Tuesday, March 5, 2013
By VICKY TOSH-MORELLI
I am always excited to see the return of October because during those 31 days I get to be part of an effort to raise awareness about the seriousness of breast cancer, reminding everyone that 40,000 women in the United States still die annually from this disease. But no matter how busy I am, I set aside one morning in October to attend Meet the Allies and meet a new class of idealistic young adults who, over ten months serving as Public Allies, will make a difference in non-profits like the one I serve.
Today, think of how vital Public Allies Delaware is to organizations trying to stretch a dollar to the far reaches of the state during a time when we are still recovering from the worst economic downturn in more than 50 years. Frankly it’s huge and I bet the directors of organizations such as West End Neighborhood House, Delaware Hospice, United Way and the Metropolitan Urban League – just a few of the organizations where Public Allies now serve – heartily agree.
Chadeia Mitchell, a second year Ally who will work in our organization for another 3 months as part of the 2012-13 class, has already been through a rigorous leadership training program led by professionals in the region’s non-profit world. We expect her to extend our capacity for outreach and survivorship programming and we truly believe she will continue to develop professionally. And who knows where that will lead?
One of our former Public Allies, Caitlin Dalik, was so outstanding in her Ally placement with DBCC that when her year was up she found fulltime employment with us as our Public Affairs Coordinator. Another former Ally, Kelly Kershaw, was similarly impressive and is now an Executive Assistant with the Coalition. Both Kelly and Caitlin have become integral parts of our organization because of Public Allies Delaware.
It’s been my observation that the recruitment of candidates for this program, which extends from the First State all across the United States, has only gotten stronger. These young people are so impressive that we joke that they're a little intimidating in both their passion and skill. As for the training they receive, it’s gotten better, too. The motto of this outstanding organization, with its commitment to leadership training in the non-profit sphere, could well be: Public Allies Delaware – What’s Not to Like?
Vicky Tosh-Morelli is Director of Information Services for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.