These past eight years, for Heather and me, doing the daily work of Weekend Survival Kits has clearly been a labor of love. In the early days we were fueled by our passion to feed hungry kids and little has changed over the years, except that the scope of our vision has grown bigger and bigger each year. It is no secret that we operate this organization on a shoestring budget. We have been truly blessed by the support of so many…and we are particularly proud of the scores of volunteers who have so generously offered their time and talent to keep this program going.
Change is inevitable especially now in these uncertain times. Do not panic…our commitment to this mission continues and we will always strive to keep the kids first in our minds and hearts. Due to the pandemic we will be making changes to our delivery and packing models and will be so grateful for your continued support. As we approach the launch of this school year, we are attending to so many new details as we accommodate the heightened concerns about volunteer safety and food delivery. There are details about that in another post.
At the same time, our hearts are hurting as we say goodbye to two team members who have given so much to making Weekend Survival Kits a success. Both Jillaine Eaton and Gina Brick have chosen to redirect their attention at this time to the growing needs of their children and as such have given us their letters of resignation. Both wanted to be sure that you, the supporters and volunteers of the program, know how much their time with you meant to them. Please see their comments below.
Farewell Letter From Jillaine:
“Seven years ago, my dear friends and co-founders, Jeff and Heather Gorsline, asked me to be a part of Many Hands one day a week.
With their guidance, and the amazing volunteers and donors, this tiny little non-profit grew into what most know now as Weekend Survival Kits. This program plays a crucial role in making sure that children in your own community not only have food to fill the gap on the weekends, but the simple act of letting them know that someone cares about them!
Words cannot express the gratitude, love, friendships, and connections that this program has given me!
It was a difficult decision, but it is time for me to be home for my two children full time. It will only be a matter of time before they are grown, and I do not want to miss a thing.
In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Thank you doesn’t seem to embody how grateful I am to have been a small part of this amazing organization.”
Our Message to Jillaine:
“Jillaine as the first official employee of Weekend Survival Kits your passion, energy and big heart created a culture of caring that we will continue to nurture here as we go forward. Thank you for blessing us with your time and talents.”
Farewell Letter from Gina:
It is with a heavy heart that I send this email but wanted to let you know that I have made the decision to stay home full-time with my three kids. Therefore, I will not be returning to the program in the fall. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you the last 3 years.
My favorite part of the job was the interactions I had with you. From day one you welcomed me with open arms and made my job extremely easy! I cannot thank you enough for your friendship and commitment to the program. I have always said, without you our program could not exist. It truly was an honor working with such amazing people. I will not be a stranger as I plan on popping in from time to time when I’m not hauling my kids to their practices/activities (if life becomes “normal” again)! Thank you again for a wonderful experience! You all will be missed.
Take good care and stay safe.
All the best!
Weekend Survival Kits
Director-Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, & Shiawassee Counties
From Jeff and Heather:
“Gina, when you joined the team three years ago, I was particularly thrilled to know about your background in human resources and often would use you as a sounding board as our little organization grew. We were so pleased when the volunteers and our partners trusted you and followed your lead. You will be missed!”
A Special Note:
Should you wish to acknowledge Jillaine and Gina, we can’t think of a better way to do that than helping keep the mission of Weekend Survival Kits alive by making a donation in their name(s). You can also send a message to them either through their email (Jillaine@weekendsurvivalkits.org and Gina@weekendsurvivalkits.org …. or on social media.