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The Gift of Gratitude

In and out of workshops, JVS job seekers have learned that an authentic “thank you” is essential to building professional relationships. Expressed in the right way, gratitude can turn into a job opportunity – even in the most unexpected places.

This week, 19 JVS job seekers took an opportunity to give thanks to an important group that is helping them find work – people who made a donation to JVS this past year. JVS has incredible instructors and employment specialists who are guiding job seekers every day, but their hard work wouldn’t be possible without the support of so many in our community.

The callers arrived at JVS this week enthusiastic and a little nervous, but happy to give back. These job seekers called new supporters, people who have donated for over 20 years, and even former job seekers who recently made their first donation to JVS. The callers shared how JVS helped them build job search skills and confidence. Afterward, the participants revealed how delighted the donors were to receive their call, and that the event was just really, really fun.

Everyone had a moment to reflect on their experience, and a few heartwarming stories and lessons emerged throughout the week.

Gratitude meets gratitude.

When the callers expressed thanks to the donors, many of those donors shared how they were also thankful for the great work that JVS is doing.

A few of the donors were so grateful for the simple call, that they offered something to the job seekers in return – employment opportunities! After Julie told one supporter how she learned to market herself and build her network, he responded by informing her of job opportunities at his company, and welcomed her to apply or pass the opportunity along to her peers. (For more information on how to post a job for JVS job seekers, click here.)

Power of storytelling.

Patricia realized after a few generic phone calls that it was significantly more meaningful to add a bit about her background, including her recent lay-off, during the calls. She felt great practicing her story over the phone, and had the most fun sharing her progress at JVS with donors.

Another caller, Timothy, agreed that sharing his story and helping people understand his hireability was often the hardest part of job searching. This was one of the most important challenges JVS staff helped him with, and he was glad to share this triumph donors.

Community is crucial.

“JVS provides a place to be un-isolated,” Alice shared with a donor during one of her calls. She explained how grateful she was to have a place to share her job search struggles, and search for solutions. The donor related back to Alice, shared his own difficulty finding work and told her to not get discouraged.

JVS is so much more than a reputable organization providing an essential service. JVS is a community, and this week, our job seekers and supporters were able to feel part of this community in a special way.

Many of us spend the holidays really reflecting on the communities that we are thankful for – our extended family, close friends and neighborhoods. I’m thankful to work at JVS because of all the lives that we touched, including the lives of individuals who may have called you this week.

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