Sherwood came into my life.

Well today at work, we head a death in the Robin Hood family. My co-worker, Caroline sadly reported that her Betta, “Tex” passed away. at 1:58, she sent the following email with the subject line “I don’t know how to say this, but…”

Tex died.
It was very tragic and disturbing.
This is the worst day ever…

While I certainly feel for Caroline and her lose, I think I speak for all of the other betta owners when I say “Phew – at least mine wasn’t the first to go.”

Please join me in sharing my deepest sympathies to Caroline. I would like to share the beautiful eulogy she wrote for him.

I would like to take moment and honor a dear friend, Tex.

Although he reached the esteemed status of lead Beta within the Robin Hood Foundation pool, he never forgot his roots, born locally to an unassuming fish couple and raised by Caroline Page. 

 Tex was well-respected and revered within the fish community, he led a silent but forceful movement, a movement that spread beyond the confines of his glass bowl into the aisles of his fellow coworkers. His powerful silence influence the many that interacted with him on a daily basis.

 I think it is important in times like these to remember the immortal words of, Dr. Suess, in his oh-so poignant “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”:

 But I bet they have come a long, long way.
We see them come.
We see them go.
Some are fast.
And some are slow.
Some are high.
And some are low
Not one of them is like another.

 Tex was all of these things: a fish firstly, but he came…he went…he was fast, sometimes slow. He was always high, never low. But truly, Tex was nothing like another. 

 To Tex, as you live life perpetual, please know that you are in our thoughts, prayers, and we send you the warmest of fish wishes.

 All my best.

R.I.P Tex
September 2011-February 2012
“Sometimes people come into our lives and quickly go…”

Everyone Counts

During the week I set a pretty strict bedtime of 11pm. This is extremely frustrating to Matt, who likes to spend some time “winding down” after work and doesn’t like being held to a strict schedule. So, what in the world could keep me awake on a Monday night until 4:30am when Matt was fast asleep?

HOPE, that’s what. And I’m not talking about the Hope that Obama served up during the 2008 election – I am talking about the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate.

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HOPE is an annual survey used to assess the number of individuals living in New York City’s public spaces. In a way, it is a census for folks who don’t have mailboxes or permanent addresses. It is accounting for the thousands of folks who sleep on the street each and every night in New York City.

Last night thousands of volunteers, including 20 Robin Hood Staff and 20 Robin Hood supporters, teamed up and set out to survey New York’s streets, subways and parks. Conducted by the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS), HOPE is a point-in-time estimate of unsheltered individuals that helps the City evaluate its outreach programs and providers and measure its progress.

To increase public accountability and continually evaluate and improve the programming designed to help street homeless New Yorkers, DHS began surveying parts of the City in 2003, and has conducted the count citywide every year since 2005.

HOPE is an integral part of New York City’s approach to ending homelessness. The annual survey aims to achieve the following:

  • Provide a consistent year-to-year measure of the city’s programs to help those living on the streets move off the streets and into permanent housing.
  • Provide the city with a way to measure its outreach providers. In September 2007, New York City created Street to Home outreach services, which established a single accountable provider of services in each borough. HOPE highlights areas where outreach providers are successfully moving people off the streets, and where there is room for improvement.
  • Provide thousands of New Yorkers with an opportunity to help New York’s homeless residents, and contribute to New York City’s fight against homelessness.

Does walking around in the freezing cold on random NYC streets at 2am sound crazy? Trust me, it’s worth it! It’s an forgettable, eye-opening experience. Please read below to see just how moving this experience can be:

“A Recounting of the Street Count”
as told by a Robin Hood Staff Member

 As Team 21 was going around our counting route, we went into the 23rd street subway station (A/C line) and saw two people underneath a blanket on a few cardboard pieces in the area outside the turnstiles.  There were a few backpacks and scattered personal items, but it seemed at first like the two people were asleep.  Then one of our team members heard some Spanish and he used his skills to start a conversation.  At first hesitant, the man under the blanket started speaking English.  We learned that the couple had been together for a very long time and that the woman, Veronica, was pregnant.  After being told about the possibility of staying in a shelter last night, he was nervous that they would be separated.  We made some calls and figured out that they could and would be taken to a family shelter across town at 33rd and 1st at which they would stay together since they were a family and Veronica was expecting.  We called the van service and began waiting.

After hearing that we were 99% sure that they would stay together, the man asked about that 1% chance and began getting a little guarded.  His expression soured as we explained the possible consequences of being separated.  After talking about some of the benefits to staying in a shelter and reminding them of all the potential positive impacts, we gave them some private time to talk it over, and when we returned, he had started to pack up their things.  It was around this time that the woman started speaking to us as well, first joking to her partner in Spanish – luckily he explained the jokes to us – and then beginning to open up and speak English. While 2 team members went back above ground to wait for the van to come pick up this couple, another team member and myself sat down and talked with Veronica and her partner.  We showed them on a subway map where they would be going, and they showed up where they had been staying for the past week.  The man said that the subway was a far better option that sleeping by the River in East Harlem as they had been doing for some time.  The van arrived 20 minutes after we first called, and the driver confirmed that Veronica, her partner, and her baby to be would all be staying together and going to the family shelter.  We shook hands, hugged, wished them well, and kept on counting.

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It’s a Beautiful Day in the Hood

At Robin Hood, you never really know who is going to show up at our offices (since I started the following folks have walked through the doors at the hood: Christy Turlington, Admiral Mullen, the Chairman to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all his secret service offices, Mayor Bloomberg and countless billionaire hedge fund managers), how much money we will bring in during one day (in 2011, we raised over 160 million dollars, which is over 400,000 dollars each day), or what artist has signed on to perform a concert to benefit Robin Hood (just last year we had Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas and Sting – just to name a few!) But those are the big things, and this blog is about the little things.

Well yesterday there were a couple little things to celebrate.

I received an email mid-morning letting me know that I had a delivery upstairs. I wasn’t expecting anything and my mom had just sent some cookies, so I couldn’t imagine what it could be. Well, needless to say I was SUPER excited to open the packaging to reveal this:

"The Organizing Issue"

I spent the rest of the morning looking at all of the wonderful organization solutions that Martha and her team came up with for all the various areas of your home. I LOVE having a friend “on the inside.”

Then, as the afternoon “slump” set in, we received a floor wide email alerting us of delicious baked goods someone brought in from Chelsea Market. Instantly, a herd of people (including myself) ran over to the designated table. We sampled brownies, rugelach, and sugar cookies. YUMMY. After devouring nearly every treat, we decided to use our creative artistic abilities to capture this afternoon fun. You’re welcome for that.

Clearly it was a slow day in the hood. But sometimes, that is just what you need.

Performance Review

Here at Robin Hood we are in full blown performance review efforts. People are filled out self reviews, writing new goals and having meets with their managers to discuss their performance and progress during 2011.

Thank you Mom for helping me out during this stressful time.

I can just hear my manager now… “Pro, your mom sends us delicious homemade treats. Con, you spend way too much time writing your personal blog at work.”

Hopefully the “pros” win out and I get to keep my fabulous job.

Happy Friday!