Unorganized, loud, messy and full of laughs, these are just some of the many ways I could describe my Mission family, and the overwhelming spirit of the Tioga County Open Door Mission. Since I was nine years old and my mom brought me to volunteer, the Mission has been my second home. The Mission is where I learned to run a cash register even when I could barely see over the counter, the savings of a bag sale, had my first job, and was exposed to the realities of the world around me.
Since returning to the Mission after finishing college once again I was thankful to always be welcomed home. In the past year, the Mission continued to help me learn and change, which something as an organization we are constantly doing. We may be a bunch of misfits, who have imperfections, but the Mission is a strong and loyal family to all. The Mission is a home for so many people, more than just the residents in our shelter. The Mission is a home to the all too many people who are looking to be understood and welcomed. We work together no matter our differences, we all have a common goal and that is what matters. It is because of this devotion, I have always believed in and valued the Mission.
Even now as leave my position at the Mission to pursue my masters degree, I know my position in the Mission family will always remain. I could not even begin to thank the Mission for all that it has taught me about compassion, hard work, acceptance and respect. So thank you, Tioga County Open Door Mission and all of the wonderful people that make up our Mission! I will always carry the life lessons you have taught me!