Giving Time and Talent

I Show Up.


When I think about giving time and talent to Foundry, I have to say my super power is this:  I show up.

There are many ways any of us can contribute.  But it all starts with showing up.  I show up because the world needs me to be present - to participate.  I show up because it makes my life richer and fuller.  I show up because it makes me see a bigger world beyond my daily day to day life.  I show up and I learn something new.

I first volunteered to help those who are homeless when I was in college back in the 80s.  When I moved into the city in 2006 I started showing up at the many ways Foundry directly serves the most vulnerable.  One of my favorite projects is So Others Might Eat.  The hardest part about volunteering with SOME is the showing up part since it starts at 6am.  After that it is easy as breaking a few eggs.  A few thousand eggs!   But a long line of hungry people show up too.  The need is great.

It is that great need that led me to advocating with Foundry's Ending Homelessness Team. Showing up is the most important thing about advocacy.  Politicians care very much about how many people show up.  You don't need any other skill but to be there.  I don't even listen very much to be honest at advocacy events; I find political speeches unbelievably boring.  But as long as I am there to be counted, I have done my job.

It is the showing up part that makes Foundry a community.  Foundry is a community that showed up for me when I had surgery.   Showing up for worship, greeting and ushering, helping with communion:  these are things that make me Foundry too.

But the best part about being in community is that I don't have to always show up.  We are Foundry and we show up.  It isn't all on me.  In May when the most important advocacy for next year's DC budget was needed to get our priorities around ending homelessness funded I was on long planned vacation.  And you know what?  The Ending Homelessness Team showed up and most of our priorities were funded.  I will be there next time.

In fact I did make it back in time for the celebration happy hour last Tuesday.   I showed up for that one!

So that is my super power.   I show up.  Thank you.

Joanne Garlow


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