“Community is really the word. I am inspired and amazed by the incredible work the staff at Friendly House do every day! No matter the position, everyone has a vital role to play and does their part.”
Denise is truly a Friendly House institution. She has spent 26 years working at Friendly House and has provided so many members of our community with the help that they need. In this interview, Denise kindly offers a glimpse into her Friendly House journey.
“I moved to Portland looking for a change and new adventure. I feel lucky I found Friendly House! I had been working in retail for 10 years prior to moving to Portland, and I had recently graduated from college and was eager to find a new career path. I have held many positions over the last 26 plus years at Friendly House and have had some great mentors and colleagues.
I started in admin and have always had some role involving supporting the agency or staff overall. At various times I have overseen the CRE (Community Recreation & Education) program, and it has a special place in my heart. I have been lucky to have some experience in just about every Friendly House program and because of that, I have always felt it is important for all staff to feel that they are a part of Friendly House—not just their program. In addition, my son attended the After School program while he was at Chapman. It was so wonderful to have him close and know he was in a quality program during his after-school time. [Also,] I have worked every in-person auction since 1995! Including bringing my son to an auction when he was 6 weeks old (he slept through it).”
When asked what Friendly House means to her, Denise said:
“Community is really the word. I am inspired and amazed by the incredible work the staff at Friendly House do every day! No matter the position, everyone has a vital role to play and does their part. I also see the commitment our supporters have to our mission and their incredible support of our programs.
While we can’t be everything to all people, we can and do focus on what we do well and when possible help others navigate other resources. We support children and working families, help older adults live independently, and serve as a health and wellness gathering place.”
In many ways, Denise is the glue that holds Friendly House together. She knows the ins and outs of every department and is known by all. Denise speaks beautifully about the Friendly House community because she truly knows our community better than anyone else.
A huge thank you to Denise for sharing her story and being a part of this project!
If there is someone whose story you would like to hear or if you would like to share your Friendly House story, please reach out to us by emailing email@example.com.