Charities Board Member Reflects on Transitions, Growth over the Years

Author: Catholic Charities Published:

I became involved with Catholic Charities when I was asked to join the Advisory Council of the Anthony Family Shelter in 1992. The shelter program was still relatively new and provided a unique service at the time by caring for homeless families.

Because the council met at the shelter, we were able to meet many of the clients and gain a perspective of the situations that put these families in need. It was very humbling to see parents (or grandparents) simply trying to care for their families. Many had jobs but just didn’t make enough to make all ends meet.

After a couple of years, I was invited to join the “big board.” Much of my time on the Catholic Charities board was spent serving on or chairing the Finance Committee. It was our job to assure the organization was a good steward of the resources donated through the diocese, United Way, and our great donor base. We had to work with the senior staff led by Executive Director Janet Pape and those who had oversight and compliance responsibilities such as our outside auditors.

I was elected chairman of the board in 2000 and served a couple of terms. The thing I was most impressed with over my term on the board was the high quality and commitment of all of those who served on the board. These folks came from varied backgrounds, but all were devoted to providing perspective and leadership in serving those in need. Our shelters (Anthony Family and Harbor House) were bursting at the seams. The board had to set the stage for some big decisions that resulted in expansion of both programs.

The same could be said of the leaders and staff of the various programs offered. Social work is not the most financially lucrative profession. Even so, it seemed that every individual was intent on providing the highest quality of care to our clients. I can’t remember the names of all those folks but one stood out. During my term on the board, we had a young intern join Charities. Her name was Wendy Glick. I wonder what ever happened to her?

Damm was a member of Catholic Charities’ board from 1995 to 2000.