Last week, outgoing board chair Kim Glenn turned over the reins to Phil Kowalczyk, who will serve as our new 2018 board chair. We wanted to spend a few minutes getting Kim’s perspective on highlights and accomplishments of the past year.
The entire Board, volunteers and staff here The Green Chair Project are grateful for Kim’s passion, perseverance and vision.
Q: How did you first get involved in TGCP, and why are you so passionate about our mission?
A: Jackie Craig and Beth Smoot literally started The Green Chair Project out of a closet at our church. I was inspired by their vision and drawn to the unique program model of reusing donated furnishings to help friends and neighbors coming out of homelessness or crisis starting over. As a development consultant, I am familiar with several wonderful agencies committed to helping families find a path to permanent housing, but The Green Chair Project is the only organization that provides all the essential household items a family needs to turn an empty house into a home.
Q: From your perspective as board chair, what were some of the highlights and accomplishments of the past year?
A: In many ways, 2017 was a year of firsts for TGCP. More than 600 households were served, and more than 500 beds were distributed to children throughout Wake County who would otherwise be sleeping on the floor–all major milestones for our program.
Transportation remains a significant barrier for many families who are starting over, and TGCP piloted a new delivery option to help ensure families can receive the furnishings they need to create sustainable homes – everything from sofas, tables, and beds to flatware, pots, and pans.
TGCP is continually looking for ways to help the growing number of families in need of furnishings. It took five years to serve our 1,000th family, and but in just a little over a year, we have doubled that number.
Q: What are you most proud of? Is there one thing that stands out?
A: I’m deeply proud of TGCP community. Our board, donors and volunteers give so freely of their time and talents, furnishings, and financial contributions. The importance of their support cannot be overstated. They are truly changing outcomes for our friends and neighbors in need.
Q: As we work to serve more families and build awareness, what do you want this community to know about TGCP?
A: People describe TGCP as a joyful place. The families and individuals we serve have overcome a great deal to get to the point where they can start over. At TGCP, each family is given the opportunity to personally select every item they need to furnish their homes in an environment that promotes choice and dignity. It’s an empowering and uplifting partnership.
Q: How do you recommend that someone get involved in The Green Chair?
A: There is truly something for everyone at TGCP – whether you want to help families who are starting over, are at a stage in your life where you or your parents are downsizing, or are interested in recycling or reuse, you can find a fit at TGCP. Visit us at http://www.thegreenchair.org/ to learn about the many ways to become involved.
Q: If you could pass on advice to next year’s chairman, what would it be?
A: We have an aggressive goal to double the number of families we serve annually, and fortunately, our incoming chair, Phil Kowalczyk, was an integral part of creating this vision. His leadership, along with the outstanding commitment of Jackie and the staff, are putting us in a position to make this a reality.
Kim Glenn served as vice chair of The Green Chair Project Board of Directors in 2016 and chair in 2017. She is a senior consultant with moss+ross, LLC, a strategic development consulting firm serving central North Carolina. She has more than 14 years of experience in development and development consulting and has worked closely with numerous area nonprofits to help strengthen fundraising and organizational capacity. She is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.