March 25, 2020
I am writing to keep all non-Social Enterprise employees in the loop as well as contact any Social Enterprise employees who were not able to join the conference calls that we just concluded. I sincerely apologize for anyone receiving this information via email; these unprecedented times make it challenging for all of us to continue our normal way of doing things.
There is a link below to a video. It contains a good deal of detail (so watch it!) about the following:
We ask that all staff (whether on furlough or actively working) visit this employee site a minimum of once per day, as this is now our primary tool for communicating with you all. It also contains information about our Employee Assistance Program (mental health services available for all staff and their families) and a way to request more information and direct contact with our Human Resources team.
I want to thank every team member at IYR for the incredible commitment and compassion you have shown. This is a very stressful time, and I ask you to lean into your relationships, check on one another, and reach out for anyone that needs help. I am sorry that we are in this situation, but I remain as confident as ever that we will emerge on the other side an even stronger organization. But, I know that this will be challenging for at least the next few weeks. We will not be the same until our team is back at full strength. Until that time, please know that you remain in my thoughts and prayers.
March 20, 2020
Idaho Youth Ranch Team:
This has been quite a week for our communities, our country, our world, and Idaho Youth Ranch. I am so proud of all of you, and I am particularly proud of how you are living out our mission statement and values. Thanks for inspiring me and motivating me to take on anything that comes our way!
I apologize for this coming so late on a Friday night, but I wanted it to be in your hands as soon as possible, especially because so many of our staff in our thrift stores will be meeting on Saturday morning. Thanks to our marketing and communications team, particularly Jeff and Whitney, that has been working long hours to get this message and so many other things taken care of.
Here’s a link to a message from me, and I hope you all will take the time to watch it as soon as possible. As always, your feedback is welcome!
March 16, 2020
The title of my email my strike you as odd. How could I find JOY in the midst of a fairly significant challenge that we as a business, as a community, as a country, and as a world are facing?
Well, thinking back on the past few weeks actually helps me to capture an aspect of JOY that I have been wanting to write about. You see, I think it’s important and helpful in my life for me to distinguish between JOY and happiness. Both are valuable, but they are very different. JOY is a deep and lasting feeling, while happiness may be fairly short-lived and based on an immediate experience. Let me explain my thoughts with a few examples.
Parenthood. I have felt connection to a deep purpose in life in my role as the father to my children. It gives me great JOY, and that doesn’t go away. Lots of times that is accompanied with happiness (think tickle fights, watching them play soccer, or riding a roller coaster together). There are other times that are not as happy, like being up with a sick child in the middle of the night, watching one of them struggle with friendships, or having to teach a tough lesson about lying. I don’t lose JOY, however, even in those moments that I would prefer to skip. I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to be their dad, and that JOY comes from a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment and connection and…so much more.
Parties. Lots of folks love parties…birthday parties, holiday parties, parties for any occasion…They are often full of happiness. They might be expressions of JOY, but they also might just be happy moments. Have you ever known someone who can have a blast with others or even be the life of the party but seems to crash down once it’s over? I would suggest that they are experiencing momentary happiness while at the party, but their JOY is what needs to be nurtured.
Work. And this brings me to our work at IYR. Our colleagues chose JOY as a value, and it was so wise! Our culture is one where true JOY is nurtured and encouraged. This is the JOY that comes from knowing that we are committed to mission that is big and bold. It is a JOY that comes from having relationships with our colleagues, volunteers, clients, donors, shoppers, and the community. It is a JOY that comes form knowing we are providing meaningful work and growing. Just like parenthood, I wouldn’t trade being a part of this, even in the tough moments.
The Pandemic. I get so much JOY out of working with you all and having my role at Idaho Youth Ranch. I have such a sense of purpose and connection. I love the stories of the youth and families we serve and believing that I am making a difference. I watch the relationships all around me, the folks I know today that I had never met a year ago, and, yes, the ways that I am being stretched to grow. I have true JOY working with you all. That does not diminish with this pandemic and our challenges, although I would not call these happy times. It brings me JOY to see our teams working hard to be responsible and address the needs of our clients and the business. I am inspired by the leadership team and all the supervisors trying to gather as much information as possible and make good decisions based on it. It is motivating to have partner agencies, board members, and other volunteers offer their assistance and guidance. Those all contribute to JOY in the midst of a situation that has a lot of unhappy moments and stress. I wouldn’t trade being a part of this team as we tackle this together.
How can you add to someone’s sense of JOY today? How about a VALUES card? Give one that tells a person on your IYR team about a particularly meaningful aspect of their influence on you and our work together. If you do that, you might create a sense of happiness in the moment that you share this encouragement and thanks. More importantly, you will contribute to your relationship growth, the value of your work together, and your shared connection to the mission, which are all components of JOY.
Have a great week,
March 2, 2020
Fellow Youth Ranch employees:
We ask all supervisors to post these messages and to personally share them with any staff who do not have a personal work email.
I’m sure you are all aware of, and perhaps worried about, the coronavirus that has reached the United States. In these circumstances, clear communication is one of the most important steps for us to take as an agency. This message is the first in what I expect will be a series of communications to share available information about coronavirus with you and inform you about the actions IYR is taking to protect our employees, customers, clients, and day-to-day operations. As new developments occur, we will send additional emails.
IYR Specific Information
General Information and Resources (see attachment)
What is Coronavirus? Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but now it seems to be spreading from person to person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some diseases are highly contagious (like measles), while other diseases are less so. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading between people.
How can I protect myself? There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Some people may be at higher risk for severe illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.
Everyday preventive actions that help the spread of respiratory diseases include:
How can I keep from spreading respiratory illness to others?
What about masks? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for people who are taking care of someone in close settings.
If you would like to stay up-to-date on the coronavirus, please go to the CDC page:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html