Name: Jan Hall
Nominating Organization: Friendship Shelter
Honoree Category: Health
Why Nominated: Jan Hall was one of the very first volunteers at Friendship Shelter. She’s been with the organization since the beginning 25 years ago. She remembers a time when there were only two people in the Friendship Shelter office, herself and founder Colin Henderson. At the time her son was in pre-school and Jan shared that she felt very fortunate to have been able to retire when she did, but she wanted to dedicate her time to an important cause. Jan studied at Stanford and UCLA and had a successful career as a journalist and editor. Jan’s careful eyes are helpful when proofing letters, marketing materials, and newsletters. Her constructive criticism is highly regarded; a great encouragement.
Her most memorable moment at the Friendship Shelter was the big fire in 1993. Jan helped founder Colin Henderson and his wife Ellin to get everyone out of the shelter and transported to hotels and safe havens further south, thinking of their own homes second to the Shelter and its residents.
Jan spends two afternoons each week answering phones in the main office at Friendship Shelter. She’s understanding to distressed callers, helping to find accurate resources and offering a listening ear, and quite talented in selecting helpful words to give them the motivation to keep going. Her favorite words of advice: “Don’t give up!” She likes to tell current and prospective clients that she’s seen many on the brink of giving up and then they find a bit of success that tends to lead to more hope and, in turn, more successes. Jan is a special friend and guidance to Friendship Shelter staff as well, making jokes and sharing advice.
“The organization hasn’t changed much because it hasn’t needed to. I always hope for less need, but I’m glad there’s a safe place for those who are in need.”
Connected to our mission of helping homeless adults achieve self-sufficiency, Jan explains, “I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t be helping in some way.” She shares that she was fortunate to be raised in a comfortable and supportive family and she wants to “give back” to those who have not had the same fortune.
We are fortunate for Jan.
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