At our monthly team meetings, one of our crew members discusses some of our five values: strength, courage, commitment, heart, and spark. This is Angie’s reflection from this month’s meeting.
When you work on YACC’s program team, or spend a lot of your job dealing with the public, you tend to be faced with a lot of the gratitude, high fives, and accolades we get. I asked Karine if I could take her turn (and her topic) for this month’s value because I wanted to shine a spotlight on our COO, Dawn Bishop, who’s a little more behind the scenes but deserves a HUGE shout out for the heart she puts into the organization.
Over the last few years, and especially the last few months, I have watched Dawn work to achieve YACC’s mission with an enviable level of focus. She has shown courage and left her comfort zone on many occasions to network on YACC’s behalf. She knows all the balls we have in the air, and she’s a pro at juggling them to make sure efficiency and efficacy are maximized, all while keeping her own time-sensitive tasks on track. Her strength has helped her weather tough decisions with compassion, empathy, and grace. She is honest about her workload, and aware of her self-care needs, and her openness is a yardstick for new team members to use as a gauge as they acclimate to one of the most unique working environments you can find.
In an incredible display of commitment, not only did Dawn participate in Shave for the Brave a few years ago, she recruited family members to do it as well. It’s something I still hear her speak about with pride. When you work at a small fundraising non-profit like YACC, you are in a really cool position of being able to see the full circle of the charitable cycle—from meeting those who sign up to Shave for the Brave to counting their donations and processing their tax receipts, to planning the programs, to meeting the young adults who benefit from them and seeing them grow as they live with, through, and beyond cancer thanks to the programs you coordinated with the donations that came in from the awesome people we meet.
Dawn’s excitement about every phase of this cycle is contagious, and no matter what it takes, you can see her genuinely light up when someone tells her about their event. You can’t help but feel your fire a little stoked by her spark when she comes back from a Shave or takes a call from someone looking to get involved. She knows how they feel, because she has gone the extra mile and stood in their shoes, and she ensures we celebrate their efforts while always looking to push that gratitude further.
And the thing that drives it all is her love for the young adults affected by cancer who we’re here for. She speaks about them with the same tones and admiration she uses when talking about her family. I feel confident in saying she is proud of their growth, inspired by their stories, compassionate to their needs, and provoked by their challenges. Dawn CARES, and she takes it all seriously, and her heart ensures our tiny team is doing what it can to help young adults live and love life.
Geoff has said it before, but I just want to reiterate that any time you thank him, or Karine, or any of us, remember there’s a full symbiotic team behind the work we do, and it’s anchored to Dawn. Thank you for steering our ship.
Feel free to send her a note!